"Sheikh's Beach"

Ron Wilbur's cover illustration on this second issue of Gary Lovisi's Detective Story Magazine is an imaginitive rendering of a scene from "Sheihk's Beach," the first story in the issue — making this the only time I've ever had a front-cover illustration on a magazine. Wilbur didn't do much in the way of research, though: that plumed hat Mahboob Chaudri is wearing doesn't look like anything I ever saw during my year in Bahrain! The numerals the child is drawing in the sand are the story's principal clue — and constitute, in fact, the most authentically Middle Eastern clue in any of the 12 Chaudri stories. (What's Middle Eastern about four numerals scrawled in the sand? Read the story, which you can find in my collection of all ten Chaudri stories, The Tree of Life!)

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