Pay Attention! (November 2016)

Criminals and writers often employ misdirection, as a number of this month’s stories demonstrate. In S. L. Franklin’s “A Precautionary Tale,” private eye R. J. Carr’s client is a victim of such misdirection when his snow shovel is stolen and used in a murder. In Eric Rutter’s spy story “Proof” two veteran spies reconnect following careers spent in lies and misdirection. In Diana Deverell’s “Opening Day, 1954,” a rookie policewoman must evaluate the credibility of a bomb threat received at a busy theme park. And in Stephen P. Kelner, Jr.’s “Death at the Althing,” Thorbjörn is tasked with redirecting the grievances of two bickering elders at the ancient Icelandic proto-parliament known as the Althing.

Meanwhile, David Edgerley Gates’s fixer Mickey Counihan shows that an indirect approach is sometimes more effective in “Stone Soup.” An unhappy wife engages in the most familiar of marital misdirection in “Pisan Zapra” by Josh Pachter. And Randy Davison finds his life in need of any direction in Eve Fisher’s Laskin, South Dakota–set “Iron Chef.”

And now you need no further direction, reader, but to turn the page.

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