Mystery Weekly Magazine is a monthly crime fiction magazine featuring short fiction. It could perhaps be compared to Ellery Queen’s or Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine. I originally became aware of it through their Sherlock Holmes issue which was surprisingly good, so I decided to try some further ones.
The May 2017 issue features following pieces:
Mrs. Walker And The Lady In The Laundry by Katie Ginger – When elderly Mrs. Walker finds a dead body tied up in her washing line in her garden she is shocked and appalled. After all: “What on earth would the neighbors say?”
The body turns out to be that Of Judith Bramble a local barmaid. Mrs Walker decides to investigate on her own in the fashion of Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple.
This was a charming enough little story, pleasingly told, only let down by an overly simplistic plot that didn’t offer any surprises.
In Walked A Lady by Anna Castle takes us back in time to Elizabethan England. Young clerk Tom works for Francis Bacon (Bacon is today probably best known as the person some claim to have written the plays of Shakespeare. To my shame I have to admit that I do not know a lot about Mr. Bacon myself and this story did not help much in this regard.) who runs a sort of detective agency. A pretty young lady turns up and wants to know who killed her uncle. Since Bacon is absent Tom has to play the role of detective. The brevity of the story does not allow for much fleshing out of the historical background and Bacon himself only turns up at the end while Tom is not the most exciting of sleuths, finally the mystery itself is rather weak making for a not very memorable story.
The Montclair Dead-Star Comedy Revue by Michael Mallory was the highlight of this issue. The revue of the title is a comedy show for TV. The protagonist Bernard “Buddy” Barker is a luckless comedian who has never made it big in his career and plays second fiddle to the star of the show Jackie Plumm. When Plumm is found shot dead in his dressing room Buddy starts investigating. The story takes place in New York City in the year 1950 and the author does a very good job of bringing that bygone era to life.
1G Networks by J. A. Becker takes the modern work-place environment and turns it into a scene of crime. A man decides to scam his employer, something that turns out to be more complicated than he envisioned. This is a darkly comical tale of greed and corruption which I enjoyed very much.
The Tattooed Corpse by Jude Roy is your typical hardboiled private eye story. Our narrator, a private investigator gets a call by a guy who fears someone is trying to kill him; when he goes over to the man’s house he finds him dead. The victim has a large tattoo on his body which could be a clue. A quite well-written short story, but the plot is again disappointingly weak.
Little David by Charles Roland continues the theme of the well-written but bland story; it is about the search for a missing person who was snatched from a hospital as a child.
Last we have a solve-it-yourself mystery: Murder-Suicide by James Glass
Overall this was a weaker issue, even though the quality of the writing is consistently high. I just wish that some of the stories had more original plots. Nonetheless I really like the old-fashioned feel of the magazine and I am thinking of buying all the back-issues too.