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Choice of Genre by Malcolm Noble

The blurb says that I have written fifteen mystery novels set in the south of England from the 1920s to the 1960s.  However, my recent work has focused on the earlier part of the period.  It is the 1920s and 30s where I feel most at home.  I was born in 1951 My choice of detective fiction (and I am quite picky about the boundary between detective stories and the crime novel) was inevitable.  John Creasey's Hammer the Toff was the first adult book that I read (when the village librarian allowed me to borrow the book with my pink 'Junior Reader' ticket).  Since then, buying, selling, reading and writing detective novels has been an important part of my life.  Most of all, I like talking about them. When, last month, a customer was browsing around my bookshop, we realised that we were detection enthusiasts and talked, for far too long, about the good and bad in the genre.  Through that discussion, with surprising little disagreement, we moved towards defining what made a truly satisfying detective novel.  We realised that readers who come to the genre in retrospect - like us - are probably more critical than those who had…

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Christine’s Note of Life with a Mystery Writer

  I'm Christine and we've been married for forty years.  Malcolm Noble didn't write his first book until 2003 which means I've only been married to a writer for thirteen years.  It feels much longer! My main role is to explain to Malcolm that some of his ideas are bad ideas.  (He has a rude word for this which we needn't mention.)  When he gave up his proper job and began to write much more, I took charge of the address book.  Not because I wanted to help.  It was because Malcolm hasn't a clue about keeping things in order so it was easier for me to have the address book than to help sort out the mess when it went wrong.  This has led to me being more involved with press contacts and his regular readers. Another way that I help is by working out the exact word he is looking for.  This can be frustrating because his clues are often of little use.  (You should try solving one of his crossword puzzles.)  The example I always think of is - the word for walking slowly around a house.  (I'll give the answer later on.)  There are a couple…

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