Of course, Martin has been involved in the gamut of crime and detective fiction over the years, so conversation had to be restricted to just a few key topics: his involvement with the British Library’s Crime Classics range — you may have heard of them — and his recent 1930s-set novel Mortmain Hall (2020), the second to feature the enigmatic Rachel Savernake.
But, Ed-Nerds need despair not! We also touch on how some of the earlier work in his career — like completing The Lazarus Widow (1999) from a manuscript started by Bill Knox, and historical fiction such as his novelising of the Dr. Crippen case in Dancing for the Hangman (2008) — has informed elements of his later writing. And we couldn’t not discuss The Golden Age of Murder (2015) and The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books (2017), plus the upcoming Howdunit (2020) a collaborative work from members of the Detection Club both living and dead.
How did we fit all this into just over an hour of discussion? Click here to open in your browser or listen below to find out. I’m afraid the sound is a little glitchy at times — clearly Zoom was hosting a lot of meetings at the time — but that shouldn’t prove too great a distraction…
Thanks for listening, and my thanks once again for Martin for taking the time to talk to me — if you’re somehow unaware of his blog Do You Write Under Your Own Name?, you can find it here.
Thanks are also due, as always, to Jonny Berliner for the music; if you’re looking to do some learning while in lockdown, you should check out his SciTunes website here.
7 thoughts on “In GAD We Trust – Episode 3: British Library Crime Classics and Mortmain Hall (2020) by Martin Edwards [w’ Martin Edwards]”
Thanks so much for hosting this, Jim, and sorting out the technical issues. Great fun to chat about GA writing with a fellow fan.
Always a pleasure, Martin. Thanks for your time, really enjoyed picking through these topics, and getting a different perspective on aspects of the BLCC range. Come back any time!
Another fascinating and intelligent talk! Loved hearing the inside story of how Martin came to work with British Library Crime Classics and especially the parts about his new novel which I wish I had in my hands right now. I’ll have to wait until September to read Mortmain Hall when we get our edition over here. Trying to find a cheap copy without paying ludicrous shipping fees was too frustrating. I gave up after ten minutes of searching. It’s temporarily out of stock at several bookselling sites. Must mean lots of sales for Martin!
The tantalizing bit about Eight Detectives also excited me. Went to read about it and just ordered a copy. We get it first over here for a change by about two weeks, but curiously its been re-dubbed The Eighth Detective. That’s been happening a lot lately with US and UK editions. Not only have we got the reprint renaissance of GAD titles, we have the Golden Age practice of changing titles to confuse readers! BTW, is 8 the new magic number for crime fiction titles? I’ll say nothing more about the other one which Martin recommended. Everyone knows how I felt about that book.
Alternative UK/US titles are making a but of a comeback, hey? Turns out that Stuart Turton’s Seven (and a Half) Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle was leading the charge in more ways than one. Future collectors will be baffled bu these subtle differences…though probably not as baffled as I am by some of the very different sobriquets that classic detective fiction ended up with back in the day.
The workings of the BLCC are very interesting, and it’s great to get a little more insight on that. The sheer number of people who have benefited from that series — the audio was cruddy so I cut it out, but I mentioned in this conversation how it’s that series which got me reading Freeman Wills Crofts, and look how that’s turned out — is phenomenal, and as such the methods and processes are always going to be interesting to me. Maybe we can find out more in future…
This was really enjoyable. I loved learning more about how the BLCC range began and titles have been selected as well as some of the history of the detection club and Martin’s involvement in that.
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