Saturday, 21 June 2008

British Crime Writing

British Crime Writing: an Encyclopaedia, is the new title of the book that was at first provisionally entitled The Harcourt Encyclopaedia of British Crime Writing. It is edited by Barry Forshaw, who was also responsible for The Rough Guide to Crime Fiction, and is the editor of that splendid magazine Crime Time. I understand the book is due to be published in December, and I recently received the contract in respect of my contributions to it.

I’ve written seven essays, a couple of which – Crime Short Stories and The Detective in British Crime Fiction - have already appeared (by kind permission of Barry and the publishers) on my website. The other subjects are:

James McClure
Henry Wade
Robert Richardson
Cath Staincliffe
Inspector Morse (my brief was to focus on the television series rather than the novels)

I enjoy writing the occasional article for reference books such as this. My first effort along these lines was a piece for Maxim Jakubowski’s 100 Great Detectives and I later wrote quite extensively for both the St James Guide to Crime and Mystery Writing and the Oxford Companion to Crime and Mystery Writing. The latter book, edited by Rosemary Herbert, is a formidable tome which took years to put together – too many years, really, but I still find it an invaluable research tool. I’m sure that Barry’s encyclopaedia will be equally worthwhile and I’m looking forward to discovering the remainder of its contents.


Anonymous said...

Is this book still available? I have not seen it in the U. S. bookstores.

Martin Edwards said...

Hi Violette. The book is due out in December. I've had a look at your interesting blog, by the way, and added it to my own blogroll.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed Barry Forshaw's Rough Guide to Crime Fiction, which some kind family member (I forget which) gave me for Christmas. As always with these compliations, one can find several missing essentials, and some strange inclusions, but I thought that book was pretty good. I am not sure who exactly would read it, though, as people who read the genre probably know most of it, and would people who don't read the genre be interested? A collection of actual articles, such as the one you describe, seems to have a potentially larger readership.

Martin Edwards said...

Agreed, Maxine. I felt the Rough Guide was better than a couple of the recent 'best of' lists that have appeared in the newespapers, the contents of which struck me as odd, in dismissing so many classics in favour of more recent books on which the jury is still out.

Peter Rozovsky said...

How fat a tome will the new encyclopedia be? I don't mean this as a facetious question. I enjoy books such as Maxim Jakubowski’s 100 Great Detectives or the Bloomsbury Good Reading Guiide to crime fiction because their format and size make them splendid for quick, portable reading.

Congratulations on your shortlistings, and good luck.
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"

Martin Edwards said...

Thanks, Peter. My understanding is that the book will be about half a million words.