Friday, 29 December 2017
2017 - Publications
This has been an eventful year for me on many fronts, and I have an over-riding feeling of gratitude for twelve months of good health and good fortune. I became Chair of the CWA at the start of 2017, and it was always clear that this would take up much more time than does being President of the Detection Club, which is a much smaller and less complicated organisation. I'm the first person to have held both offices at the same time (which could suggest a certain naivete on my part) but despite the time pressures, fortunately I've managed, so far at least, to combine these roles with a reasonable amount of productivity as a writer.
The British Library's publication of The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books in the summer was a highlight. I wanted this book not to seem like an anti-climax after the unexpected success of The Golden Age of Murder,which in some respect is a once in a lifetime kind of book, and which appeared in paperback in the UK this February. As things turned out, the reviews were great, and sales have been excellent (the two often do not go hand in hand, believe me). Less high profile, perhaps, but very rewarding, was the long-awaited publication of Taking Detective Stories Seriously, the collected reviews of Dorothy L. Sayers, to which I provided an intro and lengthy commentary. I'm so pleased that the Dorothy L. Sayers Society has made these wonderful reviews widely available - for the first time in more than 80 years.
For the British Library, I've also compiled four anthologies of classic crime stories: Miraculous Mysteries, Continental Crimes, The Long Arm of the Law, and Foreign Bodies. I enjoyed putting these books together, and it's also been a pleasure to write a series of intros to new titles in the Crime Classics series, along with a special essay on Christmas crime fiction for the hardback edition of Anne Meredith's Portrait of a Murderer. I also wrote intros for books from other publishers, including an essay on locked rooms for the Folio Society's box set of three classic novels, Trent's Own Case in the Detective Story Club series, and Agents and Spies, published by Flame Tree. And last but certainly not least was an intro for Locked Room International's reprint of Death in the Dark by Stacey Bishop, an extraordinary book.
For good measure, I edited the CWA's latest anthology, Mystery Tour, to which I contributed a story, "The Repentance Wood" inspired by a trip to Dubai and Sharjah in March. And in case you're wondering what inspired that particular idea, here's the original Repentance Wood itself...