28 May 2023

Raising Money

A few years ago, my Huey pilot buddy and I sat down to see if we could brainstorm a short story. Something different than we had conjured up in the past. The result was a rough outline for a couple of young conmen who had come up with a new scheme to try out in the criminal world. Their basic premise went something like the following.

If criminals could purchase a "clean" gun for a job, then maybe they would also be interested in renting a "clean" car so as not to be nabbed in a stolen car on their way to the job. The result was "The Clean Car Company" published in the January 2021 issue of Mystery Weekly Magazine (now Mystery Magazine). Of course, the two young conmen, Danny and Jackson, ran into a couple of glitches in their plan. They hadn't expected a dead body in the trunk when the rented car was returned.

Now, it was time for the duo to try out a new scheme which was actually an old con from the streets of Harlem. Raising Money was the pitch. Find a not-too-smart mark with lots of money and convince him that you could raise money by increasing the denominations on U.S. currency through the use of the modern miracles of science and technology.

What's that, you don't believe such a feat is possible? Have you considered all the recent  advances in science and technology which are difficult to explain to the common layman? Well then, let's see if you can explain to both our satisfaction how that same GPS voice in your cell phone can direct thousands of drivers along various different routes at the same time and yet still tell each driver when and where to make the correct turns to get to each one's different destinations. Or is it some sort of magic?

Perhaps you should just read "Raising Money" in the May 2023 issue of Mystery Magazine and see how the con plays out.

For those of you interested in the timeline from submission to reply to publication, here are the entries in my Submission Log:

  •   03/17/23  "Raising Money" subbed to Mystery Magazine
  •   03/21/23  e-mail acceptance
  •   03/22/23  signed & returned e-contract
  •   03/23/23  paid via PayPal
  •   05/01/23  published

Oh yeah, our very own Rob Lopresti has a short story in this same May 2023 issue and his submission log entries should be about the same as mine.


  1. Congrats on the story coming out!

    1. Thanks, Mark. Congrats are always welcome.

  2. Congratulations, and I will read it this afternoon!

  3. Elizabeth Dearborn28 May, 2023 13:17

    Congratulations to both of you. As usual, they're great stories, & it's almost time for the June issue to come out.

  4. Congrats, and fast work. Mystery Magazine is always a joy to work with.

  5. jWow! That's fast. I can't help but feel proud for our Canadian Magazine (Mystery Mag is down the street from me) and yes, they are super people, very professional. You've got such a terrific portfolio of published stories, RT - congratulations yet again! Melodie

  6. Thanks, Bob. This is my 5th sale to them, and yes, Kerry is good to work with.

  7. I remember The Clean Car Company. I'll have to check out yours and Rob's latest.

  8. Congrats to both you and Rop, R.T. That seems to have been a good time to submit. I sent a story March 20 that has also been accepted at Mystery Magazine, but I don't know when it will appear yet. Experience says it will probably be in the next few weeks.

  9. RT, I'd almost forgotten a true-life Clean Car Company story. Nine years ago, you wrote a couple of SleuthSayers Black Market articles which prompted an article by me.

    In my column, I mentioned a mafia connected Youngstown auto dealer named Baglier. He was found in a swmap, dead in the trunk of one of his cars.

    1. Well, there was a dead body found in the car, and who knows what kind of a situation Baglier got himself into.


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