Crippen & Landru has just formally announced a new multi-author anthology: The School of Hard Knox, with fourteen British and American writers setting out to break, systematically and ruthlessly, a series of rules recorded nearly 100 years ago by Monsignor Ronald Knox of the Detective Club. You can read these rules, first recorded in an introduction to the 1939 anthology Best Detective Stories, here.
My own story “Ordeals” is a bit of an experiment for me in a couple of directions—one of which is that it’s my first historical story, but I’ll leave another experimental aspect of it for readers to discover. And—of course!—you’ll need to read my story and all of them to find out which rule or rules we all broke!
conspirators contributors include Donna Andrews, Frankie Y. Bailey, Nikki Dolson, Martin Edwards, Greg Herren, Naomi Hirahara, Toni LP Kelner, Richie Narvaez, Gigi Pandian, S.J. Rozan, Daniel Stashower, Marcia Talley, and—with an extraordinarily special contribution—Peter Lovesey. And I want to thank Donna Andrew and Greg Herren, who first originated the idea for this project, and Jeff Marks, publisher of Crippen & Landru, for inviting me onboard as a consultant—and then including my name on the cover too!
Here’s Crippen & Landru’s official description:
Rebels with a Cause!
Nearly 100 years ago, The Reverend Monsignor Ronald Knox of the famed Detection Club developed ten rules—a Decalogue he called them—that he felt were “necessary to the full enjoyment of a detective story.” Fairness with readers seemed an author’s highest calling, and—lo!—“the faculty for writing a good mystery story is rare.”
Writers (those heretics!) regularly bristle at a challenge, and being told that a literary twist is forbidden makes their fingers twitch at the keyboard.
This anthology contains fourteen of today’s finest English and American short story authors, trying their best to break one—or more!—of the good monsignor’s rules. Twins, supernatural events, and sleuths not sharing their clues are all in here—transgressions in all directions.
(Father, forgive us, for we have sinned.)
And—saving the key news for last—you can pre-order your own copy here!