Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine
Distributed By: Penny Press
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
Have you ever perused the magazine racks while waiting on line at the grocery store? Well, I do and it was in doing so that I noticed a magazine I had never seen before. It was a small pocket-sized magazine called Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine and featured a number of short stories by various authors in the mystery genre. It looked interesting enough, so I decided to add a copy to my groceries so I could check it out.
The Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine features not only short stories, but puzzles, book reviews and contests. The puzzles are types that I loved solving in Dell Crossword Puzzle books like Acrostics and Crytopgrams. The contests consist of a picture and a challenge to produce the best 250 word mystery story for a $25.00 prize. The book reviews are intelligent and insightful without giving away too much of the story.
But the most important parts of this magazine are the stories, which though all mysteries are vastly different from each other. First is the supernatural mystery, The Monitor by Tara Laskowski, in which a new mother begins seeing someone else’s baby in her video baby monitor. When she starts to see another little boy approaching the baby in the monitor, she begins to fear for that other baby’s life. Is she suffering from postpartum depression or is she really seeing something dangerous about to happen to someone else’s child…and just whose child is it anyway? Next is Purse Strings by Gigi Vernon, a mystery that takes place in 1161 A.D. in France and features a former knight looking to prove that he is worth his weight in gold and not a worthless has-been.
A Knock on the Door by Jas. R. Petrin is a kidnapping/human trafficking mystery solved by a man whose had his own brushes with the law; someone you would least expect to be the hero. Next up is Nighthawks by Joseph D’Agnese which tells the tale of a woman who has had enough and decides to put an end to her horror of a life, only to realize that she never knew what she was getting herself into. Sitting Ducks by Loren D. Estleman follows a special unit of police detectives who appear to have a price on their heads, but who's paying?
This thriller is followed up by the murder mystery Trash in the Garbage by Bruce Graham. What would you do if you found the body of a man you believed walked out of your family's life years ago inside a refrigerator in your mother's garage? Mr. Thibault has an idea, but will he get away with it? The final story, The Danua Boy by Tony Richards is a mystery with a science fiction twist about the kidnapping of a tycoon's son in Africa and his scorn for the attempts of the local and federal police to track down the kidnappers. At the very end of the magazine is the winning story for last month's photo contest, a short tale with an ironic twist of an ending.
All-in-all, at over a hundred pages of entertaining content, I found the $4.99 price tag on Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine to be money well spent. Despite being all mysteries, the tales were so diverse in nature and writing style to make things interesting. They weren't all whodunits and they weren't all simple thrillers. There were some supernatural, science fiction, detective noir and the like mixed in, making each tale a unique and enjoyable experience. My favorites from this month were A Knock on the Door (just loved the main character), Purse Strings (you just couldn't help but root for this down on his luck knight), Nighthawks and its ironic ending and Trash in the Garbage. The puzzles and contest content were equally entertaining, but I would have been just fine with the short stories. Definitely a magazine I can see buying again in the future.