This book is a must for any inveterate reader. It lists all the mystery writers, their varied pen names, the characters, book titles, films made from mystery books, and other curiously interesting bits of information. The price is daunting but is well worth it, believe me. This is one of those books that one can spend many happy hours just browsing through. The book is divided into two volumes with Volume 1 being the Author Index with 889 pages of mystery writers listed alphabetically by last name. It includes all known pseudonyms used by a particular author, along with the titles of the works, and the names of any characters created, series or one-shot. It also has the dates of publication and lists the publisher. A few examples of pseudonyms. Did you know that Stephen King also writes under the name Richard Bachman. Of course you did, everyone knows that. But did you know that Dean Koontz, popular mystery writer, also uses the names David Axton, Brian Coffey, Anthony North, Owen West, Deanna Dwyer, K.R. Dwyer, Leigh Nichols, and Richard Paige? How about Donald Westlake, author of the ever-popular 'Dortmunder' series of serio-comedic mysteries. He also uses the names Curt Clark, Tucker Coe, Timothy Culver, Samuel Holt, and Richard Stark. Lawrence Sanders sometimes uses the names Lesley Avaress or Mark Upton. John Creasey, author of the 'Toff' series, has more than a dozen different pen names he uses, and must hold some sort of record for sheer number of nom-de-plumes. Why pen names you ask? The book doesn't answer that question. In fact it doesn't even address it. This tome is strictly a presentation of facts; no long boring narratives. Who knows why an author elects to write under a different name than its own? There must be as many logical, or illogical, reasons as there are authors. Choose your own. Volume 2 is divided into seven sections, to include a Title Index (326 pages), Setting Index (98 pages), Series Index (24 Pages), Series Character Chronology (18 pages), Film Index (136 pages), Screenwriter's Index (48 pages), and Director's Index (29 pages). The Title Index is a veritable treasure trove of information to aspiring writers. It shows which titles have already been used and how often. For instance, did you know that there are five books with the title "Watchers"? Or six called "Tunnel"? There are over 2,100 that begin with the word "Murder" and 700 that begin with "Mystery". This listing alone would be worth its weight in gold to a writer struggling to find that just-so correct appropriate title. The Settings Index is another source of information to the aspiring writer. It lists the locale of all the works listed in this opus. Almost any location is listed, from cities to states to countries. For instance, did you know that there are 15 books listed as happening in Rhodesia, 4 in Monaco, and 9 pages of stories occurring in New York City! The Series Index includes the name of the character listed with its creator. Again, this is invaluable to a new author. Imagine if you will, writing the perfect mystery and sending it off to a receptive publisher only to be rudely informed by a sympathetic editor that the character's name you thought was original has been in used for over 40 years by another author. Embarrassing, to say the least! Not to mention the re-write time involved in changing all the myriad references to your not-so-original creation. The Series Character Chronology lists by year of introduction each series character along with the type of character (inspector, police, detective, priest, lawyer, doctor, etc.) country where usually located, name of the author, and the number of books this character appears in. The Film Index lists movies by title, with the title of the book origin, the author of the book, the studio name, and the year of the movie. The Screenwriter's and Director's Indexes are self-explanatory. To summarize, this book is a joy to own and to the aspiring writer, invaluable with the information that can be gleaned. It is heartily recommended and would make an excellent "special" gift at Christmastime or birthday.