Last Wednesday morning, I checked my emails and found one from Janet Hutchings, the editor of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine with the subject line “Congratulations.” The last time I received an email from her with that introduction was when I won the 2012 Robert L. Fish Award. This time, she told me that the short story of mine that EQMM had published in their November edition had been chosen for the anthology “Best American Mystery Stories 2014.”
The next day I received an email with more details from the editor of the series, Otto Penzler. Each year he works with a guest editor preparing the book; this year it’s Laura Lippman. From all the mystery short stories published in 2013, Mr. Penzler chose 50 he considered to be the best. Then Ms. Lippman winnowed them down to 20 stories for the anthology. (The other thirty stories will be listed in the book.) My story, “The Covering Storm,” made the cut.
Otto Penzler is a legend in the mystery community. He created The Mysterious Press in 1975, which he ran until 1989 when it was purchased by Warner Books. In 2010 he reacquired the imprint from Warner and now publishes the Press through Grove/Atlantic, along with his Edgar-award winning quarterly “The Armchair Detective.” Since 1997, he’s edited the Best American Mystery Stories anthology along with such guest editors as Sue Grafton, Ed McBain, Lee Child and Joyce Carol Oates. He’s also the proprietor of the Mysterious Bookshop in New York City.
Laura Lippman’s fiction has won the Edgar, Anthony, Agatha, and Shamus Awards, among others. She spent 20 years as a reporter, including 12 years at The (Baltimore) Sun before retiring from daily newspaper work in 2001. Her first mystery novel, “Baltimore Blues,” was published in 1997 and featured the character Tess Mongahan. Since then she’s published 20 novels, including 11 in the Tess Mongahan series. She’s just had a stand-alone novel released this month called “After I’m Gone.”
Needless to say, I’m extremely happy to be included in B.A.M.S. for 2014. It will be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt later this year, and can be ordered through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or a local bookstore. It will be available in both print and electronic form.