This time Max talks to Jacqueline Freimore, the Black Orchid winning writer of one the darkest stories in the collection, and somehow has one of the most joyful conversations. We talk about the fun of writing a "deranged" short story, and how ordinary life details can make fiction seem real. Plus Jacqueline gives us the early scoop on her upcoming novel, and recommends some mysteries that Max doesn't know. Listen here!
Jacqueline Freimore recommended her friend, the Anthony and Shamus award-winning mystery writer S. J. Rozan. (I think she also won the Edgar? Jacqueline described her as having won "all the awards" which probably isn't far off the mark.)
Rozan writes in a series, and you'll want to start with China Trade -- a gritty but very well painted mystery in Chinatown. It's conveniently available on Hoopla as audiobook. Give it a listen!
As an influence, Jacqueline cited giant of the genre Ruth Rendell who wrote the Inspector Wexford classic police procedurals. (And if you've already read your Rendell's, you might try Sally Spencer.)
Finally, Jacqueline recommended Janice Hallet -- particularly her 2021 book, the Twyford Code. This one is a a "fiendishly clever" puzzle box of a mystery (or so says The Guardian) and should be a homerun for any amateur codebreakers.