Reviewing our annual index (on pages 108–109 of the current issue) puts 2015 in perspective. We published 79 short stories that represented all subgenres of mystery fiction and ranged in tone from humorous to ironic to tragic. Our authors came from the four corners of the earth with stories just as far-ranging in their settings. Which is not surprising: Crime is part of the human condition, and crime fiction captures the universal struggle of human beings under extraordinary conditions.
Many of the stories in our December issue also take a retrospective turn. Long submerged memories surface for a retiree in Theresa E. Lehr’s cover story “Lake People.” Turn-of-the-century bounty hunter Placido Geist discovers the last surviving participant in a botched bank robbery ten years on in “The Sleep of Death” by David Edgerley Gates. Suspicious coincidences put a teen in the CIA’s scope for fifty years in “Larry’s Story” by David Braly. And Marianne Wilski Strong sets her tale “Warsaw” in the heady days before the fall of the Soviet Union. More contemporary issues surface in Catherine Dilts’s “Industrial Gray” and Neil Schofield’s “The Purslow Particle,” both of which touch upon work-a-day maladies.
In this issue we offer up great stories now, just as we’ve been doing since AHMM first came on the scene in 1956—and there’s plenty more great fiction to come in the future!