Roscoe Kane is one of the last—and, in Mallory’s opinion, best—of the old-school mystery writers. Back in the day, he turned out crime thrillers filled with babes, bullets, and tough-guy banter. But today Kane is filled with bitterness over the nosedive his career took after he sued a publisher. For Mallory, who learned his craft at Kane’s knee, it’s tough watching his literary hero drown his sorrows in booze—but it’s a million times tougher finding the old master drowned in a hotel bathtub.
Some call it ironic that Kane meets his end in the middle of Bouchercon, the famed convention that’s a mecca for mystery writers. The Chicago coroner calls it a drunken mishap. But Mallory spies treachery mingled with the tragedy.
Just like a classic whodunit, there’s a gallery full of suspects—from a scorned ex-wife and an ostracized gay son to an underhanded publisher and a roster of rival writers with axes to grind. Throw in a knockout dame who gives Mallory a private eyeful, an alluring widow who’s not too sad to be seductive, and a clutch of thugs who let their knuckles do the talking, and Mallory has his hands full finding justice for his hero.
The MYSTERY FANcier: "enormously enjoyable"
Bookgasm: "a love letter not only to the genre, but its readers….Any longtime mystery fan should be on the lookout for this one."
Criminal Brief: "I enjoyed [Kill Your Darlings] thoroughly and found it unique in several respects."
1984 Walker and Co Hardcover
1988 Tor Paperback