Wednesday, 14 January 2009


On Radio 4's Front Row tonight, Mark Lawson discussed British Crime Writing: An Encyclopedia, with Barry Forshaw (its estimable editor) and the novelist Martyn Waites, who's one of the entries. You can find the talk at this link, at least for the next week. When Lawson asked Waites how he liked his own entry (which I happen to have written), Martyn name-checked me, and allowed as how he was pleased with it, very pleased in fact.

Earlier, Lawson has mentioned his surprise that Iain Sinclair was included, and quoted Sinclair's entry which began by assuming people might be surprised. And guess who wrote that one?

Later, Martyn was asked if he'd found his favourites in the book, and he said that after himself the first name he looked for was William McIlvanney, and that he thought the entry on him was satisfying as well. And would you guess who wrote that one too?

So to recap, although I wrote only six entries in the two-volume book (though I do wish I'd been given John Harvey's to write too), three of them wound up being discussed in a five-minute or so segment on a half-million word book. That's not a bad batting average.....

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