"The Seven-Year Bitch"

written with Dan J. Marlowe

Of the dozen or so Partners in Crime stories, this was the only one where my co-author and I actually did some of the work face-to-face. Sometime during the early '70s, Dan Marlowe and I found ourselves sitting side-by-side on a flight back to Michigan from the Mystery Writers of America's annual Edgar Awards banquet in New York. Naturally, we talked about crime stories, and between the two of us we cooked up an idea. Our plane landed, we went our separate ways, and nothing ever came of our idea — until, a decade later, I got involved in the PiC project. I was in Germany, then — and this was before the advent of the Internet — so the actual writing of the story happened through the mail. Perhaps because of the B word in the title, perhaps for other reasons, the story didn't sell to any of the majors, but Wayne Dundee was happy to have it for the final issue of his semiprozine Hardboiled.

Sadly, Dan had passed away by the time our story appeared in print. "My doctor told me to take up jogging," Dan had written me, not long before he died. "I tried it, but I kept spilling my drink."

Requiescat in pace, Dan.

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