Friday, June 06, 2008

Clues moves to McFarland.

Clues: A Journal of Detection, the only U.S. academic journal on detective/mystery fiction (I am its managing editor), has moved to McFarland & Co. in Jefferson, North Carolina. Heldref Publications, the former owner, sold it as part of a general restructuring effort.

Clues is a good match for McFarland, which has a strong popular culture line, including mystery reference works (I am editing a new series, the McFarland Companions to Mystery Fiction, for the publisher). In addition, McFarland's existing relationships with distributors such as Ingram and Baker & Taylor should facilitate the ordering of Clues for bookstores, libraries, and others. Online access to individual articles and entire issues via Metapress will continue (Clues is indexed in the MLA International Bibliography and by the Crime Fiction Canada Web site).

The editorial team for Clues remains in place, with the additions of assistant editor Vassilena Parashkevova (London South Bank University, UK) and book review editor Jim Mancall (Harvard University); Clues reviews nonfiction mystery materials and those that would be useful in the classroom. Executive editor Margaret Kinsman (London South Bank University, UK) and I are busy with upcoming issues. The first issue from McFarland (vol. 26, no. 1) is part 2 of an issue on Victorian crime fiction, guest edited by Janice M. Allan (University of Salford, UK) and featuring articles on British-born but New Zealand-raised novelist Fergus Hume; British writers Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Edward Bulwer Lytton, Arthur Conan Doyle, and Catherine Louisa Pirkis; and American author Harriet Prescott Spofford. It will be followed by an issue on Scottish crime fiction, guest edited by Gill Plain (University of St. Andrews, UK). We have just issued a call for papers for a theme issue on Chester Himes and his legacy, guest edited by Norlisha Crawford (University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh).

In addition: A gallery of Clues covers has been posted, and, thanks to the efforts of a small army of enthusiastic volunteers, article abstracts for the first 22 volumes of Clues are now online. The abstracts are highly educational: Where else could one learn that author-screenwriter Horace McCoy (They Shoot Horses, Don't They?) also wrote a gangster novel?

Margaret, the Clues editorial board, and I hope the mystery community will continue to support Clues as a vital avenue of information and scholarship on mystery fiction.

About the cover: Neve McIntosh as Lucy, Lady Audley, and Stephen Macintosh as Robert Audley in Mary Elizabeth Braddon's Lady Audley's Secret, broadcast on PBS's Mystery! in 2000. Image courtesy of WGBH, Boston.

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