Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Another Mammoth!

The Mammoth Book of Best British Mysteries volume 10 is quite a mammoth title, and the book itself is nearly 600 pages long, so at £7.99 for a chunky paperback, it really represents good value. I hasten to add, though, that I am one of the contributors, so I don't claim to be totally unbiased. But Maxim Jakutbowski, the editor, is someone whose breadth of reading in the genre is genuinely impressive, so I'm confident that even the most hard-to-please crime fan will find plenty to enjoy among the 42 stories collected here.

My contribution is a story called "Squeaky". The plot drew one or two elements from a well-publicised real life case, but naturally the events and characters in the story are very different from those in the case in question. I must say that, of all the short stories I've written, "Squeaky" is right up there along with those which I feel worked best.

"Squeaky" first appeared in Guilty Consciences, the CWA anthology I edited in 2011, and a good many stories from that volume also feature in Maxim's collection, which I guess helps to explain why I like it! A number of stories from Best  Eaten Cold, the Murder Squad anthology, also appear. But I hasten to add that Maxim has also ranged very widely to include stories from the likes of Lee Child (with Sherlockian references!), Peter Turnbull (a very reliable writer who deserves to be better known), Neil Gaiman and Stella Duffy.

In his introduction, Maxim suggests that this may be the last in the current series. As he says,a decade is a very good run for an anthology, but it will be a pity if there are no successors. He does drop a hint that there may be positive news of some kind at a future date. The reality is that short story volumes are not popular with many publishers. But I am convinced that in these days of short attention spans, digital publishing offers great potential for the short story form and its writers. So, overall, I am optimistic. In the meantime, this traditionally published book is one that I am very glad to be associated with.


Anonymous said...

Martin - Thanks for the news. It certainly promises to be a great read and I'm so glad you have a story in it. I hope this won't be the last year for it.

seana graham said...

I'm looking forward to this one. Although I inadvertently missed Number 9, I read Volume 8 cover to cover. Glad to know you have a story in it.

Anonymous said...

I agree. Short stories never go out of fashion.

I have just re read "Perfectly Criminal" a collection of short stories collected and introduced by Martin Edwards! It includes contributions from Peter Lovesey, Val McDermid, Ian Rankin, Kate Charles, Reginald Hill and so many more.