Although it would be the concluding volume of the Sam Holt series, the novel THE FOURTH DIMENSION IS DEATH was originally conceived as the kickoff of another trio in the series. When the publisher’s sales team messed up and revealed Westlake as the author behind the pseudonym on publication of the first book, “Samuel Holt […]Read more "CONSIDERING WESTLAKE: THE FOURTH DIMENSION IS DEATH"
Where do I go from here? That seems to be a driving question behind some of Westlake’s novels. I wonder if that was the very thing he asked himself before sitting down to a new standalone project. It certainly fits with SACRED MONSTER, which blends a few of the themes and topics he had been […]Read more "CONSIDERING WESTLAKE: SACRED MONSTER"
Following the first three volumes of a new mystery/suspense series under the Sam Holt name, Westlake decided to try something different under his own name. He wrote a strong, sassy female tabloid reporter as the protagonist for a novel about truth, lies, and the gray spaces between in TRUST ME ON THIS. When Sara Joslyn […]Read more "CONSIDERING WESTLAKE: TRUST ME ON THIS"
Hot on the heels of the first two volumes in Donald E. Westlake’s Sam Holt series comes the third work, a mystery that plays with the sorts of expectations readers might have for cozy mysteries, those that bring an amateur sleuth to a remote locale and then poses seemingly impossible crimes for them to solve […]Read more "CONSIDERING WESTLAKE: WHAT I TELL YOU THREE TIMES IS FALSE"
According to the introduction for the Felony & Mayhem editions of this series, Westlake took a page from John D. MacDonald when sitting down to write his Sam Holt series. I knew that John D. MacDonald, when he started Travis McGee, wrote the first three books simultaneously, because it was his first attempt at a […]Read more "CONSIDERING WESTLAKE: I KNOW A TRICK WORTH TWO OF THAT"
After a career spent successfully balancing works published under his own name and those published under pseudonym, Westlake found his next series work hampered by a miscommunication with (if not skulduggery from) his publisher. He wanted his new “detective” series to go out under a pseudonym, and although the name on the covers was indeed […]Read more "CONSIDERING WESTLAKE: ONE OF US IS WRONG"
For the sixth novel in the Dortmunder series, Donald E. Westlake invokes a couple of elements from his epic novels (KAHAWA and HIGH ADVENTURE), particularly in the involvement of a late appearing group of soldiers that was only hinted at prior to its appearance, some religious-tenet wrastling from his comic novel, BROTHERS KEEPERS, and then […]Read more "CONSIDERING WESTLAKE: GOOD BEHAVIOR"