Motives for Murder, just published in a paperback original edition by Sphere, is the sixth collection of stories to be published by members of the Detection Club over the space of more than three-quarters of a century. The book, which I’ve edited, celebrates the crime writing career of one of its most popular members, Peter Lovesey. Among other gems, it boasts a specially written foreword by the legendary crime writer Len Deighton, who was elected to membership of the Club in the Sixties, and who shares his thoughts on the world of publishing.

Contributors who have written brand new stories for the book include such luminaries as Ann Cleeves, Andrew Taylor, Liza Cody, Len Tyler, and Simon Brett. In fact, I should say that Simon has actually contributed an original sonnet! I asked each contributor to write a short personal preamble to his or her story, and they displayed impressive ingenuity in making sure that their stories (and, yes, Simon’s sonnet…) refer, in one way or another, to Peter’s life and work. Peter’s personal memories of early encounters with Detection Club members of the Seventies form a fascinating and highly appropriate afterword to the book.

The Detection Club flourishes to this day, and in addition to holding three dinners in London, members continue to enjoy collaborating on literary projects. June of this year saw the publication of The Sinking Admiral, masterminded by Simon Brett; it is a “round robin” mystery novel, with chapters written by a diverse group of members, including Simon and Peter, and packed with playful references to the Club’s famous collaborative novel The Floating Admiral and the distinguished authors – including Christie, Sayers, and Chesterton – who were responsible for it.

Martin Edwards

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