Round-robin mysteries have featured several times on this blog, and I’ve mentioned that I find them rather fascinating. I shall have more news before long of an interesting reprint that I’m involved with, but in the meantime, I’m delighted to say that the first collaborative mystery that I’ve been involved with is now available.
It came into existence through an initiative of the lovely people who run the Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Fiction Festival at Harrogate each year. This has become a major event for fans, and regularly features a host of international best-sellers. So I was extremely gratified when the organisers invited me to take part in writing a chapter of Specific Gravity, a mystery broadly (and in many ways, distantly) in the tradition of The Floating Admiral.
The story was to be started and finished by Stuart MacBride, who has become a superstar of the contemporary crime novel. Other contributors were to be Laura Wilson, Natasha Cooper, Martyn Waites, Allan Guthrie, Ann Cleeves, Charlie Williams, Zoe Sharp and Dreda Say Mitchell. Very good company to be in!
This joint enterprise was all about having fun, and I approached it in that spirit. There was no advance planning – each writer did their own thing. I wrote in a different style from usual, and really enjoyed writing my chapter. But then the project went very quiet for a long time, as consideration was given as to how to promote it. Now, at last, it’s emerged – and at long last, when I get a spare moment, I shall finally find out what happened in the story after I did my bit!
If you fancy seeing what we all made of the project, take a look at Specific Gravity . Incidentally, having enjoyed contributing this one, I’m now involved with another round-robin project, though this one will be very different. More about that in the fullness of time...