Crime Writers

Crime and Thriller Writing, co-authored by me and my friend Michelle Spring, has three sections to it.  The first is our reflections on our writing life; the third is the nuts-and-bolts how-to section.  But the middle section is a little of everything–and everyone.Crime-and-Thriller-WritingCrime-and-Thriller-Writing9781472523938_p0_v1_s300x

Part two is a series of essays by twenty-six other fantastic crime & thriller writers, on topics ranging from Alafair Burke’s “Watching the World with Empathy” to Charles Todd on settings. One of our aims was to draw from both sides of the Atlantic, so we included a number of writers more at home in the UK than in the US.  One of those is the excellent and subtle Sophie Hannah, poet, children’s writer, and writer of psychological thrillers that will have you sleeping with the lights on.


The reason I’ve always loved mystery stories, and probably the reason, also, that I became a crime writer, is because, in my real life, I’ve always been obsessed with the need to know, a need that so often goes unquenched. There are so many unknowns in our day-to-day existence, so many unfathomable mysteries – not associated with murders usually, but fascinating none the less. When everything is known, life is, let’s face it, boring. But when you yearn for information that is either deliberately withheld from you or for some other reason not available, you can’t bear the thought that this burning question might never be resolved. The comfort of crime fiction is that, except for in the most experimental of mystery novels, the puzzle always is resolved.

Crime and Thriller Writing, by Michelle Spring and Laurie R. King, in paperback (signed from Bookshop Santa Cruz) or from Barnes & Noble/Nook, or from Amazon/Kindle.

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  1. Laraine on September 13, 2014 at 10:14 am

    Such an enticing book, Laurie! My thanks to you and the others who contributed, invested time, vision and energy in bringing it to happen. I love Sophie’s statement. We do, indeed, keep after the answers that aren’t immediately available, far more than the baldfaced ones. Often, also, a question that is pleasant but intriguing (why is the sky blue, or the ocean green?) is amusing, but a question that has consequences or delves into painful realms will keep us riveted, or tortured, until an answer can be found.

  2. susan on November 14, 2016 at 7:15 pm

    Laurie, have you considered approaching the Trustees of Dorothy L. Sayers to find out if you could combine Wimsey and Harriet Vane with Holmes and Mary Russell? I first thought of this when reading “A letter of Mary” where Russell comes across Wimsey who’s recovering from WWI shellshock. Thought of it again in “Mary Russell’s war”, in which he’s described in “The marriage of Mary Russell”, “My story”, & “A case of correspondence”. Prime possibilities, perhaps in Russell and Harriet coping with a mystery set in WWII, while their male partners are working against the Axis powers behind-the-scenes. Won’t you consider it, please? Those two resourceful, patriotic, academically inclined women would make an exciting partnership!

    • Laurie King on November 14, 2016 at 8:07 pm

      Yes, the Sayers estate was not pleased with the “Peter” of Letter of Mary, and asked me to remove it. I said I would, but only after I’d put a note to the effect on the back of the title page to let people know they were getting a different version. We reached an agreement, but I wouldn’t think they’d be too enthusiastic about a further such volume.As for the other mentions, well, it could be anyone.

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