We complete our hat trick of interviews with the editorial staff of Dell's mystery magazines. Today we introduce editor Linda Landrigan.
— Robert Lopresti
Linda Landrigan is the editor-in-chief of Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine. She edited the commemorative anthology Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine Presents Fifty Years of Crime and Suspense (2006), and the e-anthology Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine Presents Thirteen Tales of New American Gothic (2012). Before assuming the role of editor of AHMM, Linda served as the associate editor of the magazine under Cathleen Jordan for five years.
- What are you reading right now?
- I’ve been reading the Ursula Le Guin’s Earthsea cycle, but I am taking a break right now to read The World of Yesterday, Stefan Zweig’s autobiography of growing up in Vienna.
- What do you do in your free time?
- I really enjoy weaving, knitting, and sewing, but I’m not very good at any one thing. I enjoy exploring my environs on my bike on nice days, too.
- Do you have any pets?
- Just a cat, Libby.
- What’s the last movie you watched?
- Black Panther.
- What TV shows do you enjoy?
- I love Vera and Shetland (Thank you, David Edgerley Gates, for turning me onto Shetland). I recently watched (and liked very much) an Icelandic series called Trapped.
- What great short story or collection have you read recently?
- I love rediscoveries. Though at this point not all that recent, Sarah Weinman’s anthology Troubled Daughters, Twisted Wives is a terrific book. It’s always fun to see what Crippen & Landru are bringing out. I’m enjoying working my way through Martin Edward’s anthology Capital Crimes: London Mysteries right now.
- Do you read any other periodicals?
- I love the New Yorker and the Atlantic Monthly, and I always read the daily newspaper. I get my ideas for what to read next from Mystery Scene (If only I read faster!).
- Have you always been a fan of mysteries?
- My mother and grandfather were big fans (and AHMM subscribers) and always trading books, and when I was eight or nine and wanted to be part of their club, my mother handed me the 87th Precinct books. Later, after college, I rediscovered mysteries starting with P.D. James’s Inspector Dalgliesh series. Ruth Rendell/Barbara Vine books were also early favorites.
- What is your personal editorial philosophy?
- I read for the melody of the prose, and am hooked by a well-drawn character. I confess a good plot is the last thing I look for when I read manuscripts. Though, if the plot is thin or poorly paced or relies on obvious tricks, I become frustrated and bored with the story.
What I like to find in a story are characters with honesty and integrity (whether or not they are good or bad at heart), who are touched in some way by the events of the story. I am turned off by affected language—straining to sound like Chandler or Hammett, for instance.
Thank you, Linda. We look forward to a never-ending supply of top grade stories. Thank you also, Janet and Jackie. Look for the women of mystery in Alfred Hitchcock and Ellery Queen Mystery Magazines.