When you've been working on an idea, and then a book, for as long as I've been working on The Life of Crime, it seems almost surreal when the moment of official publication finally comes along. But today is the day! And as from today there is a blog tour - my sincere thanks to the ten bloggers taking part. The first reaction on the tour comes from Christine Poulson and her comments are truly gratifying.
Thanks to Gary Stratmann, I have some photos of the champagne do during CrimeFest when the book was celebrated in the company of Simon Brett, Felix Francis, Cath Staincliffe, Michael Ridpath, Robert Goddard and various other friends. I've also had cause to celebrate with a coveted starred review from Publishers' Weekly in the US: 'magisterial...unlike other major studies of the genre, gives plenty of space to non-Anglo authors and writers of color. The result is an encyclopedic and consequential volume, a must-read for readers who've wondered who-, how-, or whydunit.'
The book contains extensive acknowledgements, but I'd like to take a moment right now to thank those experts who gave generously of their time when commenting on partial drafts of the manuscript during the past few years. Nigel Moss, wise and meticulous, spent a great deal of time checking and commenting, while others who made a particularly special contribution by giving me the benefit of their expertise included Doug Greene, Steve Powell, Victoria Stewart, David Bordwell, Art Scott, Joseph Goodrich, Rick Ollerman, John Pugmire, and Mauro Boncampagni.
Of course I'm grateful to my agent James Wills and to David Brawn and his colleagues at Harper Collins who helped to make my vision a reality. John Garth the indexer, did a terrific job - this is a book that definitely needed a really good index, and John compiled three, which take up nearly eighty pages. A word of thanks also to the cover designer, Steve Leard, whose contribution to my books I discuss in this piece for Shots. In this essay for Crime Time I discuss some of the other people whose writing about the genre I admire.
So for me this is a happy and memorable occasion. And tonight, there might just be some more quaffing of champagne...