Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Kate Ellis


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.

9 comments:

Mason Canyon said...

Sounds like a very interesting author. I agree the titles make you want to know more, especially The Marriage Hearse.

Mason
Thoughts in Progress

Margot Kinberg said...

Martin - Thanks so much for mentioning Kate Ellis. I so enjoy "meeting" new-to-me authors, especially those who aren't necessarily famous. I'm going to have to find some of her work. Those titles really are intriguing! I think titles can play a really interesting role in our interest in a book...

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

I really admire writers who can create a good short story. Sounds like Kate Ellis writes both long and short form well. I'll look her up.

Clarissa Draper said...

Oh wow, I just went to amazon.com and saw her books. They look so amazing. I can't believe I haven't heard of her yet. I have to catch up with all these great novels. Thanks for letting me know about her.

CD

Linda P said...

Thank you for mentioning Kate Ellis and I must follow up your recommendation. Apart from enjoying the well-known writers such as P.D. James, Ruth Rendall,
Colin Dexter, I want to support lesser known authors, especially those that write about the area in which I live.

lyn said...

I love the mixture of history & archaeology in Kate Ellis's books. Her Wesley Peterson series is especially good & I love the characters, the relationship between Wes & Gerry. I start looking forward to the next book the minute I finish the last.

Cathy said...

It's wonderful to see someone extolling the many virtues of Kate Ellis. She's one of my favorite authors.

bookwitch said...

I can't believe Kate isn't so famous that everyone knows her and reads her books! I've liked her for years, and I was so honoured to have her agree to be interviewed a couple of years ago.

http://bookwitch.wordpress.com/interviews/kate-ellis-and-her-dashing-devon-detective-wesley-peterson/

My main criticism now has to be the speed with which Kate writes. I am so not keeping up and don't know how to remedy this dire situation.

Martin Edwards said...

Thanks for these comments - glad to know that Kate's work is of such interest. Bookwitch, I have to say, Kate produces her novels rather faster than I do - very impressive productivity! But like you, I keep waiting for the next.