Bill Cunningham

Inspired by the popularity of a panel on Texas crime literature hosted by the Southwestern Writers Collection in 2004, editors Bill Cunningham, Steven L. Davis, and Rollo K. Newsom have compiled Lone Star Sleuths: An Anthology of Texas Crime Fiction, with thirty excerpts from the likes of Rick Riordan, David Lindsey, Mary Willis Walker, and Joe R. Lansdale.

How did the editors define “Texas” or “Texan”?

We wanted to primarily include writers who were Texans or spent significant time here and who could give the reader an awareness of the state’s enormous geographic and cultural diversity.

Is it all blood and mayhem?

No. In addition to the cops and private eyes, there’s room for amateur sleuths such as Susan Wittig Albert’s China Bayles—a Hill Country herb shop owner and part-time detective—as well as stories with chefs, librarians, and bird-watchers as protagonists.

Was there anyone you couldn’t include?

Making the selections was tough, because there were so many deserving writers. The introduction will include the Web address for a bibliography of Texas crime writing prepared by Steve and Rollo. Had we been able to feature every writer, the book would likely have been three times as long.

Does that mean we should look for volume two in the future?

I’m game if Steve and Rollo are. University of Texas Press, $24.95 ( Read the full interview .)

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