Today sees the publication of my latest anthology for the British Library. Deep Waters is subtitled Mysteries on the Waves, and boasts a rather good cover which for me represents a pleasant reminder of my recent Atlantic crossing. I've talked about cruise mysteries on this blog recently, and there's no doubt that stories set around the sea, or indeed rivers, canals or lakes offer a lot of potential for the crime writer.
This is, I think, the chunkiest of all my British Library anthologies, running to no fewer than 364 pages, and I'm pleased about this. I do think that it's good to offer readers plenty of value, and my only regret is that it wasn't possible to find space for a long-time favourite of mine, "Three Miles Up" by Elizabeth Jane Howard, a terrific story. I have to admit, however, that it's a bit of a stretch to call it a crime story, even though it's very mysterious indeed.
So what of the stories that did make the cut? We kick off with a case for Sherlock Holmes, and other eminent detectives who are featured include Reggie Fortune, Dr Thorndyke, John Appleby, and Gervase Fen. There are also some little-known names in the list of contributors, including Kem Bennett; I was introduced to his story, and another by Christopher St John Sprigg, by Jamie Sturgeon, one of a small group of friends who have given me valuable advice about possible stories for inclusion.
There is a story by Andrew Garve, a writer whose love of sailing is evident in many of his novels, and another by Phyllis Bentley, who is perhaps best remembered for her Yorkshire-based family saga novels. As usual, I'm aimed for variety in my selection, and I like to think that Deep Waters is a book which, whatever your preference in terms of classic crime, will offer plenty to enjoy.