Mystery Scene

Co-editors, co-publishers and cohorts Bob Randisi and Ed Gorman nurtured this insider's look at the world of the mystery story through an assortment of formats and publication schedules before it finally established itself as a moderately successful slick monthly. Early in 1986, one of them invited me to contribute a regular column about short stories, and I said sure. The column was called "The Short Sheet," and it included reviews of the various magazines and anthologies, news about awards, and so on. The issue illustrated at the left is Volume 1, Number 3, and it contained the inaugural "Short Sheet."

The bottom illo shows the opening lines of my column from the November '86 issue, announcing the birth of my daughter Becca: Vicki Jones and I are absolutely thrilled to announce the appearance of our first collaborative work, 'Rebecca Kathleen Jones.' Publication date: May 27, 1986. Length of work: 19 1/2 inches. Weight: 7 lb 7 oz. Publisher: Nuernberg American Hospital, Feurth, West Germany. The early reviews are wildly enthusiastic (though it should be noted that the dust jacket needs frequent changing).

Soon after, Bob and Ed told me that they were going to cut me back from about a page and a half per issue to less than a page. At that point, I decided to take "The Short Sheet" out of Mystery Scene and turn it into an independent publication, which debuted in April 1987.

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