Night of the Punter is no longer being called Night of the Punter. The new title is Hangman’s Game. The reason behind the name change, in short, is: The old title was deemed to be too punny. Punny titles are apparently the domain of what are known as “cozy” mysteries, whereas this book is more of a medium boil.
(An aside: I was not familiar with the term cozy mysteries before this process. I looked it up and was surprised to see that Hangman’s Game in fact does have much in common with the cozy subgenre. In cozies, for example, the detective is usually not a traditional investigator, but a regular person such as my punter-hero Nick Gallow. The cozies also usually explore a specific world, as I do with football. The violence in cozies is minimal. I have one—ok, two—genuinely violent scenes, but that aspect is soft-peddled more than in most mysteries and thrillers I’ve read. In summation, I am more cozy than I thought.)
But anyway, Hangman’s Game. While the change did involve killing the proverbial darling, I do like the new title. My main character Nick Gallow’s nickname is Hangman, is the short explanation for where it comes from. I also like its echo to Ripleys Game, by Patricia Highsmith, whose books I adore. Hangman’s Game — onwards and upwards!