Prior to reading Robert Innes’ work I honestly did believe that there was quality content out there in this non-trad route (and I was right) but after more than a few low quality samples of this stream — a fair portion of which I opted not to write about on this blog, since it seemed self-defeating to my intended aim — I remained less optimistic about finding it.
In my experience, self-published impossible crime fiction doesn’t produce much in the way of short story collections. Sure, Raymond Knight Read has put out a few, but I’m in no rush to jump back on that horse again…
When might a self-published novel not be a self-published novel? That’s the quandary I face with J.R. Ellis’ third book, Murder at Redmire Hall (2018). See, it’s technically published by Thomas & Mercer, but they’re simply an imprint of Amazon Publishing and the line between what’s different about this and simply uploading it to Amazon oneself gets blurrier the more you look at it.
I started 2019 on The Invisible Event by sharing the wonderful news that Goodnight Irene (2018) by James Scott Byrnside was a modern impossible crime novel we had legitimate reason to get excited about. And, excitingly, the end of that book promised a follow-up — titled Nemesis at the time — in 2019. And, one title-change later, no doubt on account of some has-been getting there first, here we are.
Well, c’mon, as if I’m going to do a month of self-published impossible crime fiction posts and not feature Robert Innes. Spotlight (2017) is the fifth of currently nine Blake Harte mysteries, all built around impossible crimes, and this time there are two impossibilities to contend with.