Monday, 23 April 2018

Peter Lovesey - Grand Master

Image result for "martin edwards" "peter lovesey"

At last year's CrimeFest, I had the easiest and most pleasurable of tasks, that of interviewing Peter Lovesey about his remarkable career, and a week ago, we had the chance to get together again during the CWA's annual conference, and the book-signing that followed it. (Peter is a former CWA Chair, and his continuing commitment to the CWA is something his fellow members greatly appreciate). Right now, he's in the US, and later this week at the Mystery Writers of America Edgars awards ceremony, he will be honoured as an MWA Grand Master.

The array of awards that Peter has received, over an astonishing span of almost half a century, is quite breathtaking. Right from the start, he made an impact on the genre, winning the Macmillan/Panther First Crime Novel prize for his debut Wobble to Death. He won the CWA Gold Dagger for that marvellous mystery The False Inspector Dew, and he's also picked up a couple of CWA Silver Daggers. He won the CWA Diamond Dagger in 2000, And there are many others. Take a look at the long list on his website.

His latest novel, Beau Death, is an excellent illustration of his versatility. There's a freshness of approach in his work, a refusal to be constrained by formula, that keeps his books as engaging today as when he first started writing. The quiet humour of his work is another important ingredient in his novels, and I should also say that he is unquestionably one of the finest short mystery writers to have emerged in the past fifty years. If you'd like to see the videos of my CrimeFest interview with Peter  that Ali Karim kindly allowed me to post on my Youtube channel, take a look here.

But there's much more to Peter Lovesey than wonderful writing. His kindness and modesty are admired by those who know him. You have only to look at the many tributes paid to him by his fellow Detection Club members in Motives for Murder, the short story collection I edited in celebration of his 80th birthday eighteen months ago, to see that. I'm truly delighted that he's agreed to give a talk about his classic and contemporary crime fiction at Alibis in the Archives in June (and there are a few non-residential places still available if you're in the UK then). In the meantime, warmest congratulations on becoming a Grand Master, Peter. You are the worthiest of recipients.

3 comments:

Clothes In Books said...

Great books, and he always seems like a lovely man.

paulbeech said...

Hi Martin, I’ve booked my place for ‘Alibis’ (must have been amongst the first, actually, as I rang on the dot of 2:15pm on Tuesday 23rd Feb, when tickets went on sale!) and how delighted I am that Peter Lovesey will be joining the galaxy of crime writers scheduled this year. If ever a Grand Master award was richly deserved, Peter’s was. I’ve always enjoyed his Peter Diamond and Hen Mallin novels whilst his short story collection ‘Murder on the Short List’ helped me while away long afternoons minding my younger granddaughters at “soft play” activity barns in Winsford some years ago.

Looking forward to hearing more about your new novel too, Martin. You gave me a cryptic clue at last year’s ‘Alibis’: “1930.” This set me thinking, and my thoughts ran in the direction of a certain Golden Age locked room specialist who, as a young American first-time author, sailed back to New York that year aboard the good ship ‘Pennland’… Of course my speculations might be wildly out!

One thing for sure: it’ll be a brilliant event.

My very best,

Paul

Martin Edwards said...

Thanks, Paul - more news about the book soon!