My Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine subscription can be blamed on my mom. She subscribed to the magazine for at least two decades. When she died, my dad threw them all away. I can remember being twelve or thirteen years old and digging into those magazines. I think I’ve read just about every short story Edward D. Hoch published in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine.
What’s Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, you ask? It’s a monthly magazine published in a digest format, filled with crime and mystery fiction. The magazine has been around since 1941, although my mom didn’t start subscribing until sometime in the 1970’s. I started reading the magazines in the early 1990’s.
The magazine is named after a mystery writer named Ellery Queen, which was also the name of the main character in most of the books and stories that he wrote. But Ellery Queen (the writer, not the detective) was actually TWO writers writing under a pseudonym.
Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine is published by Dell Magazines, who also publishes a sister magazine, Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine. Each issue of the magazine features nine or ten new short stories plus a couple of nonfiction columns. The nonfiction columns consists of mystery book reviews and a column about what’s going on in the mystery reader blogging community.
On their website, they offer three different subscription plans:
- Six months for $16.97
- A year for $32.97
- Two years for $59.97
That’s a good value, and it’s cheaper than you’d pay for the equivalent number of mystery books or short story collections. I wish they had a lifetime subscription plan like Fantasy & Science Fiction magazine offers, but I think those types of offers might be unpopular. I don’t think the lifetime subscription plan at Fantasy & Science Fiction magazine is even advertised at their site anymore.
If you’re a fan of genre fiction, especially mystery and science fiction, then here’s a handy little list of good quality digest-sized fiction magazines you should consider subscribing to:
- Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine
- Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine
- Fantasy & Science Fiction
- Asimov’s Science Fiction
- Analog Science Fiction & Fact
You can subscribe to all of these digest sized magazines for approximately $30 a year each, or $150 a year, and you’ll be treated to the best genre fiction being published in both the science fiction/fantasy field and in the crime/detective field. I enjoy the heck out of my subscriptions to all of them.
In fact, I just finished reading a short story in the latest issue of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine that I really enjoyed. It was titled “Sonny Taylor: A Nontraditional Man,” and it was a Christmas story, of sorts. Sonny is a former school teacher who works as a Santa Claus at the local drug store. He’s a very sympathetic character, but he has a bad habit–he likes to steal. Unfortunately, he’s also very unlucky, and his poor luck plays out throughout the story in a blackly humorous way. The store was written by Dan Warthman, a retired school teacher and former private investigator who’s written three other short stories for EQMM and for AHMM.