Retro Reading: Murder Ink, by Dylis Wynn

Murder Ink
Dylis Wynn

Originally published in 1977, Murder Ink is subtitled “The mystery lover’s companion,” and that description is absolutely adequate, because this book is a collection of essays, reviews, trivia and tidbits all about mystery fiction. Gems include an ad-flyer for the perfect Gothic nightgown, a discussion of pen names, and even one author’s fantasy of dining with Nero Wolfe.

My experience with Murder Ink goes back to 1984. My stepfather picked up a copy on a discount table, and it quickly became mine. After all, I’m constantly reading, and I love mysteries.

Ms. Wynn compiled a revised version of Murder Ink in 1994, but I don’t have a copy of it (yet). She also released a volume called Murderess Ink that focused on women in mysteries, which I’ve read, but don’t own.

Even though the original Murder Ink is pretty dated now, I still love it, and I find myself responding to different selections at different times. For example, a recent game of CLUE made me remember the poem in Murder Ink all about the game.