"Sheikh's Beach"

Ron Wilbur's cover illustration on this second issue of Gary Lovisi's Detective Story Magazine is an imaginitive rendering of a scene from "Sheihk's Beach," the first story in the issue — making this the only time I've ever had a front-cover illustration on a magazine. Wilbur didn't do much in the way of research, though: that plumed hat Mahboob Chaudri is wearing doesn't look like anything I ever saw during my year in Bahrain! The numerals the child is drawing in the sand are the story's principal clue — and constitute, in fact, the most authentically Middle Eastern clue in any of the 12 Chaudri stories. (What's Middle Eastern about four numerals scrawled in the sand? Read the story!)

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