Congratulations to the Derringer Award finalists of 2023:


“Catch and Release” by April Kelly (Mystery Magazine, May 2022)

“Acknowledgments” by Karen Harrington (Guilty Crime Story Magazine online flash fiction, April 2022)

“Easter Spam” by John Weagly (Shotgun Honey online flash fiction)

“The Final Chapter” by James Blakey (Yellow Mama, October 2022)

“Where Palms Sway and the Surf Pounds” by Curtis Ippolito (Shotgun Honey online flash fiction)


“Double Trouble” by M.E. Proctor (Bristol Noir online, March 2022)

“Hiding Out in Cedar Key” by Sharon Marchisello (White Cat Publications online, April 2022)

“The Shape of Australia” by Christine Poulson (Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, July/August 2022)

“My Two-Legs” by Melissa Yi  (Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, September/October 2022)

“Digging In” by Andrew Welsh-Huggins (Black Cat Weekly #40)


“The Vigil” by Toni Goodyear (Carolina Crimes: Rock, Roll and Ruin anthology)

“Tethered” by Marcelle Dubé (Crime Wave: Women of a Certain Age anthology)

“The White Calf and the Wind” by Mike Adamson (Black Cat Mystery Magazine #11)

“The Donovan Gang” by John M. Floyd (Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, Sept/Oct 2022)

“Negative Tilt” by Bobby Mathews (Rock and a Hard Place issue 7)

“Something Blue” by G.M. Malliet (Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, November/December 2022)


“The Wraith of Bunker Hill” by Paul D. Marks (Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Sept/Oct 2022)

“Two Shrimp Tacos and a .22 Ruger” by Adam Meyer (Guns & Tacos, Down & Out Books)

“Dead Men Tell No Tales” by Liz Filleul (The People’s Friend Special, issue 225)

“The Refusal Camp” by James Benn (Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, Sept/Oct 2022)

“Ripen” by Ashley-Ruth M. Bernier (Black Cat Weekly #48)

“The competition is fierce, and this is a big deal. Well done, especially considering the huge number of stories entered this year,” said Melodie Campbell, who should know. She won both the Derringer Award and the Crime Writers of Canada Award of Excellence.

Checking my e-mail before taking our kids to the bus Monday morning, I received this from M.H. Callway:

Umm, what? I logged into the Short Mystery Fiction Society and blinked.

The Derringer Awards celebrate the world’s best short mysteries, in English. The international Academy Awards for mystery short stories, if you will.

I was a finalist in the flash category in 2015 with “Because.”

“My Two-Legs” is a mystery where a dog named Star solves a crime and saves her two-legs (her human, Sunil), inspired by our dog named Olo.

Winning the Derringer Award calls for getting dressed up and taking pictures with my dogs. Bell first, because Roxy had flopped on the porch. This is the first dog photo of the day.

Then Roxy, who looked good except I had to clean out her eyes. She basically fell asleep while I tried to get a decent picture of the two of us.

In addition to my wonderful dogs, my husband Matt and our kids, Max and Anastasia, I’d like to thank Kristine Kathryn Rush and Dean Wesley Smith. Kris assigned me and Cindie Geddes to write a story from the point of view of a dog at the Anchor Inn. The Staunch Prize longlisted “My Two-Legs” for best feminist thriller. The editor of Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, Linda Landrigan, published “My Two-Legs.”

The Review and the Standard Freeholder celebrated my shortlist. CBC Radio’s All in a Day’s Alan Neal asked me good questions like “How many people vote?” and “When do you find out if you win?” The Crime Writers of Canada, Capital Crime Writers, and International Thriller Writers were all proud of my nomination. And of course never forget the Mesdames of Mayhem, who are sweeping the Crime Writers of Canada Award of Excellence!

I now know that approximately 900 people are eligible to vote. Thank you for reading and voting, Short Mystery Fiction Society Members. Thank you from me and the dogs!

Congrats to all the finalists and all the winners!