Monday, December 26, 2011

Michael Sims

Michael Sims is the editor of The Dead Witness: A Connoisseur's Collection of Victorian Detective Stories.

From his Q & A with the Jacket Copy blog:

Jacket Copy: The book’s subtitle refers to this as “a connoisseur’s collection.” How is this book different from other collections of Victorian-era stories of detection?

Michael Sims: For decades I dreamed about editing the ideal anthology: a carefully chosen mix of representative stories that includes forgotten works by big-name authors and lost gems by forgotten authors, an introduction that places the genre and authors in literary and historical context, an introduction to each story that goes beyond a brief note cobbled from Wikipedia entries and includes some of the literary anecdotes my disheveled magpie brain has hoarded over the years, everything in chronological order to show the genre's growth, and a hefty number of handsome pages but not too heavy to read in bed.

So I designed my Connoisseur's Collection series for Walker and Bloomsbury (the first volume was "Dracula's Guest," about vampires, and the third volume will be "The Phantom Coach," about ghosts) to expressly avoid the slips in these categories that I have found disappointing in some other anthologies.

JC: Crimes are puzzles, and the popularity of crime stories and thrillers has to do with the fact that just about everyone loves a good puzzle. Are there certain principles or elements that the mysteries in your book have in common?

MS: I hope readers won't be able to find much in common between these stories except...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue