Browsing a digest that arrived yesterday, I was delighted to find a short, short by Robert Lopresti called “Stumped.” Even at just over a page Rob manages to entertain and amuse in his send-up of the live and loves of a hardboiled dick.
Mike Shayne Mystery Makers
“Killer’s Cruise” by Brett Halliday (Mike Shayne short novel)
“Bucknell’s Law” by Clayton Matthews
“Going to Pot” by Patty Matthews
“Uncle Max was Bleeding” by Arthur Moore
“Dear Stranger” by Gary Brandner
“The Enemy of My Enemy is My Friend” by Dan J. Marlowe
“Blarney” by Richard Laymon
“Counselor at Law” by Carl Panzran
The Phantom Detective by Michael Avallone, art by Frank Hamilton
“The Brass Ring” by Jack Matcha
“Night Run” by William L. Story
Mike Shamus by Fred Fredericks (comic strip)
Stiff Competition by John Ball (book reviews)
“Stumped” by Robert Lopresti
Mike’s Mail (LOCs)
Robert Lopresti was interviewed in The Digest Enthusiast book two.
Shanks on Crime by Robert Lopresti
“Shanks,” a detective of circumstance, stars in the popular series written by Robert Lopresti for Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine. In “Shanks Holds the Line” our unlikely hero engages in an online phishing trip. Here’s the opening:
“Please hang on,” said Leopold Longshanks. “I’ll have to start up my computer. It’s down in the basement.”
The story is included in the Shanks On Crime collection, published by Village Books in 2014, and can also be read online at Trace Evidence.
AHMM Jan/Feb 2014
TDE: Most of your work has appeared in digest magazines. How long have you been reading them?
RL: “Probably around 1969, when I would have been fourteen, my family took a trip to Lake George, New York. The only reason I remember it was wandering into a newsstand and seeing an Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine. I don’t think I had seen one of his movies yet but I had seen the TV show and read some of the children’s books of short stories (Alfred Hitchcock’s Ghostly Gallery, etc.).
“I bought the magazine and was hooked. The first issue I know I read was October 1969, because I remember the illustration that accompanied it—a dramatic drawing of a man falling out of a building—“Scream All The Way,” by Michael Collins.
“I subscribed and later added EQMM, but AHMM was always my first choice. I am sure that one reason I have sold 25 stories to AHMM and only two to EQMM is that the former helped shape my sensibilities (my, what a big word).”
Excerpt from the interview with Robert Lopresti in TDE2.
Shanks on Crime by Robert Lopresti
Robert Lopresti’s Leopold Longshanks, reluctant detective, makes his ninth appearance in the current edition of Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine (May 2016) in “Shanks Goes Rogue.”
Below is the opening line from an earlier episode, “Shank’s Mare.”
“My company makes ticketing systems for concert halls and similar venues,” said Peter Bitrun. “We don’t have much experience with horse theft.”
“Shank’s Mare” is one of several bonus stories starring the character in Shanks on Crime, which collects all of Shank’s recorded adventures with the exception of the aforementioned “Rogue.” The anthology is reviewed in TDE2, which also includes a fascinating interview with the author.
The Digest Enthusiast books #1-3
“The Tooth Fairy left the name DreamHaven Books under my pillow. Usually it’s a 25-cent piece; but given the current value of the U.S. dollar, the value of this tip was far more glorious. DreamHaven is a book-seeker’s cave of miracles.”
High praise indeed! That’s why we’re pleased to announce that DreamHaven Books, Comics and Art now has all three editions of The Digest Enthusiast in stock. Visit DreamHaven online or call (612) 823-6161 for more information. DreamHaven is located in Minneapolis, MN. To keep up on news and events follow the DreamHaven blog.
On a separate note, congratulations to our friend, Rob Lopresti for his 2016 Derringer Nomination for Best Long Story (4001 to 8000 words) “Shooting at Firemen” from AHMM July/Aug. 2015, from The Short Mystery Fiction Society (SMFS).
