Sun 27 May 2012
MAX ALLAN COLLINS – Kill Your Darlings. Walker, hardcover, 1984. Tor, paperback, 1988.
The first mystery novel set at a Bouchercon, Max Allan Collins’s Kill Your Darlings takes place in Chicago, where Bouchercon was held in 1984, though Collins wrote the book before that event.
It’s an enormously enjoyable tale, well plotted and with lots of insights into a mystery convention and publishing, though mostly from a writer’s viewpoint. (Fans do not loom large in this book.) The plot device, an unknown Hammett manuscript, is an inspired idea.
Despite Collins’s disclaimer that the victim, an old-time mystery writer, is a composite, he reminded me of someone in particular. If you ask me at the next Bouchercon, I’ll tell you who. Until then, attend a Bouchercon vicariously with Max as your guide.
Vol. 11, No. 1, Winter 1989 (very slightly revised).
Bibliographic Data: The detective who solves the case in Kill Your Darlings is “Mallory,” a former cop who became a mystery writer living in Iowa.
The Mallory series —
The Baby Blue Rip-Off. Walker, 1983.
No Cure for Death. Walker, 1983.
Kill Your Darlings. Walker, 1984.
A Shroud for Aquarius. Walker, 1985.
Nice Weekend for a Murder. Walker, 1986.