Margot’s guest blog on Saturday about writers who are good at both novels and short stories brought a number of names to my mind. Some of them – such as Ruth Rendell, Reg Hill, and Peter Lovesey – are famous. But I’d like to highlight a friend of mine who isn’t (yet) as well-known, yet who delivers real value both at novel length and in the short form.
This is Kate Ellis, whose latest Wesley Peterson book, The Flesh Tailor, has just fallen into my clutches. The Wesley series is very well established, and many of the novels have quite splendid titles that immediately make you want to find out what the story is about. The Marriage Hearse and The Plague Maiden are examples, and The Flesh Tailor itself is another. She also writes books set in a thinly disguised York (aka Eborby) featuring a cop called Joe Plantagenet.
In addition, Kate is a highly capable writer of short stories. She has contributed several to anthologies edited by the prolific Mike Ashley, some to Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, and some to anthologies which I have edited. Her short fiction is very varied, and she has in the past been nominated for a CWA Dagger.
When I asked CWA members to submit stories for possible inclusion in the next CWA anthology, Kate was one of the first to respond, and her story was – predictably – both polished and enjoyable. It is called ‘Feather’ and I’m hoping very much to include it in the book.