Showing posts sorted by relevance for query mccormick. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query mccormick. Sort by date Show all posts

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Night Train to Berlin, by WIlliam Burton McCormick

"Night Train to Berlin," by William Burton McCormick.  Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, March/April 2020. 


This is McCormick' fourth appearance here, and it's quite a change.  The others were humorous stories but this one is sheer suspense.

It is 1939 and Stalin and Hitler are playing footsie.  As part of their nice-making the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany are exchanging prisoners.

Our narrator is a German-born Communist named Moller.  He has lived in the USSR since its origin but is now  being shipped back to his homeland in exchange for some unfortunate Russian the NKVD wants to get their hands on.  He knows that the vehicle he is about to board "might as well be my funeral train."  The Gestapo will soon torture him death.

But there are plots within plots on board that choo-choo, and an unlikely ally might be able to help him out.

I read this in one sitting, because I had to know it ended...

Monday, July 8, 2019

The Three Camillas, by William Burton McCormick

"The Three Camillas," by William Burton McCormick, Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine,  July/August 2019.

This is the third appearance here by McCormick and the second for Quintus the Clever.  But our hero, if that's the right word, takes a while to arrive.

The story is set during the rule of Caligula the mad in the Roman empire.  The narrator is Camilla Tertia, which is to say, the third Camilla.  ("Siblings with identical names, especially amongst girls, were common in conservative and affluent families...")

Tertia is twelve and, she reports proudly, "already considered far and wide the scoundrel and gossip of the family."  Reports have not been exaggerated.

Her sister Secunda is about to make an unhappy marriage.  Tertia decides it can be prevented if her expensive engagement ring is lost - a bad omen!  And who better to make it disappear than the luckless thief she meets after he is caught and whipped?

Quintus is clever enough to want nothing to do with her - what's Latin for hellcat? - but she doesn't give him much choice.  The best part of the story is their conversations.

"Be an honest man, Quintus, and rob my sister!"

Monday, March 11, 2019

Murder In The Second Act, by William Burton McCormick

"Murder In The Second Act," by William Burton McCormick, in Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, March/April 2019.

This is the second appearance in my blog by McCormick.  It is his third story about Tasia and Eleni, two young women who, with their mother,  run a lodging house in Odessa at the turn of the century.

At the moment their only lodger is an actor named Oleg Olehno.  He wants to hire the women as claquers, that is, members of the audience secretly paid to raise enthusiasm for a certain actor. Tasia, our narrator, doubts the ethics of such an occupation, but her sister is delighted to get paid to attend a show.

The complicating factor is the arrival of a giant - truly, an eight foot tall man - who is hunting for Oleg.  Fee fie fo.  Oleg explains that he borrowed money from the claquers guild in Moscow and this monstrous debt collector has been chasing him all over Russia.

Ah, but this is theatre, and theatre is all about illusion...  This story is a lot of fun.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Voices in the Cistern, by William Burton McCormick

"Voices in the Cistern," by William Burton McCormick in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, August 2016.

This is McCormick's  second story about Quintus the Clever, a thief in the early days of the Roman empire.  And Quintus is having a bad day.

It isn't enough that he is in a city under seige by the Roman's deadly Scythian enemies.  No, he also has to deal with Vibius, a large, nasty, unscrupulous rogue.  The brute has decided Quintus is the perfect co-conspirator to help him with a dangerous scheme.  The last person involved was actually killed by, uh, Vibius.  So, what could go wrong?

At one point they pass through a house whose residents had been killed, supposedly in a Scythian attack.

"Since when do the Scythians use short swords, Vibius?"
"Since I sold them short swords," he grunts.

So things are pretty bad for Quintus.  But don't worry; they will get worse.  And then Quintus has to make a decision and either choice will break his tiny, larcenous heart...

Monday, May 27, 2019

My Companion, by Janice Law.

"My Companion," by Janice Law, in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine,May/June 2019.

Before we get to the main event, I want to point something out.  This issue contains a story by  William Burton McCormick The introductory note points out that McCormick "made the  SleuthSayers list for Best Short Stories of the Year in 2016."  I believe that is the first time an editor made note in writing of my annual best fest.  Nice to be noticed.

