As social creatures, we live enmeshed in a network of responsibilities to others, be they family members, friends, or colleagues. These are bonds that crime, as many of this month’s stories attest, can severely strain. The duties of friendship press against moral boundaries for two life-long buddies in Brian Cox’s “The Frozen Fiske.” An assignment to escort a WWII hero around Detroit presents an ethical dilemma for the tough-talking vice cops The Four Horsemen in Loren D. Estleman’s “Playing the Ace.” Another kind of ethical quandary faces a psychiatrist evaluating a murder suspect in Wendy Leeds’ “First, Dig Two Graves.” A young spy poses as a bookkeeper in a postwar Austrian TB sanitarium in Eve Fisher’s “Miss West’s First Case.” And two cops probe a deadly mugging in a gentrifying Glasgow in Russel D. McLean’s atmospheric “Tout.”
We also feature two bookish mysteries this month. A Louisa May Alcott aficionado is pulled into a deadly race to locate one of the author’s manuscripts in Marianne Wilski Strong’s “Louisa and the Silver Buckle.” And our Mystery Classic reacquaints readers with the gaslight era master thief Godahl, created by Frederick Irving Anderson and introduced here by Joseph Goodrich.
As you can see, we take seriously our responsibility to deliver an issue of great reads.