Wednesday 12 June 2024

Lessons in Crime - a new British Library anthology of academic mysteries


My latest anthology, Lessons in Crime:academic mysteries, has just been published by the British Library in the Crime Classics series. This book was a lot of fun to put together, and the lovely cover artwork certainly takes me back to the dreaming spires of Oxford, always a great place to be.

I've written quite a lengthy introduction this time, discussing a wide variety of academic mysteries, including some from the USA. The individual story intros try, where possible, to focus on the authors' own academic experience, which in some cases had a significant bearing on what they wrote. As ever, there's a mix of familiar names and some that are less familiar. The latter group include Miriam Sharman and Herbert Harris. There's also a little-known story by Colin Watson, author of the Flaxborough Chronicles. 

I'm extremely pleased to say that there's also a story which I don't think many readers would have expected. It's an obscure early piece of work by a very distinguished author - Dame Jacqueline Wilson, who is of course best known as a writer for children and young adults. As I've said before, her early psychological suspense novels were good reads and she was a real loss to the world of crime fiction when she moved away from the genre. 

This is, believe it or not, number 126 in the Crime Classics series, reflecting the fact that one book per month has appeared over the past ten years or so. I'm so glad that the British Library has kept faith in the anthologies and that they have done so remarkably well in sales terms - only yesterday I received a translation enquiry from an overseas publisher for one of the earlier collections. And as if that's not enough, today I've been in correspondence with various people about no fewer than four anthologies - one for the British Library plus three others that are currently in the course of creation. Exciting times! 


Liz Gilbey said...

What terrific news. And what an addition to the landmark stories of crime fiction. All of which goes to prove that Martin Edwards never sleeps!

Anonymous said...

I have just finished the book and greatly enjoyed it . One point puzzles me. The blurb on the BL Bookshop and Amazon sites mentions Celia Fremlin and a story about Sociology and English undergraduates. Neither appears in my copy.

Martin Edwards said...

Thanks, Anon. That story was, I think, a casualty of the effects of the cyberattack on the BL, which greatly disrupted production of this book. But I will ask them to check and correct any copy which is out of date and thus incorrect.