Stodghill Says So

An opinionated posting on a variety of subjects by a former newspaper reporter and columnist whose daily column was named best in Indiana by UPI. The Blog title is that used in his high school sports predictions for the Muncie Evening Press.

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Location: Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, United States

At the age of 18 I was a 4th Infantry Division rifleman in the invasion of Normandy, then later was called back for the Korean War. Put in a couple of years as a Pinkerton detective. Much of my life was spent as a newspaper reporter, sports writer and daily columnist. Published three books on high school sports in Ohio and Indiana. I write mystery fiction for Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine and others. Three books, Normandy 1944 - A Young Rifleman's War, The Hoosier Hot Shots, and From Devout Catholic to Communist Agitator are now available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other booksellers. So are four collections of short mysteries: Jack Eddy Stories Volumes 1 and 2, Midland Murders, and The Rough Old Stuff From Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine.

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Sunday, September 02, 2007

Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine Revisited

New Internet provider, new book, that's how it is around here. Not me, though - I'm on the far side of my sell-by date.
Up to now Time-Warner's Roadrunner seems to work just fine and that's a relief after putting up with one problem after another from other programs throughout August.
The new book is a collection of sixteen short stories first published between 1979 and 1985 in the gone-but-not-forgotten Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine. The last of my stories appeared two months before MSMM went belly-up, but I deny all claims of being responsible for that unfortunate event.
The title, Rough Old Stuff, was chosen because in its late years Shayne had become a repository for stories that failed to sell to the top dogs in the field, the better paying Alfred Hitchcock and Ellery Queen mystery magazines. This was not because the stories were inferior to those run in AH and EQ but because in many cases they were a bit too rough. Sometimes it was the events, sometimes the language (but not the language in my stories. Usually.). Anyway, many of the top writers in the mystery genre were found in Mike Shayne.
One of my favorites is the story of a sweet little girl who commits her first murder in a really nasty manner. It begins with the lovable little tyke explaining that her mother always calls her, "Mama's Darling."
Then there's one about a nice little old lady who goes into the same restaurant every day and orders nothing more than, "Water In a Teacup." After being served she hauls a used teabag out of her purse, sloshes it around in the hot water and then savours the weak but tasty brew. This simple act leads to a dreadful and quite surprising event, sad to say.
Along with those two little gems are a few stories about private eyes, one featuring a hardened criminal and his cohorts in crime, another told by a man flat on his back in bed thanks to a broken leg, and a tale (no pun intended) with an old dog named Blackie as the protagonist.
In other words a mixed bag of thrills and suspense for a mere $12.95.
Despite all that there likely are cretins out there who will find another use for their money. Life is hard and then you die, that's just the way it is.


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