A very happy new year to all readers of this blog. You can never predict what a year may have in store, but one thing is for certain. 2015 will see more new books of mine, of one kind or another, than ever before in a single year. Never mind for a moment whether that's really such a good thing! Let me tell you about them.
I regard myself as a novelist, first and foremost, but the main event will be the publication in the UK and US by Harper Collins of The Golden Age of Murder. It can, I suppose, be described as "narrative non-fiction" - I've used one or two novelistic techniques to turn the factual account of the creation of the Detection Club by a small group of talented and innovative crime writers into a story that tells readers something about the people, their books, and the times in which they lived. I'm hoping above all that the book will interest people in Golden Age fiction even if they've never had much time for it previously.
Still with the Golden Age, I have three anthologies due to be published by the British Library. They are collections with differing themes, and each book includes a couple of stories, at least, which I think will be unfamiliar even to most dedicated fans. Resorting to Murder is a book of holiday mysteries, while Capital Crimes gathers stories set in London. There will also be an anthology of Christmas stories - I'm just about to finish work on this. I've also written a stack of introductions for new books in the Classic Crimes series. Not all of the titles have yet been publicly announced, but they include some very interesting novels.
Turning to fiction, The Dungeon House is ready for editing now, and I'm hoping it will see the light of day in the autumn. It's the seventh Lake District Mystery, and the setting - around the coastal village of Ravenglass - plays a key part in the story. I've structured it rather differently from other books in the series, but I'm hopeful that it will go down well. I feel it's the best book in the series so far.
During the course of the year, I'll be publishing an ebook of short stories, some old, some new, and the provisional title is The Bookbinder's Apprentice and other stories. Jessica Mann has kindly written an introduction. As it happens, I've written a number of short stories recently, and of course I'm hoping that these will find a publisher. Among other projects, I've teamed up with members of Murder Squad and some "accomplices" to write a story inspired by a photo taken by Pembrokeshire photographer David Wilson. At the time of writing this blog, I'm just revising my story, provisionally titled "Through the Mist".
Back to non-fiction. I've just written an intro to a Sherlock Holmes book, and in April, the new CWA anthology will appear. This is Truly Criminal, to be published by The History Press. We have a really good line up of original contributions, and I like to think it's the most significant anthology of true crime essays to have appeared in quite a few years. My piece deals with the "Blazing Car" murder of 1930, and several contributions feature cases that influenced novels of the Golden Age. Peter Lovesey (with a unique take on the "brides in the bath" case), Catherine Aird and Andrew Taylor are among the other authors, and there is a foreword by the best-selling author and former CWA chair, Peter James.
There are one or two other projects in the works, including one for the Detection Club, and a very exciting non-fiction project. These will not appear in 2015, but they will take up some time during the year. And in case any of my faithful readers are wondering if I mean to fit in a holiday or two in the midst of all this activity, the answer is very definitely...yes!