While I was in London’s Murder One bookstore last week, I picked up the latest issue--No. 99--of Mystery Scene. And it occurred to me what a momentous milestone that magazine is just about to celebrate. Meanwhile, I see that editor George Easter has mailed out the 50th issue of Deadly Pleasures (DP).
I’ve enjoyed reading both magazines for years now, and in 2001 joined the list of contributors to Deadly Pleasures. Over this long time, I have enjoyed my friendship with the DP team of Easter, Larry Gandle, Jay Waggoner, Marv Lachman, Ted Hertel, Bev DeWeese, Mary Mason, Gary Niebuhr, Cath Staincliffe, Martin Edwards, Sally Sugarman, and many others. The first time I had a chance to meet some of my colleagues was during the 2003 Bouchercon in Las Vegas (click here for a photo of the team). Then I spent a wonderful time talking about our respective crime-fiction obsessions with Easter, Gandle, Hertel, and Mason at ThrillerFest last summer in Phoenix.
I was looking forward to reading the 50th edition of Deadly Pleasures (Spring 2007), and can say that I’m not disappointed with the results. The cover feature focuses on British police procedurals, and Easter reveals in his introduction that he’s a confirmed Anglophile, his father having been born in the UK. This article pays particular attention to Peter Lovesey (The Secret Hangman), Reginald Hill (The Death of Dalziel), and Stephen Booth (Dying to Sin), but it also takes the time to list and review practically every UK police crime-fiction series, old and new. Elsewhere in the issue, and on a sadder note, Easter offers a moving tribute to the late American novelist Barbara Seranella (Deadman’s Switch). Gandle writes about taking over as the mag’s assistant editor, and what judging thrillers for the International Thriller Writers has meant to him. He also gives a critical appraisal of all this year’s Edgar Award nominees. DP has begun, too, to publish edited versions of critic-novelist Mike Ripley’s column, “Getting Away with Murder,” which he writes for Shots. And of course, this issue contains the usual pages upon pages of book reviews, plus a new section of audio book assessments.
So, congratulations to George Easter and the gang on this golden occasion. And if you’ve never had a chance to read Deadly Pleasures, Issue No. 49 (originally priced at $4.50 U.S.) is currently being offered for free as a downloadable PDF file.