I first became aware of Bill Crider while browsing the mystery section of a large BookStar store in Southern California, finding the cover of one of his books intriguing and buying it. I was buying a lot of books then, as I still do, and so the book didn’t get read for a while, but I really enjoyed it, and no, I don’t remember now which one it was.
Later, I came across Bill in the pages of Cap’n Bob Napier’s Mystery and Detective Monthly (MDM) and became a contributor thereto. It was his sense of humor that first struck me, and has continued to charm me since. That appreciation grew when I became a member of DAPA-Em, the mystery apa. I always looked forward to reading Bill’s ‘zine, Macavity. and seeing him at the DAPA gatherings at conventions.
I’ve read many of his Truman Smith, Carl Burns and Sheriff Dan Rhodes books, (though there are a few still left to enjoy,) but today I thought I’d talk about his Sherlock Holmes short stories.
I’ve been a fan of Sherlock Holmes since I first read the tales, and am always pleased to come across good pastiches, so I grabbed a copy of Holmes For The Holidays when I spotted it at the bookstore in November 1996. Edited by Anne Perry, it contained 14 stories by a variety of mystery writers, including Loren D. Estleman, Reginald Hill, Edward Hoch and Bill Crider. His story, “The Adventure of the Christmas Ghosts” was a favorite in the collection.
In October 1999 a second volume, More Holmes for the Holidays was published, which included another Bill Crider Holmes pastiche, “The Adventure of the Christmas Bear”, which became another favorite. As much as I’ve enjoyed Bill Crider’s novels, I’ve had a soft sport for those stories ever since. Several other Holmes stories by Bill found their way into other anthologies over the years, but they are not always easy to find.
- “Adventures of the Young British Soldier”
- “The Case of the Vanished Vampire”
- “The Adventure of the St. Marylebone Ghoul”
- The Adventure of the Christmas Bear”
- “The Adventure of the Venomous Lizard”
- “The Case of the Vampire’s Mark”
- “The Adventure in the White City”
- “The Adventures of the Christmas Ghosts”
- “Death Did Not Become Him”.
Let’s face it, Bill Crider, besides being a wonderful person, is an excellent writer, and I recommend all of his novels, whether P.I. Truman Smith, teacher Carl Burns or Sheriff Dan Rhodes or his westerns, especially Outrage at Blanco, or any others. You just can’t go wrong, reading Crider. Even better is knowing him, if you’ve been fortunate enough to. The last time I saw him, he was with Judy at the San Francisco Bouchercon. It was a treat, and is a fond memory. Bill Crider – what a guy.
Today is “Bill Crider Day” at Patti Abbott’s Friday Forgotten Books (pattinase) So be sure and check there for the many other posts about him.