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Publisher's Summary

Nominated for the 2021 Edgar Allen Poe Award for Best Critical/Biographical book.

Ninety crime writers from the world’s oldest and most famous crime writing network give tips and insights into successful crime and thriller fiction.

Howdunit! offers a fresh perspective on the craft of crime writing from leading exponents of the genre, past and present. The book offers invaluable advice to people interested in writing crime fiction, but it also provides a fascinating picture of the way that the best crime writers have honed their skills over the years. Its unique construction and content mean that it will appeal not only to would-be writers but also to crime fans.

The principal contributors are current members of the legendary Detection Club, including Ian Rankin, Val McDermid, Peter James, Peter Robinson, Ann Cleeves, Andrew Taylor, Elly Griffiths, Sophie Hannah, Stella Duffy, Alexander McCall Smith, John Le Carré and many more.

Interwoven with their contributions are shorter pieces by past Detection Club members ranging from G. K. Chesterton, Dorothy L. Sayers, Agatha Christie and John Dickson Carr to Desmond Bagley and H. R. F. Keating.

The book is dedicated to Len Deighton, who is celebrating 50 years as a Detection Club member and has also penned an essay for the book.

The contributions are linked by short sections written by Martin Edwards, the current president of the Club and author of the award-winning The Golden Age of Murder.

©2020 Martin Edwards (P)2020 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic Reviews

"There can be few people in the country who know more about crime fiction than Martin Edwards." (On Magazine)

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  • Josephblu
  • 09-03-2021

Loved it. Learned a lot

I enjoyed this book immensely. I learned a lot and will definitely listen to it many more times. The only down side was a strange passive undercurrent of anger towards America 🇺🇸 (USA for anyone wants to point that out. You know who you are 😀) it wasn’t a big deal, it was simply unfortunate and disappointing. That took up a few minutes total out of many hours of fantastic writing or dictation, whichever. 5 stars.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-06-2021


Enjoyed this one. Lots of gems abound. Excellent narration as well. You don't even need to binge it in one go. It's easy to revisit and listen in pieces.

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