I have finally received my copy of the brand-new Crime Writers Association anthology that I have edited. Guilty Consciences is published by Severn House, who have built up a very impressive crime list, and I must say that the dust jacket artwork is very much appeals to me. (Sorry I haven't been able to expand the image to make it more easily viewed - I'm still failing to get to grips with various aspect of posting on the updated Blogger system, as will be all too evident to those of you who have no doubt spotted a few glitches in the past couple of months....)
The book boasts a foreword by the bestselling novelist Peter James, who also contributes a brand-new story. Peter is the current chair of the CWA, and I was delighted to be able to include a story by one of his most distinguished predecessors, the late Harry Keating. Harry edited a couple of CWA anthologies, and as a tribute to him, I wanted to include one of his stories. Happily, his widow Sheila Mitchell was generous enough to locate and provide an obscure but very agreeable story about Inspector Ghote which had previously only been published in India.
There are a number of other delights in the book. We have, for instance, a story by that very distinguished writer Robert Barnard, and also a terrific story by Ann Cleeves featuring Vera Stanhope. But one of the great pleasures for me about editing these anthologies is the chance to include work by very good writers who are either not especially well known (yet) or who have not in the past focused on short stories.
A number of the contributors were persuaded to take a break from their novels to make submissions to the anthology, and they included Claire Seeber, Len Tyler, Sarah Rayne and Dan Waddell. I hadn't read short stories by any of them previously, but I was really delighted to read, and include, their contributions. The result, I very much hope, is a book which lives up to the high standards of the anthology over the past half-century, whilst giving it a fresh and distinctive identity of its own.