Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Short Story Wednesday Review: Mystery Magazine: February 2023


Mystery Magazine: Feb 2023 opens with “The Nightingale’s Heart” by Mark Mrozinski. The story that inspired the cover art for the issue features Phillipe and the arrival of the severely injured man during the winter of 1777. Phillipe is known for making medicines from plants and the Cree have bought him a young man who is near death. Finished with their mission, the two leave him behind. Phillipe is left to deal with the burden of the severely injured man as best as he can.

The Man With The Carnation In His Lapel is in the bar on a mission looking for just the right kind of guy in “Palooka” by Pete Barnstrom. Maybe he has found him. Maybe not.

“Father Michael” by Kevin Egan comes next where the good father has shown up at the farm. The young narrator and his family have just moved to the farm having left the bid city. Now Father Michael wants him to come to the local church and be an altar boy. Just when the kid thought he was out, the church is pulling him back in. It isn’t something he wants either. Escape is always hard whether you are a kid or an adult.

Charles Redcliffe is on a mission. He wants to find out what happened to his brother. In “Harry’s Footsteps” by Edward Lodi, the trail has led him to a diner named Pleasant View Eats. The establishment is located across the street from a graveyard. Somebody had a sense of humor with that name.

A murderer is at work in “The Masterpiece Murders” by E Senteio. A killer is recreating famous paintings with various locals as dead subjects. Good thing the narrator knows a thing or two about art.

Mr. Miles Becker is one of those rigid teachers we all knew in school. Everything is done in a precise way at a precise time. He takes great delight in the liberal use of red ink in “Lesson Plan” by Douglas Soesbe. Overworked, underpaid, and underappreciated, one might expect the story to go in a certain way. One would be wrong. The result is a highly entertaining short story.

Also very entertaining is the following short story by Mike McHone. David Rosten wants his wife dead. The guy across the table might be the answer to his problem in “The Snake.”

Chief Financial officer Blake Ritchie was enjoying life until a certain meeting with included CEO Aimee Hickok. She wants significant changes in “Blake’s Bad Day” by Michael Allan Mallory. It is time for him to make some hard choices about his future.

Stacy’s sister, Elizabeth, went missing back in 96. She had a deal at a weight loss place in “You, Thin!” by Jessica Hwang. She had paid for the 14 days as the place. She went and never came back home. She went missing and nobody knows what happened to her. That means Stacy has to do what needs to be done to get answers.

Next up is “The Braidy Bunch: You-Solve-It” story by John H. Dromey. The trio of teen girls were trying to start a flash mob at the local mall. When that fizzled, they went shopping. They would have been better off going back home. Now store security is involved. The solution to what happened and why runs next month. 

The issue concludes with the solution to the January You- Solve-It short story, Artless Theft by J.R. Parsons. 

Mystery Magazine: February 2023 is another good issue. As always, variety is the key here as mystery takes many forms in the various tales. Interesting characters, interesting cases, there is something for every reader.


For quite some time now I have been gifted a subscription by the publisher with no expectation at all of a review.  


Kevin R. Tipple ©2023

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