Cover of Best American Mystery Stories 2016

A Distinguished Mystery Story

Congratulations to Dennis Day, whose story, “The Fixer,” in Midwest Review 4 was named a Distinguished Mystery Story in Best American Mystery Stories 2016.

The Fixer
It hadn’t rained round Grundy I couldn’t remember how long, but in the kitchen the air was suffocating and my shirt was all wet down the back and under my suspenders. I was canning chickens with a dozen in the pot and boiling jars when I seen Henry Dittmer pull up out front. I wasn’t expecting him. I told him I couldn’t stop what I was doing and he could pitch in or sit at the table ‘til I finished up. Right away he grabs a towel and starts dumping out water from the jars while I filled them up with meat and set the seals. When we was done, there was a neat row on the board next to the sink cooling in the heat. I asked him would he like to help me finish up what was left in the pot. I got down the flour and baking powder and the milk outta the icebox. He grinned when I asked what he’d have to drink and he come back from his truck with a bottle of hooch under his arm. He poured us both a shot and set the bottle in the middle of the table. When he was done mopping up his plate with a biscuit, he pushed back his chair and balanced his glass on his stomach.

“I come here on business, Tyle,” says he. He was watching me close. “What’ve you heard ‘bout the shootings?”

“Just from the radio,” says I. “I suppose Loris musta gone crazy or something.”

“He wasn’t crazy when Walker hired him,” says he…