I’ve mentioned previously that I’ve contributed a couple of essays, on Ellis Peters’ Shropshire and Inspector Morse’s Oxford, to a forthcoming book edited by Maxim Jakubowski, dealing with real life scenes of fictional crime. Two subjects I found very agreeable to research as well as write about. Marvellous, contrasting, yet each very English.
The book is due to come out on 25 September, published by New Holland Press, and I’m looking forward to reading the other contributions. All the more so as the authors are a distinguished list – I feel as though I’m in the best company.
This comes as no real surprise though, as Maxim has a knack of compiling very good books. I’ve had the pleasure of contributing to a number of them, and on another day I’ll write about a long ago volume called 100 Great Detectives for which I wrote an essay.
Here’s what the blurb has to say about the new book: ‘Whether it be the London of Sherlock Holmes or the Ystad of the Swedish Wallander, Dashiell Hammett's San Francisco or Donna Leon's Venice, the settings chosen by crime fiction authors have helped those writers to bring their fictional investigators to life and to infuse their writing with a sense of danger and mystery. "Following the Detectives" follows the trail of over 20 of crime fiction's greatest investigators, discovering the cities and countries in which they live and work. Edited by one of the leading voices in crime fiction, Maxim Jakubowski, each entry is written by a crime writer, journalist or critic with a particular expertise in that detective and the fictional crimes that have taken place in each city's dark streets and hidden places. The book includes beautifully designed maps with all the major locations that have featured in a book or series of books - buildings, streets, bars, restaurants and locations of crimes and discoveries - allowing the reader to follow Inspector Morse's footsteps through the college squares of Oxford or while away hours in a smoky Parisian cafe frequented by Inspector Maigret, for example.'