The December 2017 issue of Mystery Weekly Magazine continues the tradition of this publication giving readers great stories. But, if you are looking for a light issue in tune with the holiday season you won’t find it here. Suspense rules this issue and the themes are not light at all. In fact, the overall tone of the issue is fairly dark though a couple of the stories are a little bit lighter than the others.

“The Mechanical Rat” by Lawrence Buentello inspired the cover art and opens the issue. It sets the overall issue tone with an intense tale involving a mechanical genius named Yazzi who created a mechanical rat. Billy Yazzi is a loner by every definition of the word and the neighbor of the narrator, Stanley, who has known him since high school. His rat starts off being more complex than the standard windup mouse. As the rat evolves over the next days and weeks and becomes more and more capable of complex and potentially violent activities, Stanley becomes more concerned about it as well as Yazzi. Then the murders begin in a tale that rivals the best of the works by Edgar Allan Poe.

 

Keeping the suspense going is the next story, “Ailanthus On PatChin Place” by Claude Chabot. Our narrator might be crazy. Some think so because Amanda hears voices. Especially a little girl who has been crying for days now. The female narrator keeps to herself and lives the life of a recluse. Her only visitor is a man she knows as Charlie. He might be able to help her when he comes over soon for a visit.

 

Mrs. Walker does not like parties and especially does not like Christmas parties. She has managed to deftly avoid Colonel Shipton’s Christmas Bash the last two years, but this year there is no escape. She will go with Mr. Miller to the big house at the top of the hill and endure it. At least Mr. Miller and Mrs. Walker will have their personal flasks in “Mrs. Walker And The Poisonous Punch” by Katie Ginger.

 

Being rich did not protect Elizabeth from being kidnapped as “Not A Smart Way To Start A Negotiation” by Michael McGlade begins. As the blindfold is removed and she looks around the room, she knows the kidnappers intend a certain outcome that clearly would not be in her long term best interest. She did not get to this position by being stupid and she won’t be now.

 

She might be far younger than Elizabeth and far less wealthy, but the Karen of the next story also has a plan and power over others. The guys are just along for the ride in “Sammy” by Laura Gianino. She has them all wrapped around her finger, but especially Hal. They have no choice as she got them into this mess in the first place and now they have to get out.

 

“True Love” by Steve Schrott comes next where Jessica has a thing for the new guy, Tim Leeson. She isn’t the only one. Time will tell who is the victor in this one.

 

Each issue of Mystery Weekly Magazine has a “You Solve It” puzzle. This issue features “The Family Feud” by Rhonda Howard.  Somebody has broken into the grave of Josie Horton at Gosford Lawn Cemetery. It is up to Detective Frank Garvey to solve the case and keep the peace.

 

The issue concludes with the solution to the November puzzle “The Mysterious Meatball Autopsy” by Peter DiChellis.

 

While it is not a light issue, Mystery Weekly Magazine: December 2017 is packed full of good and often intense reading. Complicated characters, strange situations, and more than one surprise are packed into these tales. All the stories in the issue are good ones and well worth your time.

 

Mystery Weekly Magazine: December 2017

http://www.mysteryweekly.com/

ASIN: B07856BX42

eBook (available in print format)

97 Pages

$2.99

 

 

 

For quite some time now I have been gifted a subscription by the publisher with no expectation at all of a review. This month I made the decision to read and review. I expect to do more of that going forward depending on my usual personal time constraints.

 

 

 

Kevin R. Tipple ©2018

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