Friday, April 19, 2013

Comeback: Coachwhip Will Publish a New Edition of Kirke Mechem's A Frame for Murder (1936)

As readers of this blog probably know, I have been working with publisher Coachwhip on the project of republishing all nine of the detective novels of Todd Downing, as well as publishing my newest book, Clues and Corpses: The Detective Fiction and Mystery Criticism of Todd Downing (see here).

I can now say that Coachwhip will republish Kansan Kirke Field Mechem's A Frame for Murder.  This will be the first edition of this novel in seventy-seven years.

the original hardcover edition by Doubleday, Doran's Crime Club

I have just completed an introduction of over 5000 words for this new edition of the novel, which will be retitled The Strawstack Murder Case.  This was Mechem's own title for the book (Doubleday, Doran changed the title to A Frame for Murder, thinking, as one of Mechem's sons, the composer Kirke Lewis Mechem, has recalled to me, that "strawstacks wouldn't sell books").

For my original blog review of this novel, please see here.

I am very pleased to have helped get this worthy Golden Age detective novel, the sole mystery by a notable Kansas writer, back in print.  I will keep you posted on what the new edition will look like and when it will hit the press.

Also Golden Age detective novels by two women authors will be reprinted by Coachwhip this year as well.  Stay tuned!


  1. Bravo, Curt - and a double bravo to Coachwhip for their willingness to bring these mysteries back.

  2. Thanks Les, very much. Kudos from me too to Coachwhip and those like Coachwhip, the intrepid small presses who boldly go where the big boys and girls won't dare go anymore!

  3. "Strawstack" will be very timely as the city is still talking about the success of the Wichita State "Shockers" basketball team in the NCAA Tournament.