If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.

May Interviews

5/5 Lynn Calhoon, Murder 101
5/12 Annette Dashofy, Death By Equine
5/19 Krista Davis, The Diva Serves Forbidden Fruit
5/25 Debra Goldstein, Four Cuts Too Many

Saturday WWK Bloggers

5/1 V. M. Burns
5/8 Jennifer Chow
5/22 Kait Carson

Guest Blogs

5/15 M. K. Scott


E. B. Davis's "The Pearl Necklace" will appear in the new SinC Guppy anthology The Fish That Got Away to be released in July by Wildside Press. The anthology was edited by Linda Rodriguez.

Paula Gail Benson's monologue "Beloved Husband," from the perspective of Norton Baskin the second husband of Marjorie Kinan Rawlings (who wrote The Yearling and Cross Creek), appears in the Red Penguin Collection's An Empty Stage (released March 28, 2021).

Martha Reed's "Death by GPS" will appear in the Spring 2021 issue of Suspense Magazine, which will be released in the second week of April. Congratulations, Martha!

Susan Van Kirk has a new audiobook, A Death at Tippitt Pond, that will be released this month. Marry in Haste will be released in May by Harlequin Worldwide Mystery, as will Death Takes No Bribes in September. Congratulations, Susan.

Congratulations to Martha Reed. Her short story, "The Honor Thief" was chosen for the 2021 Bouchercon Anthology, This Time For Sure. Hank Phillippi Ryan will edit the volume, which will be released in August at the time of the convention.

Margaret S. Hamilton's short story, "Killer Weeds," appears in the January 20 edition of Texas Gardener's Seeds: From Our Garden to Yours. Congratulations, Margaret, who, if you follow Facebook know, is a superb gardener herself!

Congratulations to Jennifer J. Chow for garnering a 2021 Lefty Nomination for Best Humorous Mystery Novel. We're crossing our fingers for Jennifer!

Congratulations to Paula Gail Benson whose "Reputation or Soul" has been chosen for Malice Domestic 16: Mystery Most Diabolical anthology to be released this spring.

KM Rockwood's "Stay Safe--Very Safe" appears in this year's 2020 BOULD anthology. Congratulations, KM!

Annette Dashofy signed with agent Dawn Dowdle of the Blue Ridge Literary Agency. Congratulations, Annette!


Tuesday, April 13, 2021

A Journey Through Short Classic Crime Fiction by KM Rockwood

I love short stories, and I often read one at night before I go to sleep. I’m especially fond of mystery stories, so I’m always on the lookout for anthologies and collections that I haven’t seen before.

Recently I found a treasure, an anthology that is not only chock full of a month’s worth of entertaining stories, but also an educational journey through the history of the genre, illustrated with superb examples.

The name on the spine of the book caught my eye. Donald E. Westlake, one of my favorite crime novel authors. He passed away in 2008, but not before producing over one hundred books under several names, including Richard Stark.

Was this a collection of his short stories I had somehow missed over the years?

It turned out to be an even more exciting find titled Murderous Schemes: An Anthology of Classic Detective Stories.[1]

With the able assistance of J. Madison Davis, Westlake had selected eight conventions of crime short stories. He wrote a brief history of each of the conventions and selected four stories to illustrate his short essays. He also included commentary on each author and story included in the book.

A glance at the table of contents showed such masters as Dorothy Sayers, Rex Stout and Agatha Christie.

Some of the stories are old favorites of mine, but many are ones I’ve somehow failed to read previously. Familiar characters such as Father Brown, Nero Wolfe and Raffles abound.

Westlake gives us stories using classic techniques, like “locked room” murders where the victim is found in a sealed room with no apparent way for the killer to have escaped. Also included are the “only one among you,” when a group of people are isolated (classic technique is a group of guests stranded in a country home by a snow storm) and the murderer must be one of them.

From “armchair detective” to “hoist with their own petard” tales, the book leads us through a fascinating reading of the history and development of crime short stories.

If you’re not familiar with this book (and I suspect many a student of mystery writing has encountered it, in a classroom or out) it’s well worth a read.




[1] Westlake, Donald E. Murderous Schemes; an Anthology of Classic Detective Stories (New York, Oxford Press) 1996.


Annette said...

How have I missed this one?

Jim Jackson said...

Interesting collection, which I had also not heard of. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

Kait said...

Wow, my TBR grows.

KM Rockwood said...

I'm not sure why I have never encountered this informative anthology before, but it was a pleasant surprise to stumble upon it.

Art Taylor said...

I almost ordered this one a couple of years ago, but realized I had most of the stories in other places... However, hearing about the organization and focus, I might need to revisit and pick up anyway!

Margaret S. Hamilton said...

Interesting, Kathleen! One more for my TBR pile.

Jennifer J. Chow said...

This sounds like a great collection. Thanks for sharing about it! (Confession: I had to look up "petard" to figure out what it meant.)