Partners in Crime

This is a book that never was. My idea was to do a collection of collaborative stories, each of them to be written by two authors working in tandem; in each case, one of the two collaborators was to be me. I approached a number of authors, mostly people I knew personally from the Mystery Writers of America, and most of them agreed to participate.

Part of the challenge was to be working on all of the stories simultaneously, sort of like those chess masters who take on 20 opponents all at once, constantly darting back and forth from board to board to board. Another part of the challenge was the fact that, at the time — in the mid-1980s — I was living in West Germany, and all but one of my collaborators was in the US, and this was way before the Internet, so everything had to be done by mail.

A third challenge I set myself was to use a different method of collaboration for every story, and I'm not sure that one really got followed through on. I mean, how many different methods of collaboration are there?

Anyway, I never found a publisher who was willing to commit to the book, but each of the stories — some quickly, some not until later — was published individually. Here's a list, alphabetical by the last name of the co-author, with links to a page for each story (except the one I wrote with K. Arne Blom — he, a Swede, was my one nonAmerican partner in crime, and our story was the only one which, so far, has never been printed in English; it apparently did turn up in some nonprofit German collection, which I've never seen):

Michael Avallone, "Better Safe Than Sorry" (Hardboiled, Summer/Fall 1987)

K. Arne Blom, "The Disappearance of Martin Skog"

Jon L. Breen, "The German Cologne Mystery" (EQMM, September 2005)

Stanley Cohen, "Annika Andersson" (EQMM, February 1993)

Joe L. Hensley, "All That Mattered" (Robak's Firm, 1987)

Edward D. Hoch, "The Spy and the Suicide Club" (EQMM, January 1985)

John Lutz, "DDS 10752 Libra" (An Eye for Justice, 1988)

Dan J. Marlowe, "The Seven-Year Bitch" (Hardboiled, Final Issue 1990)

Francis M. Nevins, Jr., "The Leo's Den Affair" (Dick Tracy: The Secret Files, 1990)

Edward Wellen, "Stork Trek" (AHMM, July 1985)

In recent years, I've written five additional collaborative stories -- "History on the Bedroom Wall" (written with my daughter, Rebecca Jones, and published in EQMM), "Coffee Date" (written with my wife, Laurie Pachter, and published in The Saturday Evening Post), and three with my Dutch friend and co-editor Rene Appel: "A Woman's Place" (published in EQMM), "Starry Starry Night" (published in Amsterdam Noir) and "Cell Division" (published in Strange Days).

Return to Bibliography.