Friday, 25 April 2008

Douglas Stewart

It’s been a very busy week, with plenty of good things happening, and last night I had dinner with Douglas Stewart and his family. Douglas and I are members of that group of writers, numerous in the USA, but few in the UK, of practising lawyers who write crime fiction.

We first met through work. Douglas founded an international group of law firms, of which my firm is a member. Later we got together in London and he introduced me to the world of casinos – on which he has great expertise. I’m not a gambler by nature, but I found that a casino is a great place to people-watch, and Douglas’ explanation of what was going on was quite riveting.

After a spell as senior partner of a prestigious London law firm which he’d set up, Douglas moved to Las Vegas, and we met during the Las Vegas Bouchercon and again last year when I visited my American publishers Poisoned Pen Press in Phoenix (the photo of Douglas was taken at the Poisoned Pen Bookshop in Scottsdale.) We drove around that part of Arizona for a couple of days and had a great time together. More recently, he’s been on the move again, this time relocating to Cyprus. But last night he ventured somewhere slightly less exotic – with a trip to Lymm.

Douglas’s crime writing career has at times been interrupted by work commitments, but he began at the top, having a novel called Cellar’s Market picked up by the legendary Collins Crime Club editor Elizabeth Walter. His later work has included thrillers such as Undercurrent, a book about piracy called The Brutal Seas, and most recently a thriller focusing on the idea of taking revenge against a casino: Late Bet. Meanwhile, he has made a foray into short fiction with a story called ‘The Inglenook’, which is to be found in the new CWA anthology, M.O.

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