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In the Mag

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Donald Westlake Essays

In this Issue...

The job of putting together each issue of The Strand presents a unique blend of both joys and challenges for everyone involved. For me, one of the joys is discovering new and unpublished works by literary legends. Finding a previously unpublished short story by John Steinbeck has to rank as one of the more thrilling moments of my career as an editor. Steinbeck wrote "With Your Wings" during World War II, some time between 1943 and 1944, for a radio series called Ceiling Unlimited hosted by Orson Welles, who read the story on air for the broadcast. To the best of my knowledge, and that of the Steinbeck estate, it's never been published before. "With Your Wings" is a perfect example of why John Steinbeck is relevant today, and why his books are still required reading in schools around the world. The story, though short in length, contains many of the elements found in Steinbeck's longer works. In this beautifully written piece about a young African-American airman returning home, Steinbeck says so much with so little. He sets the mood perfectly with his trademark lyrical prose and delivers a progressive message well ahead of its time. I'd like to extend a big thank-you to Rick Watson at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin for all his help during my research, and to Shira Hoffman of the McIntosh & Otis agency for helping us secure permission to publish this stunning short story.

 

 Also in our fiction section, the incomparable Alexander McCall Smith pens a tale about the complexities of English village life in "The Christmas Puzzle" while Max Allan Collins and Mickey Spillane take us to the mean streets of New York City with Mike Hammer as he investigates the murder of a streetwalker in "Fallout" Lyndsay Faye takes us back to England where Holmes and Watson take a crack at "The Disappearance of Mr. James Phillimore" And Andrew Crowley puts us inside the mind of an insomniac young girl who must contend with a surprise middle-of-the-night visitor in "Peephole" while D.H. Allen pens a tale of jealousy and infidelity in "Whole New Woman." We're delighted to present a conversation with Chelsea Cain who, despite being the mind behind a series of novels featuring the chilling serial killer Gretchen Lowell, is one of the funniest people IÕve ever had the pleasure to interview. We also have reviews of the latest novels, young adults novels, and audiobooks. And as always around this time of the year, here are my top ten novel picks for 2014:

1) The Skin Collector by Jeffery Deaver (Hachette)

2) Suspicion by Joseph Finder (Dutton)

3) Wolf Winter by Cecilia EkbŠck (Weinstein Books)

4) The Monogram Murders by Sophie Hannah (William Morrow)

5) Blue Labyrinth by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child (Grand Central)

 6) The Cairo Affair by Olen Steinhauer (Minotaur)

7) Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes (Mulholland Books)

 8) Terminal City by Linda Fairstein (Dutton)

 9) After I'm Gone by Laura Lippman (William Morrow)

10) The Accident by Chris Pavone (Crown)

 I hope you have a wonderful holiday season! And be sure to check out our blog at mysterycenter.com and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Also, The Strand Magazine's on-line shop is selling the latest mystery novels at up to 40% off. Visit www.strandmag.com for more information.  

 

Previous Issue of the Strand: Issue 39

Issue 38 of The Strand

 

 



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