My thanks to crimeficreader for alerting me to this in an email. It seems that someone is going to be presenting a paper about A Gentle Axe to an academic conference at the University of Newcastle in April. The conference is entitled 'The Literary Art of Murder'. The particular session in which my book will be discussed is:
A) Prologue to the Present: The Powers of the Past in the British Mystery Novels of Morris, Stott, Grimes, Blyton, and Rowling (Percy G5)
• “‘Einstein’s Fabric of Spacetime: On the Edge of Coincidence in Rebecca Stott’s Ghostwalk” – Dorothy Roberts (Independent Scholar)
• “R, M, Morris’s The Gentle Ax: Dostoyevsky’s Pytor Petrovich a Century Later” – Carmen Burton (Palm Beach Community College)
• “Persistent Popularity: The Evolution of the Children’s Mystery Story from Enid Blyton to Nancy Drew to Harry Potter”– Mary Willingham (Mercer University)
• “Signs of the Times: Martha Grimes’ Detective Novels and the Connections to Historic British Pub Signs” – Sara Ann Murray (Independent Scholar)
Well, apart from the fact that I am R.N. Morris, and the detective's name is Porfiry not Pytor (and there is an 'e' on the end of Axe), I am extremely flattered to be mentioned almost in the same breath as Enid Blyton, who was the staple of my childhood reading. Just flattered to be there at all, really.
Here's the link, if you think the event might be your cup of tea. I'd love to be a fly on the wall!