Wednesday, 4 March 2020

Howdunit - the cover reveal, and more

Phew! Work on Howdunit is now more or less complete. At times I find it hard to believe that it's only twelve months since the Detection Club members decided, at the 2019 AGM, to proceed with a volume about the art and craft of crime writing. Since then, we've found a publisher and put together a book that runs to close on 160,000 words - plus illustrations and even cartoons, courtesy of the members.

I've never had a writing or editing experience like it. And I love the jacket artwork that HarperCollins have come up with. Has any crime book ever featured so many author names on the cover, we wonder? There are ninety-one in all. In other words, excluding myself, there are essays from one Detection Club member for each of the 90 years of the Club's existence.

All but one or two of the Club's living members have contributed, something I never dreamed would be possible when setting out on this project. In addition, thanks to the support of estates and agents, we've been able to include essays by a range of distinguished deceased members, from Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers to P.D. James and Jessica Mann.

One other point is well worth making. All these notable authors (and their estates) have donated their contributions for the benefit of Club funds. Remarkable generosity, and I'm hugely grateful. As for the detailed contents, I'll say more in due course. But there is some absolutely fascinating material here. Whether you want to write crime yourself, or whether you're simply interested in the way crime writers work and live, you will, I'm sure, find so much here to keep you royally entertained.


Fiona said...

Not an author (nor ever will be) but I'm really looking forward to reading this! When is it due out Martin?

Paul Beech said...

Hi Martin,

Love the artwork. And, in true Sherlock fashion, have just been busying myself (and dizzying myself!) with a magnifying glass, examining all the names in this mystery maze of illustrious Detection Club members, living and dead. Wow!

‘Howdunit’ will be a must for all serious crime buffs and I shall be heading the queue!



Martin Edwards said...

Hi Fiona. It comes out in late June. I like to think that it will appeal to many readers who have no ambitions to write and even to many people who aren't really crime fans. There's a lot about the writing life and the challenges as well as the joys of that life, a subject which to me is perenially fascinating. So I'm hoping others will be equally fascinated!

Martin Edwards said...

Thanks, Paul. Yes, I'm thrilled by the range of contributors. Not many books have so many stellar names taking part. Hope you enjoy it.