I was delighted to learn recently of the publication of Mysteries Unlocked: Essays in Honor of Douglas G. Greene, edited by Curtis Evans. It collects 24 original essays (and reprints two classics) in honor of the 70th birthday of mystery scholar and publisher Doug Greene.
A retired professor of history at Old Dominion University, Doug is a great scholar of the genre and the founder and publisher of Crippen & Landru. So far, I have only dipped into this fascinating festschrift, but I have already enjoyed reading about Doug’s passion for John Dickson Carr (whose biography he wrote), the numerous volumes he has edited, and the many friends and colleagues he has assisted with his incredible knowledge of the field. In particular, Doug hasbeen a tireless and effective advocate for the mystery short story; Crippen & Landru specializes in story collections, and its Lost Classics series has returned many deserving but forgotten authors to print.
In person, Doug is as genial and generous as he is learned, and he has been a dear friend to me and Janet Hutchings at EQMM. Over the years he’s offered invaluable assistance to me with AHMM’s own Mystery Classic feature. As Michael Dirda, one of the contributors to this volume says, “[Doug Greene] is one of those key figures that emerge periodically in genre literature.”
Other contributors include John Curran, Steve Steinbock, Peter Lovesy, and more. If you love Golden Age detective fiction, this is a book for you. If you enjoy reading essays by people writing about literature they love, this is a book for you.
Mysteries Unlocked was a brilliant way to say Happy Birthday to a friend.