Dutch author Anne van Doorn's "Best Short Story of the Week," August 14, 2021:

Since 2016, I read a short story a day. My favorite read this week is “An Artist in the Harem” by Elizabeth Zelvin, published in Black Cat Mystery Magazine #8 (editor: Michael Bracken).

Elizabeth Zelvin takes the reader back to the sixteenth century. Two women are trying to survive in a men-dominated world; a world that’s potentially dangerous for them. One of them is a young artist from Venice called Sofia; the other is Kira Rachel, a Jewess, who works as purveyor of goods and services to the ladies of Sultan Suleiman’s harem in Istanbul. Rachel is asked by the Venetian ambassador in Instanbul to let Sophia paint a picture of Suleiman’s chief concubine. This must be done in secret, but it’s doubtful that the concubine will cooperate. The stakes for the two women are high. This richly decorated historical is a fascinating read.

New so far in 2021:
"An Artist in the Harem" in Black Cat Mystery Magazine #8
"Till Hell Freezes Over" in The J.J. Outré Review Vol VI, Issue 1
"Who Stole the Afikomen?" in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine March/April 2021

The first five Bruce Kohler mystery short stories are available as e-books.
"Death Will Clean Your Closet" was a 2007 nominee for the Agatha Award for Best Short Story.
"Death Will Tie Your Kangaroo Down" was Liz's first story to appear in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine.
"Death Will Trim Your Tree" was a 2009 nominee for the Agatha Award for Best Short Story.
"Death Will Tank Your Fish" was a 2011 nominee for the Derringer Award.
"Death Will Fire Your Therapist" appeared in the third Murder New York Style anthology.

Previous e-book covers designed by Liz for the first five Bruce Kohler short stories

Additional Bruce Kohler mystery stories
"Death Will Help You Imagine" (Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine Nov/Dec 2017)
"Death Will Finish Your Marathon" (Where Crime Never Sleeps: Murder NY Style 4)
"Death Will Give You A Reason" (Black Cat Mystery Magazine, in press)
"Death Will Correct Your Gender (Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, in press)

Mendoza Family Saga mystery stories
"The Green Cross" appeared in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine and was nominated for an Agatha Award for Best Short story. (e-book available)
"Navidad" first appeared in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine)
"A Disturbance in the Harem" (Black Cat Mystery Magazine #2)
"A Unicorn in the Harem" (Black Cat Mystery Magazine #5)
"Roxelana's Ring" (The J.J. Outré Review Vol V, Issue 2 "The Cost of Something Priceless" (Jewish Noir 2, in press)

Breaches & Betrayals is an e-collection of some of Liz's standalone short stories.
"The Man in the Dick Tracy Hat" appeared in Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine and was nominated for a Derringer Award.
"Girl Feeding Birds" appeared in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine
"The Saxon Hoard" appeared in Mysterical-E
"The Silkie" first appeared in "Dark Valentine"
"Choices" appeared in Murder to Mil-Spec
"The Emperor's Hoard" appeared in Mysterical-E
"A Breach of Trust" appeared in Mysterical-E and was listed among the "Other Distinguished Stories in Otto Penzler's Best American Mystery Stories 2014


"Shifting for the Goyim" introduces Emerald Love, aka Amy Greenstein, a nice Jewish girl who's a rising country music star and also happens to be a shapeshifter who can become a cheetah at will. Emerald has returned in two more stories and may appear again. In addition, although Emerald's mother, Bessie, seems to disapprove of Emerald's powers--she's the one who says, "Shifting is for the goyim"--she surprised me by popping up as a high school girl in two stories set in the 1950s, and guess what? She's a shifter herself. She hasn't told me yet what made her give it up, but I hope that some day she will.
Emerald Love
"Shifting Is for the Goyim" (novella) (e-book available)
"A Shifting Plan" appeared in Fish and Cut Bait
"A Shift At the Bluebird" appeared in Mystery Weekly November 2018

Bessie, 1950s
"Stalker" appeared in Spinetingler
"Elvis and the Shifter" appeared in Kings River Life

More standalone short stories
"Flash Point" (All-New A Twist of Noir March 2017) nominated for a Derringer Award for Flash Fiction
"A Work in Progress" (Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine May/June 2019)
"Never Again" (Me Too Short Stories: An Anthology)
"The Island" (Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine November/December 2019)
"Reunion" (Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine May/June 2020)
"Rule One" (BOULD Awards Anthology 2020)
"Invisible" (BOULD Awards Anthology 2020)
"Vice Cop" (Black Cat Mystery Magazine, in press)
"The Death of Marley" (BOULD Awards Anthology, in press)
"The Bomber" (BOULD Awards Anthology, in press)
"Too Young to Die (Black Cat Mystery Magazine, in press)