This is the sixth appearance here by my friend and fellow SleuthSayer.

Jess is a poor little rich girl.  What she really wants is a puppy but her very busy parents say a real dog is too much trouble, so they get her a fake canine from a company called My Companions.
 
Mom explains: "My Companion has a repertoire of phrases that come loaded, but the neat thing, Jess, is that this toy learns.  As you talk to it, it learns and responds!  Now, isn't that better than a puppy?"

Meh.  But after a particularly bad day at school Jess talks to the fake dog whom she names Piper. 

And Piper talks back.  Sure enough, his personality does develop. In particular, he takes a deep interest in Daddy's collection of fine and expensive art...

Jess is lonely and depressed but she isn't dumb.  She sees what is going on, but what should she do about it?  A haunting little tale.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Little Big News: Derringer finalists

The Short Mystery Fiction Society has announced the finalists for the 2016 Derringer Awards.  I am more than delighted that one of the stories is by yours truly.  Congratulations to all!

For Best Flash Story (Up to 1,000 words)
  • Jack Bates, "The Hard Screw" (Near to the Knuckle, August 6, 2015)
  • Craig Faustus Buck, "Heavy Debt" (Mondays are Murder: Akashic Books, August 10, 2015)
  • Barb Goffman, "The Wrong Girl" (Flash and Bang: A Short Mystery Fiction Society Anthology: Untreed Reads, October 2015)
  • Vy Kava, "Hero" (Red Dawn: Best New England Crime Stories 2016: Level Best Books, November 2015)
  • John Weagly, "Trash Pick-Up" (Near to the Knuckle, September 24, 2015)

For Best Short Story (1,001–4,000 words)
  • Shelly Dickson Carr, "Words Can Kill" (Red Dawn: Best New England Crime Stories 2016: Level Best Books, November 2015)
  • Nikki Dolson, "Joe Park's Little Girl" (Mystery Weekly, September 7, 2015)
  • Chris Knopf, "Kill Switch" (Red Dawn: Best New England Crime Stories 2016: Level Best Books, November 2015)
  • William Burton McCormick, "Pompo's Disguise" (Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, March/April 2015)
  • Meg Opperman, "Twilight Ladies" (Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, March/April 2015)

For Best Long Story (4,001–8,000 words)
  • Ron Collins, "The White Game" (Fiction River: Hidden in Crime: WMG Publishing, November 2015)
  • John M. Floyd, "Dentonville" (Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, November 2015)
  • Katia Lief, "The Orchid Grower" (Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, November 2015)
  • Robert Lopresti, "Shooting at Firemen" (Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, July/August 2015)
  • Elizabeth Zelvin, "The Man in the Dick Tracy Hat" (Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, June 2015)

For Best Novelette (8,001–20,000 words)
  • John M. Floyd, "Driver" (The Strand Magazine, February-May 2015)
  • Jane Haddam, "Crazy Cat Ladies" (Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, February 2015)
  • Richard Helms, "Shooting Stars" (Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, September/October 2015)
  • Gordon Hopkins, "Jack Daniels and Associates: The Whiplash Brokers" (Kindle Worlds, March 2015)
  • Travis Richardson, "Quack and Dwight" (Jewish Noir: Contemporary Tales of Crime and Other Dark Deeds: PM Press, November 2015)

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Derringer nominees announced

The Short Mystery Fiction Society has announced the nominees for the Derringer Awards for 2015.  Congratulations to all!



FLASH
Because, Melissa Yi , Fiction River Special Edition: Crime 
Sweet Smells, Jed Power, Shotgun Honey                                                          
How Lil Jimmie Beat The Big C, Joseph DAgnese, Shotgun Honey                                  
Foodies, Rob Hart, Shotgun Honey                                                          
Knockout, Eryk Pruitt, Out of the Gutter Online                   
Because, Travis RichardsonOut of the Gutter Online                   