TDE Book Three now available from Mike Chomko Books
Mike Chomko Books now has The Digest Enthusiast book three in stock and available through his Feb/March 2016 Catalog, listed under Larque Press. He’ll also bring copies to the upcoming PulpFest (July 21-24, 2016) in Columbus, Ohio. Many thanks for your support, Mike!
Rob Lopresti reports his “Shanks Goes Rogue” is scheduled to appear in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine in the May edition. Rob gave a talk last fall on Crime Against Nature: Writing An Environmental Crime Novel in which he discussed his latest novel Greenfellas. You can hear it here.
Gary Lovisi has completed an article on the digest-sized Galaxy Magabooks. Watch for it in TDE4, scheduled for June 2016 publication.
Shanks on Crime by Robert Lopresti
Reticent sleuth, Leopold Longshanks, is the creation of Washington State’s author Robert Lopresti. Mysteries have a way of finding Shanks, and he has a way of solving them. Here’s the opening from “Shanks on Misdirection” that originally appeared in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine (Jul/Aug 2009) and reappeared in the Shanks On Crime anthology:
“Just look at him,” muttered Leopold Longshanks. “I can’t believe he had the gall to show up.”
Shanks is approaching a dozen appearances in AHMM, outdistancing Lopresti’s other series characters Marty Crow and Uncle Victor. His recent novel, Greenfellas was published by Oak Tree Press in 2015.
Mike Shayne June 1981
Shortly after meeting mystery writer Robert Lopresti at the 2015 Left Coast Crime convention held in Portland last year, I had the pleasure of interviewing him for TDE2. Below is an excerpt that exemplifies the dry wit he brings to his series character Leopold Longshanks. Note, the cover shown is the second issue of Mike Shayne that included Rob’s work, not the issue under discussion here:
“I started sending stories to publishers in 1976 and they sent them back with a great sense of urgency. In 1979 I sent out a bunch and all were rejected except one. I was too depressed to contact the publisher and ask what happened. Then, one day I received a small envelope with no return address. I opened it and a check fell out; there was nothing else in it. The check was from, as I recall, Renown Publications, and at the bottom it said “The Long Treason.” That was how I found
out the story had been published.
“I called my parents to tell them the good news and then I sat down to dinner. Before we were done the phone rang. My parents, bless ‘em, had rushed out and found a copy of Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine with my story in it. So they saw it before I did.
“What made me most excited was that the story was illustrated. I mean, the editor could have published my tale without reading it, but the illustration was proof someone had actually taken the time to think about it.
“The next day I took the magazine to work and showed it to my assistant. I pointed to the byline and said ‘that’s me!’ She shoved it back and said ‘No, it isn’t.’ Such faith.
“The story ends with the protagonist planning an evil deed he intends to do years in the future. My wife showed it to a co-worker and from then on every time she saw me that woman asked, ‘Then what happened?’ I assured her I had no idea. For some reason this did not satisfy her.”
Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine May 2009
Leopold Longshanks is the star of a series of mystery stories by Robert Lopresti, featured in AHMM. Simply known as “Shanks,” to friends and fans, he’s a mystery writer of moderate success. “I don’t know anything about solving crimes. I just make things up,” he contends. And yet like some other fictional mystery scribes, crime seems to find him.
Here’s the opening line from “Shanks Gets Killed,” originally published in AHMM May 2009, and reprinted in his story collection Shanks on Crime by Robert Lopresti.
“Leopold Longshanks hated the whole idea of mystery weekends. He wrote detective fiction for a living, and did so with some skill, if he said so himself. So what made mystery fans think they could create new detective stories and act them out, as if they were the real thing?”
For a complete list of Shanks appearances in AHMM as well as other works by the author, visit Rob’s website, and you can buy his current titles here.
Shanks on Crime
“When the doorbell rang Leopold Longshanks tried to convince himself that it was just a bad dream. The third ring persuaded him the real world was indeed trying to get his attention.”
“Shanks on the Prowl” by Robert Lopresti
Shanks on Crime by Robert Lopresti (reviewed in The Digest Enthusiast book two, June 2015)