At the same time as I was beginning my career as a writer about car racing, Formula One being the main emphasis, I was also establishing a career as a writer about the French crime novel. Because I myself had written several published crime stories and several unpublished, but agented, crime novels, I grew tired of this not-well-paid area of meta-writing that, while it was vastly interesting, was also vastly frustrating. I was a published crime fiction writer, and I had begun to establish myself as crime fiction writing journalist…but who was not considered by the writers themselves as a writer.
The auto racing writing was more attractive in that I could never, ever claim to be a car racer, but I had a subject to write about that involved amazing human endeavor, and therefore, made for interesting material. So it was that I stopped writing about crime fiction. But by the time I stopped, I had amassed a fair sized trove of journalism, especially about the French crime novel.
This story that I am posting today in Blog Articles as Opposed to Posts, was the highest point of the whole period, probably, and covered a massive swathe of French crime writing of final quarter of the 20th Century. Many of the people are still around or still read. The story, one of the best surveys of the French crime novel written in English, appeared in print in The Armchair Detective, in 1997. Check it out.