Jack Fredrickson's



"Crazy Margaret"

Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine
Sept/Oct 2017

The gravestone had room for only the first name, but it was the largest he could carry up the hill. He set it on ground covered now, as then, with curled brown leaves...

Jamie Dabbert was reported missing on a Sunday, so long ago. Dave had been the rookie deputy then, only three months on the county's ten-man force. And Margaret? Sultry, young, sexy Margaret? She'd been the vixen who'd drawn them both to the remote lake in the woods from which none of them—not Jamie, not Dave, not Margaret herself—would ever escape.

"The Ace I "

Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine
June 2013

Shamus Award Nominee for
Best Short Story 2013

Delmar Lindeman, late night message man for Chicago's gamiest auto insurance company, has moved into the creaking Artists and Engineers Building. Trouble is, the Hawk, that most frigid of Chicago winter winds, has gotten there before him, and frozen corpses have begun tumbling out from behind the building's frosted glass doors.

Hear Jack read THE BRICK THING -- one of his earliest short stories!


“Murder, He Giggled”

February 28,2013

Jack's post on getting into the mystery game!

NOW Write Mysteries:

Suspense, Crime, Thriller, and Other Mystery Fiction Exercises from Today's Best Writers and Teachers - December 2011

Includes an essay by Jack Fredrickson on humor in crime fiction, only because there was room.



An anthology edited by Charlaine Harris;
Berkley Prime Crime - April 2010


“If you're reading this, you found my shiny box.

If it was lying on the ground, the hanging twine all rotted, it might mean that it's over.

But if you found it hanging in the tree, the twine tight like I checked it recent, best you run.

If you can.”

“A heartland of surreality" - Women of Mystery

"For The Jingle"

Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine
May 2009

Harry Ruffino, a lawyer in a shiny suit (imagine) hires Dek Elstrom to find out how much of a killer his client is. Nothing unusual; Harry's never been picky. But something else nags: Harry is working pro bono. This, from a lawyer so cheap he'd hide in the dark, Halloween, rather than part with even a bite of a Baby Ruth, is too much to fathom. Especially when Harry turns up dead, and the chief suspect is still in jail.

(Sixth Place, but what the hey; it's better than Jack usually places.)


An Anthology edited by Michael Connelly;
Little, Brown - Spring 2008

"A Change in His Heart"

It's snowing. Detective Edrow Fluett's boots leak.

Jerzy's working upstairs at the Closeout Hut, signing tax forms he doesn't understand. It's what Reggie wants. Reggie's downstairs, selling fire-smoked boots to babushkas, taking in pockets full of crumpled twenties and fifties.

But now Jerzy's discovered that Reggie took in something else, a letter. A long time ago. A letter that would have changed Jerzy's life. Now Jerzy's got to change Reggie's life.

And Detective Edrow Fluett's got to figure out how he did it.

January 6, 2008

"The Decline and Fall of the Helpful Hardware Man"
by Jack Fredrickson

Read the essay


An anthology edited by Libby Fischer Hellmann;
Bleak House Books - October 2007

"Good Evenin', Blues"

Sure, Jimbo was mindful of the old Delta legend about bargaining with the devil when he named his blues joint The Crossroads. But that was just a myth -- or so he thought, until the stranger showed up.

"An author with an acclaimed recent debut novel, Jack Fredrickson (A Safe Place for Dying) demonstrates equal talent in short form." - Publishers Weekly








More "Chicago Blues"

"The Brick Thing"

Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine
September/October 2002

A man moves into the house next door. That's reasonable enough, even though the man is very wealthy and it is a neighborhood of modest, single story homes. What's not reasonable is the man starts taking the house apart from the inside, board by board, in the middle of the night. When he thinks no one is watching.

But someone is.

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Copyright 2018  Jack Fredrickson