2022 has been a very busy year for me in terms of publications. The appearance of The Life of Crime was always going to be a major event in my writing life, and I'm also looking forward eagerly to the publication of Blackstone Fell, my third 'Golden Age gothic' mystery, in September. Not to mention a total of three anthologies and the paperback edition of The Crooked Shore (as well as the publication of that novel's American incarnation, The Girl They All Forgot); let alone individual titles in the Crime Classics series.
But this week I'm celebrating something else - the paperback edition of Howdunit, the book I edited on behalf of the Detection Club, which the publishers HarperCollins describe as 'a masterclass in the art and graft of crime writing'. The idea was to celebrate the 90th birthday of the Club in 2020, and although the pandemic got in the way, the book earned no fewer than five award nominations, and won the H.R.F. Keating Prize, much to my delight.
Howdunit is a book I'm proud of for several reasons. It was wonderful to receive so much generous contribution from major writers. Not one of the 90 people (or estates, in the case of deceased contributors) received a penny in payment for their contributions; nor did I. Instead, all proceeds went to the Detection Club, in line with the Club's traditions.
I also think that the book provides a great deal of invaluable information and advice for anyone who wants to write crime fiction, or simply to understand it better. Working on the book also inspired me to create the online crime writing course Crafting Crime, in conjunction with the editorial consultancy Fiction Feedback. So I'm delighted to see the book in chunky paperback form and I hope this will make the wit and wisdom of the admirable contributors available to even more fans of the genre and aspiring mystery writers.