 SHORT
The Least of TheseBV Lawson, Plan B Magazine Volume III 
Killing Sam Clemens, William Burton McCormick   Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine #13 
A Friend in Brown, Mary E. Stibal, Rogue Wave:  Best New England Crime Stories
The Bad Son, Britni Patterson, Carolina Crimes: 19 Tales of Lust Love and Longing           

The Kaluki Kings of Queens  Cathi StolerMurder New York Style: Family Matters      

LONG
A Hopeless Case, Hilary Davidson, All Due Respect (issue #4)    
Separation Anxiety, Angel Luis Colón,  All Due Respect                     
The Ultimate Mystery, M. H. Callway, World Enough and Crime      
The Missing Money, James T. Shannon, Rogue Wave:  Best New England Crime Stories      
Dead Men Tell No Tales, Cathy Wiley,  Chesapeake Crimes: Homicidal Holidays      
 
NOVELETTE
Hitlers Dogs, Doug Allyn,  

Fiction River Special Edition: Crime 

Infernal, Trey Dowell, Untreed Reads                                               
Busting Red Heads, Richard Helms,  Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine       
The Monster in Our Midst, Kris Nelscott, Fiction River Special Edition: Crime             
Juba Good, Vicki Delany, Ocra Books       






                                   
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My Blog:
The Undead Trilogy

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Little Big News: Derringers 2014

The Short Mystery Fiction Society has announced the winners of the Derringer Awards for 2014 and I am somewhat stunned to report that I am one of them.  You can read more about me me me here.

For Best Flash (Up to 1,000 words)

  • "Final Statement" by Robert Bailey (The Flash Fiction Offensive, July 18, 2013)
  • "Not My Day" by Stephen Buehler (Last Exit to Murder, Down & Out Books, June 2013)
  • "The Needle and the Spoon" by Allan Leverone (Shotgun Honey, November 15, 2013)
  • "Luck is What You Make" by Stephen D. Rogers (Crime Factory, May 2013)
  • "Terry Tenderloin and the Pig Thief" by John Weagly (Shotgun Honey, June 21, 2013)

For Best Short Story (1,001–4,000 words)
  • "Pretty Little Things" by Chris F. Holm (Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, July 2013)
  • "The Present" by Robert Lopresti (The Strand Magazine, February-May 2013)
  • "The Sweetheart Scamster" by Rosemary McCracken (Thirteen by the Mesdames of Mayhem, August 2013)
  • "The Little Outlaw" by Mike Miner (Plan B Magazine, August 9, 2013)
  • "The Cemetery Man" by Bill Pronzini (Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, July 2013)

For Best Long Story (4,001–8,000 words)
  • "Myrna!" by John Bubar (Best New England Crime Stories 2014: Stone Cold, Level Best Books, September 2013)
  • "Bloody Signorina" by Joseph D'Agnese (Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, September 2013)
  • "GIVE ME A DOLLAR" by Ray Daniel (Best New England Crime Stories 2014: Stone Cold, Level Best Books, September 2013)
  • "Dance Man" by Andrew Jetarski (Last Exit to Murder, Down & Out Books, June 2013)
  • "A Dangerous Life" by Adam Purple (Best New England Crime Stories 2014: Stone Cold, Level Best Books, September 2013)

For Best Novelette (8,001–20,000 words)
  • "The Serpent Beneath the Flower" by Jack Bates (Mind Wings Audio, April 2013)
  • "The Goddaughter's Revenge" by Melodie Campbell (Orca Rapid Reads, October 2013)
  • "For Love's Sake" by O'Neil De Noux (Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, July/August 2013)
  • "The Antiquary's Wife" by William Burton McCormick (Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, March 2013)
  • "Last Night in Cannes" by James L. Ross (Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, November 2013)

EDWARD D. HOCH MEMORIAL GOLDEN DERRINGER FOR LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT
  • Ed Gorman

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Little Big News: Derringer Nominations 2014``````

The Short Mystery Fiction Society has announced the nominations for the Derringer Awards 2014.  Congratulations to all!  I must admit to being especially pleased about one of the nominations for the short fiction award.

