Mar 20, 2023

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During the outbreak of Covid in 2019, the author temporarily suspended producing more radio mysteries in favor of penning a trio of Parker Robinson mystery novels.

Commenting, Oney explains: “I have always felt that it was useful for a writer, when starting out, to try to present himself with a challenge in order to spur his creativity to greater heights.  (Shakespeare was known for doing this.  For an example, check out Richard the III,  Act One, scene 2)   I was also aware that author, James M. Cain, is often credited with having written the finest back-to-back, noir-style mysteries with his The Postman Always Rings Twice (1934), followed by Double Indemnity (1936).  I felt that the basic storylines I had come up with for Stalking Bulls and Stalking Lions were sufficiently good, and had sufficient potential, that I might be able to duplicate what Cain had done, not with a pair of noir-style mysteries, but with a brace of fresh, youthful, amateur-detective-style mysteries.

Then, while finishing the first two, I had another

inspiration for a third Parker Robinson mystery, Stalking Chickens. Now, however, raising the project from two books to three, required me to reconfigure my personal challenge.  Therefore, I made the switch ––not by trying to duplicate what Cain had done–– but by trying to match what Carolyn Keene had achieved when she authored the first three Nancy Drew mysteries: The Secret of the Old Clock (1930), The Hidden Staircase (1930) and The Bungalow Mystery (1930).  (The best of the lot, in my opinion.)

The lucky addition of the third Parker Robinson mystery showing up was fortuitous in that it allowed for a satisfying overall arc to the three stories ––that not only adds to the richness of the first two–– but also gives rise to that familiar poignancy and regret that normally follows when the reader is  forced to say goodbye to likable characters they’ve grown to have real affection for.

Steven Thomas Oney

Cape Cod


Additional information

Dimensions 6.78 × 4.25 × 2.35 in

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