The detective fiction genre is built around the essential structure of a crime, an investigation of that crime, and the revelation of the guilty party who committed the crime, and good heavens didn’t the Golden Age map out a lot of different ways to walk that path. And there are few people better placed to discuss this than President of the Detection Club and recent recipient of the CWA Diamond Dagger Martin Edwards, who celebrates three decades as a published author this year.
It’s fair to say that the idea of being able to complete even one novel is pretty daunting to most of us, so the notion of writing 15 or 20 or 60 is frankly preposterous — and yet we know authors did produce work in these numbers, and turned out some wonderful work in the process. And since so many of them didn’t just copy-and-paste their previous plots and change a few character names, I became curious about the mindset of how one goes about ensuring that the work produced over a long career can continue to change while also remaining essentially the same.
So the focus of today’s podcast — returning for a third run of (probably) another ten episodes — is not to examine all the different ways a crime novel can be written, but to look at authors who utilised a diversity of approaches over their careers…and maybe a few who didn’t. In the first half Martin is very generous in reflecting on his own writing career, and in the second half we use that perspective to examine the different careers of most of the authors tagged below.
Thanks to Martin for his time and insight, to Jonny Berliner for the music, and to you for listening. This ‘series’ will probably be fortnightly like before, but it also might not be…so, well, watch this space.
Stay safe, see you soon.
All episodes of In GAD We Trust can be found here.