Monday, October 25, 2010


There is one name on the cover, but two people write the books! Why is it that some writing teams use both names (Barry and Pearson, Preston and Child, LaHaye and Jenkins, etc.) but others prefer to use a pseudonym which makes the author appear to be another person? To create an air of mystery, perhaps? Whatever the reasons, here are some worthwhile mysteries in the “one name on the cover” category.
Wife/Husband collaborations:
Robin Paige (Susan and Bill Albert) For this series set in Victorian England the authors conducted painstaking research to bring historical accuracy to their novels. Susan Albert, who writes three other mystery series, explained that she and Bill decided to end this series in 2006 because the research just took too much time. The first title is Death at Bishop’s Keep (1994) followed by eleven others through 2006.

Barbara Allan (Barbara and Max Allan Collins): humorous Trash ‘n’ Treasures series, starting with Antiques Roadkill (2006)

Parent/Son or Daughter collaborations:
Charles Todd (Carolyn and David Todd Watjen): two series set in post WWI Britain (Ian Rutledge, A Test of Wills; Bess Crawford, A Duty to the Dead)

P J Tracy (Patricia and Traci Lambrecht): a series about a game software company owner starting with Monkeewrench (2003)

And, of course, cousins:
Ellery Queen (Manford Lepofsky and Daniel Nathan aka Manfred B Lee and Frederic Dannay)
Ellery Queen (both the pseudonym of the authors and the name of the character created by them) was patterned after S S Van Dine’s character Philo Vance. Over the next 41 years the character evolved and the writing went through stylistic changes. The name of Ellery Queen is still synonymous with the mystery genre but is, according to Max Allan Collins, the least read of the major names in the field today.

Maryellen @ Warrenton

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