Is it reasonable for writers to have favourites among their own books, or should one love them all equally? Well, my view is that books are not like children, and I certainly do have favourites. They include, for instance, my relatively little-known novel about Dr Crippen, Dancing for the Hangman. As for the Harry Devlin series, I've always had a very soft spot for Yesteday's Papers.
I've been very pleased to see this book, which dates back to the mid-90s, give a fresh lease of life by digital publishing.The ebook version has a very nice intro from the great Peter Lovesey. And, as is the case with the other Devlin ebooks published by Andrews UK, print versions are also available. But I must admit that I'm still thrilled that a new mass market paperback edition is to be published later this year.
The book is going to feature in the Arcturus Crime Classic series, which already includes All the Lonely People, as well as some wonderful books that date back much further, written by the likes of Francis Durbridge, Erle Stanley Gardner, Anthony Berkeley and many more. It's gratifying to be in such company, especially as few other living writers are on the Arcturus list.
The first paperback edition of Yesterday's Papers was published by Bantam, and subsequently Hodder produced an edition. So the Arcturus book will be the third mass market paperback, not counting the Andrews UK edition. I'm very glad about this, because the story was great fun to write. It dwells heavily on Liverpool's Beatles era, and there are some plot twists I really enjoyed concocting. In some ways, it might just be my most complex mystery from a plot perspective, with three different strands to the storyline. The Lake District Mysteries are, deliberately, less heavily plotted, and one of the benefits of having different series is the chance to tackle the crime novel in various different ways. So much more satisfying than constantly repeating oneself.