Her Infinite Variety: Tales of Women and Crime
Available at: Amazon Wildside Press
After over twenty-five years of writing and publishing mystery stories, I decided it was time to put together a collection. Luckily, Wildside Press was interested, and editor Carla Coupe helped me find a focus. Her Infinite Variety: Tales of Women and Crime brings together eight stories first published in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, along with one from Woman’s World, one from Family Circle, and one from an anthology.
The first section of the collection, “The Detectives,” includes four novella-length whodunits about the female detectives at the center of two series of stories I’ve written for Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine—private detective Iphigenia Woodhouse, assisted (and sometimes impeded) by her eccentric mother, and by her often inept but always enthusiastic apprentice, Harriet Russo; and amateur sleuth Leah Abrams, who keeps stumbling across bodies as she serves as a temporary secretary at different sorts of unconventional workplaces. I hope these stories offer readers the pleasures of traditional whodunits—colorful characters to enjoy, clues to consider, puzzles to solve, plenty of humor along the way.
The second section of the collection, “Infinite Variety,” features women in many different roles. All these women first appeared in stand-alone stories—most in Hitchcock’s, a few in other places. Some of the women are detectives, but others are victims. Some are accomplices or accessories, witting or unwitting. Some inspire crimes, and some commit them. Some play more than one role in a single story. Sometimes we sympathize with these women, and sometimes they appall us. Sometimes, we may not be sure of how to feel. The women’s ages vary, and so do their professions—librarian, administrative assistant, housewife, trophy wife, personnel director, college professor. Romance is an element in some stories, but never the primary one. Always, the primary focus is on the connection between a woman and a crime.
As a writer, I’ve enjoyed the freedom these stories have given me. I’ve had fun experimenting with different sorts of mysteries—whodunits, suspense stories, psychological studies, flash fiction, novellas. And I’ve loved exploring the many entanglements of women and crime, in all their infinite variety.
These finely crafted stories have it all — psychological heft, suspense, subtle humor — and the author’s notes on each story are especially illuminating. A treat for lovers of the short story form and students of the craft of writing.
–Linda Landrigan, Editor, Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine
What a great collection of mysteries! B.K. Stevens does everything right in this book of stories: plot, characters, setting, dialogue—it all rings true. It’s easy to see why she’s considered one of the best writers in the genre.
–John Floyd, Edgar-nominated author of Clockwork and Deception
Stevens’ irresistible sparkling wit and style start on the first page and never let up!
–Kaye George, national bestselling mystery author
Published by Wildside Press, April 2016
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