Thursday, 1 January 2015

2015: the year ahead

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.

At the moment, I'm working on a book which includes all the detective fiction reviews that Dorothy L. Sayers wrote in a remarkable burst of activity at the height of the Golden Age This project is undertaken on behalf of the Dorothy L. Sayers Society, and we have yet to sort out publication details. But the Sayers reviews are brilliant and full of insight, and still read very well. The reviews written by Sayers and a few of her contemporaries are, incidentally, valuable sources of ideas for my Forgotten Books, and they deserve a wider readership.

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!

13 comments:

Les Blatt said...

Sounds like quite a year, Martin. I'm really eager to see the Golden Age book - just pre-ordered it from Amazon, which says US publication date will be April 28. Looking forward to it!

Martin Edwards said...

Thanks indeed, Les. I shall keep my fingers crossed that it lives up to expectations!

Unknown said...

Your writing and publications will fill my reading year and I am looking forward to spending time with great enjoyment .

Sappho said...

Gosh, can't wait for all of these books! In the nonfiction category, I'm especially excited to see the Sayers reviews; I wonder if they will be as full of references, quotes, and other valuable miscellany as her fiction is.

And as for fiction, The Dungeon House sounds marvelous. What a banner year 2015 is shaping up to be!

Martin Edwards said...

Thanks very much, Anon and Sappho. Exciting times for me. As for the Sayers reviews, they are extraordinary for their quality, given how prolific she was.

Doug Greene said...

Wow!

Nan said...

I am amazed at all you are doing! Very interested in the DLS reviews, and have put the Golden Age book in my Amazon cart.

lyn said...

Everything sounds tempting so I can see I'll be reading a lot of Golden Age fiction this year thanks to you & the British Library. The Sayers book sounds very intriguing & your own Golden Age book is much anticipated.

Fiona said...

So pleased I shan't have to resort to reading books that I don't enjoy!
I certainly look forward to The Dungeon House and the Golden Age book, also the Dorothy Sayers, but I shall be passing up the True Crime collection. You can't please all the readers all the time..... :)

J said...

That sounds like a lot of work! Enjoy your vacation...

Doug Greene said...

Martin, is the "Blazing Car Murder" of 1930 the one sometimes called the Otterburn Mystery? That one was 1931, so probably a different flammable auto.

Martin Edwards said...

Hi Doug. My piece is about the Rouse case. The Otterburn case was the officially unsolved death of Evelyn Foster. Blazing cars were in vogue these days. The Rouse case is interesting because of the failure to identify the victim, among other things.

Doug Greene said...

Oh, yes. I recently read a short essay on the Rouse case by Superintendent Prothero in GREAT UNSOLVED CRIMES. Norman Birkett was the prosecutor. According to Wikipedia, the identity of the victim is now down to 9 possibilities -- which doesn't sound like much progress after 85 years. The article has a photo of the burned out car -- looks like a through job.