A criminal act is never an isolated event: There are always consequences. Victims want vengeance; detectives want truth; citizens want justice.

In Marianne Wilski Strong’s “The Breaker,” an old coal processing plant is haunted—a consequence of the exploitative treatment of its workers, including children. In Brian Tobin’s “Entwined,” a moment’s distraction leads to the death of a professor, a man who touched many lives. A history of brutality entangles young lovers and parents alike in William Dylan Powell’s dark family drama “Sewing on Sunday.” And Elizabeth Zelvin’s nuanced “The Man in the Dick Tracy Hat,” set in the Cold War fifties, examines the results of a decision to become a traitor of sorts.

In other stories, Key West P.I. Megan Trevor boards a dowdy gambling cruise to find out where the money is leaking out in John C. Boland’s “Her Father’s Daughter.” Bob Tippee brings us a tale of the corporate snares that await the young and ambitious in “The PLT.” And for our Mystery Classic this month, Evan Lewis introduces us to a hardworking journalist from another era in Richard Sale’s “Flash!”

But in all these stories, the intended consequence is reading pleasure.

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