Wednesday, 16 April 2014
I'm pleased to announce the publication this month by Severn House of the latest anthology of the Crime Writers' Association, Guilty Parties. I've been editing the CWA anthology since the mid-Nineties, and it's always a joy to receive so many original stories. The only downside is that not all of the stories I enjoy can be included, for reasons of space, and that was especially the case this year, when I was flooded with submissions that were very varied and entertaining.
The book contains an intro from me, a short foreword by Alison Joseph, chair of the CWA, and author bios, but the meat, of course, is in the stories themselves. Because several entries were very short, I did manage to find space for more stories than usual - 24 in all. And they are all brand new. My own entry, "A Glimpse of Hell", was inspired by the wonderful time I had last year on the small island of Grand Cayman in the Caribbean. Definitely one of the bonuses from my travels in recent years.
There are some very distinguished names on the contributor list. They include Peter Lovesey, doyen of classic detection, and also his son Phil, who is himself a splendid writer and past winner of the CWA Short Story Dagger. Laura Wilson, Aline Templeton and N.J. Cooper are there, and so too John Harvey - creator of Charlie Resnick- Christopher Fowler, and Paul Johnston. There are also writers from overseas, including Ragnar Jonasson.
Among the other contributors are Chrissie Poulson (whose thoughtful blog is always worth reading), Frances Brody, Kate Rhodes and Chris Simms. Different readers will have different preferences among the stories, and regular readers of CWA anthologies will note that a number of the contributors, including some relative newcomers to the genre, have never before featured in the anthology. In choosing stories, my criteria include variety, which I do think is an important aspect of a book like this. As far as I'm concerned, it's both a pleasure and a privilege to have had the chance to put Guilty Parties together.