Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Strand Magazine - Feb-May 2011 (Issue XXXIII)

Title: The Strand Magazine: Issue XXXIII 2011 (Feb-May)
Author: Andrew Gulli, Managing Editor

Genre: Fiction (Detective / Crime)
Publisher/Publication Date:?
Source: Purchased by me

Rating: Mixed feelings -- meh to like to okay
Did I finish?: Yes.
One-sentence summary: short stories, interviews, articles, and reviews related to mystery/crime fiction.

Do I like the cover?: Eh -- it's v nice but didn't strike me as particularly stand out nor relevant to the stories in this issue.

First line: "So I shot him." from 'So I Shot Him' by Dashiell Hammett

Buy, Borrow, or Avoid?: I'm of two minds. At $6.95, it's a bit pricey for a magazine with five stories, but I'm a big fan of supporting small presses and lit mags like this. (Perhaps splurge and get a yearly subscription?)

Why did I get this book?: The newly discovered Dashiell Hammett short story.

Review:  This was my first experience with The Strand Magazine and I have to say I'm pretty unimpressed. To start, I had an incredibly difficult time getting this first issue. I bought a year subscription in March but didn't receive this first issue until May, after two emails to their customer service. The magazine has some nice heft, but I quickly discovered that nearly half of its 80 pages is devoted to full page ads. There were 46 pages of actual content -- short stories, interviews, or reviews -- and most were devoid of any ads (31 pages).

The content, however, was fairly solid: in addition to a new Dashiell Hammett story (which had hints of what I loved about the stories from Nightmare Town), there was a fabulous short story by Jonathan Rabb (perhaps my favorite offering in this issue), as well as stories from Alan Glynn, Lindsay Faye, and Michael Stanley. There were interviews with Diana Gabaldon (kind of boring as I'm familiar with Gabaldon's story) and Faye Kellerman (interesting) as well as an article on Horace Rumpole.

In terms of summer reading, it was just fine: it, too, went to the pool with me and I finished it in a single afternoon. (I even enjoyed thumbing through the copious ads.) I've got three more issues in my subscription and I'll weigh then whether it was worth the splurge or not.


  1. I will look out for your final verdict on this magazine.

    My husband has for years subscribed to the Alfred Hitchcock/Ellery Queen magazines; now he gets them on his Kindle.

  2. I'm not sure this is the magazine for me, as I am not a huge reader of this genre. It's also surprising that there were so many ads in the copy. I also will be curious to hear what you think about the remaining copies in your subscription, as this might be something that my husband would enjoy.