I began writing about Matthew Scudder in the mid-1970s. The first novel, The Sins of the Fathers, appeared in 1975, and A Drop of the Hard Stuff—the 17th and most recent—was published in 2011. Over the years Scudder has also been featured in 11 short works of fiction; A Candle for the Bag Lady, which first appeared in AHMM in 1977, is the second of them.Out the Window and A Candle for the Bag Lady kept Scudder alive for me after Dell failed to sell the first three books effectively. There seemed little point in trying to interest another publisher in a series that had already proved unsuccessful, but I couldn't abandon Scudder, and wrote the two novelettes for magazine publication. Then I wrote the fourth novel, A Stab in the Dark, and Don Fine published it at Arbor House, and Scudder was back in business.If you catch me in a weak moment, you might persuade me to sing the title song...A Candle for the Bag Lady was briefly retitled Like a Lamb to Slaughter in order to serve as the title story of a collection; it's original was subsequently restored. It is included in The Night and the Music, my collection of all 11 Matthew Scudder short stories, available as an ebook or as a handsome trade paperback.
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