Sunday, 27 March 2011

The Arsenic Labyrinth



I'm gratified that Allison & Busby have decided to reprint the third Lake District Mystery, The Arsenic Labyrinth, and equally pleased that, in doing so, they have arranged for a new paperback cover with artwork in the same style as the other books in the series.

How important is jacket artwork? It seems to count for a great deal, perhaps more than many writers (including me!) would like to think. Fortunately, I'm very keen on this latest style of cover, and I'm glad that all books in the series to date will now be available in that style.

As for the book itself, it is quite a favourite of mine. Much as I enjoy writing about Hannah Scarlet and Daniel Kind, I really loved writing the various scenes that feature Guy and his unlucky landlady. Their doomed relationship fascinated me, and it seems to have appealed to quite a few readers as well.

9 comments:

Margot Kinberg said...

Martin - That is an appealing cover! Of course, I am biased because I very much enjoyed the novel. Cover art does matter, I think. Too lurid or gory and it puts me off. Too subtle and uninteresting and people pass it by....

Kerrie said...

Excellent news Martin. Like you I think cover art is important, especially if it establishes a "presence" for the author

Fiona said...

A reprint must always boost a writer's spirits, and a newly commissioned cover surely is a huge vote of confidence in you in the current economic climate. Not being a writer it's something I have never thought about before.

How long before all the Harry Devlin books are reprinted, I wonder? Perhaps I should pester the publishers instead of searching for secondhand copies...

Uriah Robinson said...

I loved The Arsenic Labyrinth and the character of Guy reminded me a bit of Nigel Havers in The Charmer, although perhaps not so upper class. No one could be as upper class as Nigel Havers.

Ann Best said...

Covers DO catch the eye. They ARE very important. This cover is great. It definitely draws me to the book. And I LOVE crime thrillers. So I'm going to check this one out!

Martin Edwards said...

Thank you very much for these comments, and also your support, which I certainly do value.
Fiona, I really do hope that the Harry Devlin books will return before too long. It is quite frustrating that the first seven are now out of print, as I'm very fond of them, and so are quite a few readers.
Norman – how true! The Charmer was based on the books by Patrick Hamilton, a writer I really admire.
Ann, many thanks!

Alistair Macfarlane said...

To Uriah... the same Nigel Havers that I'm seeing right now in Corrie????
We're months behind here in Canada.

Martin Edwards said...

The same, Alistair!

Minnie said...

Interesting question, isn't it? Because in France, until relatively recently, the majority of books have been in pb format + with plain covers - hasn't hindered sales, AFAIK. So I wonder how much of a part custom & convention play ...
Good luck with the pb edition: here's to high sales!