Wednesday, 2 September 2015
The Whodunit Dinner and The Sinking Admiral
Right at the end of The Golden Age of Murder, I make passing mention of a new Detection Club project. This is a novel in the tradition of the Club's 1931 classic The Floating Admiral, a round-robin story written by "certain members of the Detection Club". The new book is to be called The Sinking Admiral, and again it is written by "certain members of the Detection Club" - including me.
This project has been masterminded by Simon Brett as President, and participating in it has been hugely enjoyable. I'm glad to say that the book has now been completed, and that it will be published next year by Harper Collins, who have already enjoyed great success in recent years with reissues of earlier Detection Club books, including Ask a Policeman and The Anatomy of Murder.
When Simon first mooted the project, a group of members volunteered to take part, and although one had to drop out for health reasons, unfortunately, someone else stepped in to take her place.The early stages of planning took a considerable time, but once we had the publishing contract signed, the deadline concentrated our minds, as it usually does with writers. We've had a number of meetings to discuss the project as it proceeded, and when the summer arrived, the book was in a pretty decent state.
We did not, however, know whodunit! So Simon, who has put a great deal of energy and skill into the whole exercise, organised a wonderfully enjoyable Whodunit Dinner at the Groucho Club - not far away from the site of the Detection Club's original premises in Gerrard Street - and as well as having a highly convivial time, we worked out a solution, and who would write it. (The menu above is signed by the contributors who were present, although a few could not make it.) It must rank as one of the most memorable occasions of my writing career. Wild horses would not, of course, drag any more information out of me about the story at this stage, but it's fair to say that we are both relieved and happy about the way the project has turned out. It's been tremendous fun, and we are very much hoping that readers will find the book is a lot of fun, too.