Wednesday 11 May 2022

A Week to Remember


It's not often in my life that I've had a week like this one. Three memorable events already, with a trip to CrimeFest yet to come. Yesterday saw the publication of The Edinburgh Mystery and other tales of Scottish Crime, my latest anthology for the British Library's Crime Classics series. I've included a lengthier intro than usual, discussing Scottish mystery fiction over the years. The stories in the book are an eclectic mix and as ever I hope that there will be something to please all sorts of tastes.

On Monday, Herb Lester Associates produced This Deadly Isle, my Golden Age mystery map. They've done a lovely job of production. I love the cover image and the map itself is a delight. There's information about a variety of GA mysteries, enough to keep dedicated fans who like to see the locations in which stories are set travelling for a long time to come. This really was a fun project.

And today, for the very first time, I've held in my hand a copy of The Life of Crime. Actually, it almost needs two hands - it's a big book! Nothing, obviously, compares to holding your own child in your arms for the very first time, but for any author the experience of seeing - at last! - the physical form of the book on which you have been labouring for so long is quite a moment. That's especially true of this book, if only because of the sheer length of time I've been thinking about this project, let alone working directly on it.

To celebrate the imminent arrival of this book (UK publication date is 26 May, and it will hit the shelves in the US at the start of August), I've written various articles for different platforms. One that has just been published is this piece on CrimeTime about some of my favourite writers of books about crime fiction.

How will The Life of Crime be received in the wider world? I really don't know, to be honest. But one thing I can say for sure is this. I'm really happy that I wrote the book, crazily ambitious though the whole project was. And I'm truly thrilled that it's finally seeing the light of day.

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