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Leslie Budewitz, 2020 Derringer Finalist

I'm a member of the Short Mystery Fiction Society, an informal association of writers, publishers, and fans that has kept mystery & crime short stories in the public eye since 1996. The SMFS's 2020 Derringer Awards voting ends April 29 and winners will be announced in May. In the meantime, I've invited the finalists for interviews.

Leslie Budewitz
Leslie Budewitz's "Miss Starr's Good-bye", from the November/December 2019 issue of Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, is up for Best Long Story.

Describe your story in up to 20 words.

In 1885 Montana Territory, "Stagecoach Mary" Fields and a young friend put their observations together to prevent a frontier injustice.

What were the most difficult and most enjoyable parts of writing your story?

“Miss Starr’s Good-bye” is a sequel to “All God’s Sparrows,” also published in AHMM and winner of the 2018 Agatha Award for Best Short Story. Mary, a former slave who lived and worked at the Ursuline school and convent at St. Peter’s, a Jesuit mission to the Indians, the young girl, Josie, and Miss Starr, the town’s prostitute, are each women on their own, on the edges of society, but very different – which made them a lot of fun to write.

How does it feel to be a Derringer finalist?

Mary Fields was a real-life woman who has long fascinated me, and I’m delighted that readers have embraced her.


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