For Best Flash (Up to 1,000 words)

  • "Final Statement" by Robert Bailey (The Flash Fiction Offensive, July 18, 2013)
  • "Not My Day" by Stephen Buehler (Last Exit to Murder, Down & Out Books, June 2013)
  • "The Needle and the Spoon" by Allan Leverone (Shotgun Honey, November 15, 2013)
  • "Luck is What You Make" by Stephen D. Rogers (Crime Factory, May 2013)
  • "Terry Tenderloin and the Pig Thief" by John Weagly (Shotgun Honey, June 21, 2013)

For Best Short Story (1,001–4,000 words)
  • "Pretty Little Things" by Chris F. Holm (Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, July 2013)
  • "The Present" by Robert Lopresti (The Strand Magazine, February-May 2013)
  • "The Sweetheart Scamster" by Rosemary McCracken (Thirteen by the Mesdames of Mayhem, August 2013)
  • "The Little Outlaw" by Mike Miner (Plan B Magazine, August 9, 2013)
  • "The Cemetery Man" by Bill Pronzini (Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, July 2013)

For Best Long Story (4,001–8,000 words)
  • "Myrna" by John Bubar (Best New England Crime Stories 2014: Stone Cold, Level Best Books, September 2013)
  • "Bloody Signorina" by Joseph D'Agnese (Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, September 2013)
  • "Give Me a Dollar" by Ray Daniel (Best New England Crime Stories 2014: Stone Cold, Level Best Books, September 2013)
  • "Dance Man" by Andrew Jetarski (Last Exit to Murder, Down & Out Books, June 2013)
  • "A Dangerous Life" by Adam Purple (Best New England Crime Stories 2014: Stone Cold, Level Best Books, September 2013)

For Best Novelette (8,001–20,000 words)
  • "The Serpent Beneath the Flower" by Jack Bates (Mind Wings Audio, April 2013)
  • "The Goddaughter's Revenge" by Melodie Campbell (Orca Rapid Reads, October 2013)
  • "For Love's Sake" by O'Neil De Noux (Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, July/August 2013)
  • "The Antiquary's Wife" by William Burton McCormick (Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, March 2013)
  • "Last Night in Cannes" by James L. Ross (Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, November 2013)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Little Big News: Derringer Nominees

Congrats to all the 2012 Derringer Awards nominees!  Now the members of the Short Mystery Fiction Society (me included) have to read all of these stories and vote....

Finalists for Best Novelette:

Jeffrey Cohen, "The Gun Also Rises: an Aaron Tucker Mystery," Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, January/February 2011

Toni L. P. Kelner, "In Brightest Day," Home Improvement: Undead Edition, August 2011

Doug Allyn, "A Penny for the Boatman," Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, March/April 2011

David Dean, "Tomorrow's Dead," Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, July 2011

Earl Staggs, "Where Billy Died," Untreed Reads, August 2011

Finalists for Best Long Story

Art Taylor, "A Drowning at Snow's Cut," Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, May 2011

Trina Corey, "Facts Exhibiting Wantonness," Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, November 2011

Trey Dowell, "Ballistic," Untreed Reads, July 2011

Karen Pullen, "Brea's Tale," Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, November 2011

William Burton McCormick, "Blue Amber," Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, June 2011

Finalists for Best Short Story:

Elizabeth Zelvin, "Death will Tank Your Fish," Murder New York Style: Fresh Slices, 2011

B.V. Lawson, pen name of Bonnie Vanaman, "Touch of Death," Absent Willow Review Online Magazine, April 2011

Ruth M. McCarty, "Sisters in Black," Best New England Crime Stories 2012: Dead Calm, November 2011.

Cathi Stoler, "Fatal Flaw." Beat to a Pulp Online, April 2011

Adam Renn Olenn, "Coronation," Best New England Crime Stories 2012: Dead Calm, November 2011.

Finalists for Best Flash Fiction Story:

Warren Bull, "Company Policy," Yellow Mama, August 2011

John Kenyon, "Countdown," Thrillers, Killers, and Chillers, April 2011

Al Leverone, "Lessons Learned," Shotgun Honey, July 2011

Melodie Campbell, "The Perfect Mark," Flash Fiction Online Magazine, July 2011

Kathleen Ryan, "Heat of Passion," A Twist of Noir, February 2011