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News Release — Februrary 13, 2008

Lone Star Sleuths

Southwestern Writers Collection Celebrates New Anthology

SAN MARCOS, Texas — On Saturday, February 23, from 2:00 to 5:00 pm, the Wittliff Collections at the Alkek Library, Texas State University-San Marcos, will host an afternoon celebrating Lone Star Sleuths, the new Texas crime fiction anthology in the Southwestern Writers Collection Book Series with the University of Texas Press.

Fifteen of the contributing mystery writers and the three editors—Bill Cunningham, Steven L. Davis, and Rollo K. Newsom—will talk with guests and sign books. Jesse Sublett and Kasey Lansdale will perform acoustic noir songs.

Scheduled authors include: Susan Wittig Albert, Neal Barrett, Jr., Paula Boyd, Susan Rogers Cooper, Bill Crider, A.W. Gray, Rolando Hinojosa, Joe R. Lansdale, David Lindsey, Ben Rehder, Rick Riordan, Jim Sanderson, Jesse Sublett, Doug J. Swanson, and Mary Willis Walker. Several of these authors have archives housed at the Southwestern Writers Collection, including Lansdale, Riordan, Sublett, and Wittig Albert, who co-edited the recent SWWC anthology What Wildness Is This.

Catered refreshments will be served, and the anthology, as well as books by all attending authors, will be for sale. This event is free and open to the public. Those attending are kindly asked to RSVP to or (512) 245-2313.

The Southwestern Writers Collection at the Wittliff Collections is located on the seventh floor of the Alkek Library, Texas State University-San Marcos.


“An overdue showcase for serious, clever, sometimes rambunctious talent who fracture clichés and face up to the state’s dirty laundry.... The editors’ choices largely reflect a real, not formulaic, Texas: its history, hazards, topography and weather.”
—Jane Sumner, The Dallas Morning News

“If squinting survivors straggling across the Lone Star state years after some manmade apocalypse wanted to learn about the Texans that came before, they would be fortunate to stumble upon Lone Star Sleuths.”
—Stayton Bonner, The Texas Observer

Texas has always staked a large claim on the nation’s imagination, and its mystery literature is no exception. Hundreds of crime novels are set within the state, most of which have been published in the last twenty years. The first book to emphasize the wealth of Texas’s mystery writers and the images they convey of the state’s wide range of regions and cultures, Lone Star Sleuths is a noteworthy introduction not only to the literary genre but also to a sense of Texas as a place in fiction.

Inspired by a popular exhibit at the Southwestern Writers Collection, Lone Star Sleuths takes readers on a guided tour of Texas as seen through the eyes of 30 leading mystery writers. Emphasizing the state’s extraordinary variety of regions, people, and geography, the anthology ranges from the Guadalupe Mountains in West Texas to the Piney Woods of East Texas, from the High Plains of the Panhandle to the subtropical climate of the lower Rio Grande Valley.

Celebrating a genre that has expanded to include women and an increasing diversity of cultures, the anthology features selections from the work of such luminaries as Kinky Friedman and Mary Willis Walker, as well as lesser-known stars in the making, and even some outsiders like Nevada Barr and Carolyn Hart who have succumbed to the allure of the state's weather, landscape, and colorful history.

Lone Star Sleuths captures the sense of place that distinguishes much of the great literature set in Texas, and is a must-read for mystery lovers.

For a bibliography (pdf) of Texas mystery fiction compiled by the editors, click here.


Bill Cunningham is a San Marcos, Texas, public relations consultant and former Chairman of the Texas State University System Board of Regents.

Steven L. Davis is the Assistant Curator of the Southwestern Writers Collection at The Wittliff Collections, Texas State University-San Marcos.

Rollo K. Newsom is Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Folklore Emeritus at Texas State University-San Marcos.