Martin’s News and Views

2022

This is proving to be an exciting year, with publication of The Life of Crime and Blackstone Fell as well as the paperback edition of The Crooked Shore, which in the US is known as The Girl They All Forgot., and of Howdunit. Add to that the in-person presentation of the CWA Diamond Dagger, three anthologies, a new Golden Age Mystery Map, and plenty of events around the country (plus exciting new projects yet to be announced) and you’ll see why. I’m feeling very fortunate.

The Life of Crime

The reviews in the national press, in magazines, and on the blogosphere, of my history of the genre, The Life of Crime, published by HarperCollins in May in the UK, have been absolutely wonderful. It’s a book that is a true labour of love – about a quarter of a million words – the result of years of writing and a lifetime of reading. The US edition appears in August and has already earned a coveted starred review in Publihsers’ Weekly.

Blackstone Fell

I was thrilled when Head of Zeus signed me up to write two more novels about Rachel Savernake, and the third in the series, Blackstone Fell, has just been copy-edited. The reaction to Gallows Court and Mortmain Hall has been terrific, and I’m delighted to say that, in addition to the US editions, there are to be translations into languages ranging from Italian to Chinese and Japanese.

The Crooked Shore aka The Girl They All Forgot

The paperback edition of the eighth Lake District Mystery, The Crooked Shore, has now been published in the UK. The novel received lovely reviews in The Times and elsewhere in the press as well as the blogosphere. The US edition has now appeared with a snazzy new cover and under the title The Girl They All Forgot.

Howdunit and Crafting Crime

Howdunit is a masterclass in crime writing, conceived and edited by me, and written by members of the Detection Club, is now available as a paperback. Almost every living member of the Club has contributed new essays, while there are also contributions from distinguished former members. So – everyone from Len Deighton and John Le Carre to Ian Rankin, Val McDermid, Felix Francis, Ann Cleeves, Peter James, Mark Billingham, Peter Robinson, Dorothy L. Sayers, and Agatha Christie. To name but a few….The book won the CrimeFest H.R.F. Keating award and earned five other award nominations. The book’s success has prompted me to collaborate with Fiction Feedback on a new online course for people who want to write crime novels – it is called Crafting Crime.

Harry Devlin is 30!

I recently celebrated the 30th anniversary of publication of my first novel, All the Lonely People., which introduced Harry Devlin and was nominated for the CWA award for best first crime novel of the year. To mark the occasion, Andrews UK have relaunched the seven Harry Devlin books I wrote way back in the 1990s with jazzy new cover artwork. The books are available as hardbacks and paperbacks as well as in ebook form. Incidentally, after a gap of a decade, Harry returned in Waterloo Sunset, which is also available.

This Deadly Isle and The Traitor

Two interesting and unusual projects. I was recently commissioned to create This Deadly Isle, a Golden Age Mystery Map, quite beautifully produced by Herb Lester Associates. And Otto Penzler, the legendary editor and proprietor of the Mysterious Bookshop, commissioned me to write a 15,000 word story – a novella, really – for his famous series of Bibliomysteries, which are available in signed limited edition hardback as well as in paperback.

Anthologies

The Edinburgh Mystery is my latest anthology of vintage mysteries in the British Library’s Crime Classics series, with Final Acts, a collection of theatre and concert stories, due later this year. Music of the Night (Flame Tree Press) is my latest anthology of CWA members’ work, while I’ve also edited Many Deadly Returns (Severn House) an anthology celebrating 21 years of Murder Squad and launched with much fanfare (and a special cake!) in Whitley Bay.

Alibis in the Archives

The historic and wonderfully atmospheric Gladstone’s Library is the home to the British Crime Writing Archives, which I established there a few years ago. This year’s weekend, featuring Lynne Truss, Nicola Upson, and many others, was great fun and we’ll be back next year. Make a note of the dates – the weekend of 9-11 June 2023, as places are always in demand.

Short Stories

Lee Child included my story ‘The Locked Cabin’ in The Best Mysteries of the Year 2021, while my Dagger-winning story ‘The Bookbinder’s Apprentice’ featured in Maxim Jakubowski’s anthology Daggers Drawn. 2022 sees the appearance of ‘The Crazy Cries of Love’ in Music of the Night, ‘The Woman Who Never Was’ in a Cornell Woolrich tribute anthology, and ‘No Peace for the Wicked’ in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine. There are also other stories in the works, for three American anthologies.

Other events

I’ve enjoyed a number of ‘live’ events lately as well as a host of online events, and I’ve been thrilled to share bills with such luminaries as Michael Palin and Richard Coles. A special honour was delivering the inaugural Palmer Lecture at the Portico Library in Manchester., while festivals at Colonsay and Birnam, were great fun and a chance to visit some wonderful places in Scotland.

Around the world

The Golden Age of Murder has been published in Chinese and Japanese, while The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books has recently been translated into Korean..

The New Mysteries of Sherlock Holmes

My collection of Sherlock Holmes stories is available as an ebook on Amazon. As well as the stories, the book includes various articles and a splendid introduction by leading Sherlockian David Stuart Davies. I’ve also contributed an introduction to a handsome, slip-cased edition of a selection of Sherlock’s greateest cases, published by Arcturus.

TV, DVD and Film viewing

Films I’ve enjoyed recently include The Lighthouse, and several old movies which have cropped up on the Talking Pictures TV channel. On TV, I’ve enjoyed Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? and The Midwich Cuckoos.

Latest Reading

I’m currently reading Christianna Brand’s The Honey Harlot and recently finished Tim Sullivan’s latest George Cross mystery The Patient. ‘Forgotten books’ feature on my blog each Friday.

Collecting Crime Fiction

I’ve acquired several fascinating inscribed books, including an inscribed copy of Ellery Queen’s The Player on the Other Side. I’ve also contributed an article on Golden Age mysteries to The Book Collector, a fascinating journal founded by Ian Fleming and now edited by his nephew James.

Writing about crime fiction

I contributed an essay on ‘Plotting’ to an award-winning volume about the genre, The Routledge Companion to Crime Fiction. My fellow contributors are academics from around the world.

Website

I’ve continued to revamp the site, and very much welcome any constructive suggestions from readers.