A California Magazine with Local Focus and Global Appeal:
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Weekly issues every Saturday morning and other special articles throughout the week — there's something for everyone. If you love mysteries — explore Mysteryrat’s Maze — and check out our sister site on Blogger for bonus articles.


Mysteryrat’s Maze

by Cynthia Chow
& VIcki Delany


Five years ago, Gemma Doyle moved to New England from actual England to take over half of her Uncle Arthur’s Sherlock Holmes Bookshop. Her uncle claimed to have a genealogical tie to the famous author, leading to a fanaticism that led to the purchase of a store on 222 Baker Street, West London, Massachusetts, for a bookstore devoted to all things Sherlockian.

{ 21 comments }

by Cynthia Chow


When Pasadena Homicide/Assault Police Detective Nan Vining is called to the scene of a drowning at the Casa de las Ventanas estate, she immediately knows something is hinky. Not only is the blind owner of the home, Teddy Sexton, making inappropriate jokes and not taking the crime seriously, he is acting flirtatious and a little too touchy with Nan. Teddy’s assistant/brother-in-law as well has Nan are on full alert, as the ex-con Floyd Johansing is so twitchy and ready to flee that he practically oozes guilt.

{ 4 comments }

by Guy Belleranti


The writer’s dinner was in full swing when I leaned close to Chelsea Yates and told her I felt ill and had to leave.
“Oh, Amanda, must you?” Chelsea’s hazel eyes fastened on me, disappointment clouding her face.
Afraid so, Ms. Perfect Mystery Writer, I wanted to say, but didn’t. I had something better planned for her, something that would put a little crimp in her pocketbook, and a bulge in mine.

{ 3 comments }

by Sandra Murphy


Have you ever heard of a Rat Tea? Theodosia and Drayton are invited to one by Doreen Briggs, one of Charleston’s well-known hostesses. The servers are dressed as rats in livery. Although it seems more than a little gross, it is part of Charleston’s long history—sponsored fundraisers by the elite for rat control. No longer needed as that kind of fundraiser, hostesses think of them as trendy.

{ 15 comments }

by Kathleen Costa


Our bewitching story begins with Caitlyn Le Fey sitting with her cousin, Pamona, savoring her tea and scones and pondering the somewhat shocking revelations of her birth. Her mother recently died in a tragic accident, and surrounded by her mother’s lawyers she was handed a letter—a letter that announced she was adopted, well, it turns out she was really found abandoned on the side of the road near a little Cotswold village called Tillyhenge with an unusual runestone around her neck.

{ 15 comments }

by Sandra Murphy


It’s time for the Star City Film Festival in the resort town in Utah. Movie stars are shopping in all the boutiques and skiing the fresh powder. The townspeople treat them as any other customers instead of autograph or selfie seekers.

{ 21 comments }

by Sandra Murphy


Jenny Weston and her mother, Dora, maintain the Little Libraries in Bear Falls. The town is too small for a regular library but the bigger-than-a-birdhouse replica houses contain popular books. Residents are free to come by and borrow one or leave a new one. When Dora finds snippets of poetry from the reclusive poet, Emily Sutton, she is excited to see the woman is writing again.

{ 12 comments }

by Sandra Murphy


Hannah’s only been married for a short time. In fact, it’s time for the romantic honeymoon to come to an end. While it’s nice to be with her new hubby all the time, sometimes it does feel a bit overwhelming to someone used to living alone.

{ 51 comments }

by Sandra Murphy


Paul and Alice have decided to be married in Kilbane, a small Irish town. Any wedding is cause for excitement, but when the bride is Alice, a famous fashion model, that ups the excitement factor to a frenzy.
Unfortunately, the bridal party isn’t getting along. Brenna is the maid of honor and honestly, why did Alice pick her? She’s snarky, a trouble maker, and more.

{ 22 comments }

by Cynthia Chow



When a worn rubber washer results in a flood that damages the priceless library collection of Chellingworth Hall, Duke Henry Devereaux Twyst requests the aid of book specialist Bryn Jenkins. Mr. Jenkins has a concern of his own, and it is Henry’s mother who prods him into revealing it. It seems that an inexplicable number of books have disconcertedly and continually been added to his bookstore’s stock, and Bryn worries that it is for nefarious means.

{ 25 comments }

by Sandra Murphy


Maura left Boston after her grandmother’s death, just to visit Ireland. Gran wanted her to see the old country and let distant relatives know she’d died. What was to be a visit, has turned into a new life. Moira inherited a pub, three employees, a daily storytelling fixture of a customer, and a house too. It seems she’s here to stay, at least for now.

{ 23 comments }

by Sandra Murphy


Charlie Harris is acting as interim library director at the college, a job he thought he’d like. It takes him away from his research work which is a shame and involves way too much paperwork. He can still bring his Maine Coon cat, Diesel, to work with him which is a good thing. Saying no to the cat would be a deal breaker.

{ 37 comments }

by Will Zeilinger


The last thing I needed was to wake up to a yapping dog. Not on the morning after St. Patrick’s Day. I hadn’t thrown a party like that since my college days and the hangover I had was a killer. I managed to get both eyes open and drag my sorry ass out of bed to find out what was getting Lardass worked up.

{ 3 comments }

by Sharon Tucker


St. Patrick’s Day approaches on March 17 and those of us of Irish descent can justifiably dance a little, drink Guinness, Jameson, or Bushmills, and dance some more. Happily too, this year I discovered the Sister Fidelma novels of Peter Tremayne (a.k.a. Peter Bradford Ellis) so will enjoy reading all the series and probably Tremayne’s Irish history works as well.

{ 0 comments }

by Kathleen Costa


Roxanne Bloom, Roxy to her friends, found herself at a crossroads leaving a law practice and ex-husband behind. Her Aunt Maxine, with whom she spent many a wonderful summer, told her about the plans to revitalize the Honey Springs boardwalk prompting Roxy to follow one of her dreams. She attends barista school and cooking classes, rents one of Aunt Maxi’s buildings on the boardwalk, and opens ‘The Bean Hive,’ the area’s first coffeehouse.

{ 14 comments }

Old #32: Mystery Short Story

IN THE March 4 ISSUE

FROM THE 2017 Articles,
andMysteryrat's Maze,
andTerrific Tales
SECTIONS

by Gary Hoffman


I got my job as a batboy with the Pine City Pinkies not because my old man was somebody important, but because I didn’t have one. Most batboys are hired because their old man knows someone or is an important person in the community. Mine left me and my mom when I was two years old. May 13, 1950, was the date he bailed out for “parts unknown to seek his fortune.” Mom still gets dumpy when that date rolls around every year.

{ 3 comments }

by Sandra Murphy
& Bethany Blake


Daphne Templeton is the black sheep of the family. She’s a pet sitter/dog walker with a sister, Piper, who’s a veterinarian and a mother who is totally focused on being the best realtor ever. Piper lets Daphne live with her, rent free, and bails her out when the pet sitter VW van breaks down or runs out of gas. Two dollars worth of gas just doesn’t go as far as it used to.

{ 12 comments }

by Cynthia Chow


The morning after a book launch where alcohol was the only real requirement, London book editor Samantha Clair was still recovering as she began her Saturday morning errand-running and marketing. As the go-between for her reclusive neighbor and another gardener, Sam is unprepared to resist the plea from Viv to check on her own missing upstairs neighbor.

{ 9 comments }

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