Round robin detective novels fascinate me. I’ve mentioned before the round robin books produced by the Detection Club, such as The Scoop, Behind The Screen, Ask a Policeman and most notably The Floating Admiral. These were stories written by a group of writers, with one person kicking off the book with an opening chapter, and then others developing the story in turn.
I’ve now fulfilled an ambition by participating in a round robin book of this kind. It’s not complete at present, though, and subject to confidentiality, so I can’t say too much about it – but it’s not a product of the Detection Club this time.
A question that is often asked is whether such books are planned in advance. Certainly, the project in which I’ve participated has not involved pre-planning – everyone has made it up as they have gone along! I was asked to contribute the sixth of ten projected chapters and I found it a very enjoyable experience. The fact that I have in the past finished The Lazarus Widow, which Bill Knox began, stood me in good stead.
Will the project see the light of day? I really hope so, and all being well it will happen, because a number of much more eminent writers than me are involved. But one thing is for sure. I really don’t envy the person who has to write the final chapter and bring all the strands of the story together!