I've been rather consumed in recent weeks by the demands of the novel that I'm writing at present, as well as a series of online lectures and researching future titles for the British Library Crime Classics. But I did want to mark the publication at long last of Two-Way Murder by E.C.R. Lorac. This is book 89 in the Crime Classics series (who would have thought we'd ever manage to produce so many? Not me, that's for sure) but it's unique - because it isn't a reprint. This is a book that was originally written in the 1950s but which has never been published before.
I talked about this book in a blog post last autumn and I must reiterate what a joy it is, after so many years of striving, to see the manuscript I'm familiar with turned into a book on the shelf. It's a different emotion from the experience of seeing one's own book in print, of course, but it still gives me personal pleasure - I feel like a literary detective!
It will be interesting to see what readers make of the story. I'm very encouraged by the positive response of blogger and GA fan Steve Barge, whose views about it happen to be similar to my own. This is the very first review I've seen. Steve explains (and this is entirely understandable) that his expectations were modest, but that he thinks it is 'really rather good'. As he says, the characters are interesting and he likes the 'damn fine trick' played by the murderer.
I'm always inclined to look at things from the author's point of view. I'm as sure as I can be that Lorac would have been absolutely thrilled had she been able to conceive of the possibility of her novel finally being brought to public attention more than sixty years after she wrote it. It is such a shame when decent work fails to see the light of day. I'm genuinely proud of this particular entry in the series.