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Detecting Men: A Readers Guide and Checklist for Mystery Series Written by Men

1 rating: 5.0
A book by Willetta L. Heising

Need to know the titles of the 16 Johnny Fedora secret agent books that Shaun Lloyd McCarthy wrote under his Desmond Cory pseudonym between 1951 and 1971? See page 67 of this immediately essential guide to everything you ever wanted to learn about mysteries … see full wiki

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Author: Willetta L. Heising
Publisher: Purple Moon Press
1 review about Detecting Men: A Readers Guide and Checklist...

Outstanding reference work for mystery lovers!

  • Sep 1, 2000
Rating:
+5
No, this is not a sequel to "The Rules." "Detecting Men" is a gorgeously produced, well-edited and probably comprehensive catalog of over 600 men who have written mystery series.

Take note of all those qualifiers, because the format is slightly different from Heising's companion volume, "Detecting Women 3." While that reference (a third edition, hence the "3") covers all living female writers and a good portion of those who have since died, space limitations forced "Detecting Men" to limit itself. So, while Anna Katherine Green (who wrote mysteries back in the 1880s) and Agatha Christie are in "DW3" you won't find Ellery Queen and Rex Stout in "DM." Even under those restrictions, "Detecting Men" still offers nearly 450 pages of information, compared with 384 pages in the other book.

So what do you get for your money? A paragraph on each author accompanied by a checklist of each series book, with notations for those which were nominated or winners of writing awards like the Edgar, Anthony and Shamus.

While that section is fascinating in itself for the minutae about the authors, the second half of "DM" contains charts, charts and more charts that can help the series reader locate all kinds of information. Readers of police procedurals will find four pages listing authors, when they wrote, the character's name and profession and setting. Looking for mysteries involving journalists? "DM" lists 25, from Dick Belsky' reporter Lucy Shannon to Collin Wilcox' Stephen Drake (a newspaper reporter with ESP). There's 14 small-town sleuths, two surburban detectives, 15 gay and lesbian detectives and 14 disabled detectives. Detectives are also listed by first name, settings, the year they appeared, and by title. The latter category appeals to the trivia buff in me; not surprisingly, there are a long list of titles beginning with dead, death, and murder, but I didn't expect 31 beginning with "gently." Sounds like the ideal niche for a book collector.

The pseudonym section can help straighten out who wrote want, as well as help find a favorite author's other works. P.C. Doherty, for example, has published books under his own name as well as under Michael Clynes, Ann Dukthas, C.L. Grace and Paul Harding and, possibly, Anna Apostolou. Best-selling author Jack Higgins ("The Eagle Has Landed") has also written as Martin Fallon, James Grapham and Hugh Marlowe. This section may prove disappointing to those who learn that Lydia Adamson's light-hearted animal mysteries was, in fact, written by Frank King.

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