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Saturday, December 13, 2003

Crime fiction roundup 

In what's likely to be her last column of the year, Marilyn Stasio looks at some of the latest mystery releases. She finds Jonathan Kellerman's new standalone THE CONSPIRACY CLUB to be unputdownable--even if "you hate yourself in the morning." She's pleased with Alice Blanchard's new suspense novel, finds Marshall Browne's historical thriller EYE OF THE ABYSS to be "a triumph," thinks Ed Dee is "hanging right up there with the big boys" with his new mystery THE CON MAN'S DAUGHTER, and very much enjoys Bill Kent's STREET HUNGRY. All in all, a less-than-cranky outing for Our Stasio.

Meanwhile, (Hello I'm) Maxim Jakubowski puts on his reviewing cap for the Guardian this week. He doesn't tend to pan books that make it to the column, so I'll mention that he reviews the latest releases by Alex Kava, Robert Barnard, Ken Bruen, Christopher Fowler, and adds his own rave to the many that have been showered upon Laura Lippman's EVERY SECRET THING.

Speaking of Lippman, I managed to miss this during my travels but she reviewed PD James's THE MURDER ROOM in last week's Washington Post Book World.

Mark Lawson presents a longer review--but also a rave--of Minette Walter's latest book DISORDERED MINDS. I suppose one of these days I shall have to actually try reading one of her books, but which one to start with?

Joan Smith reviews John Le Carre's already-controversial spy novel ABSOLUTE FRIENDS. Although the anti-Bush rhetoric is quite strong, the bottom line is that the novel is about--what else?--friendship.

And finally, the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association has announced the nominees for the 2004 Dilys Award, given to the book independent bookshops most enjoyed selling:

CROUCHING BUZZARD, LEAPING LOON by Donna Andrews (St. Martin's)
THE SIXTH LAMENTATION by William Broderick (Viking)
LOST IN A GOOD BOOK by Jasper Fforde (Viking)
MONKEEWRENCH by PJ Tracy (Putnam)
MAISIE DOBBS by Jacqueline Winspear (Soho)

The winner will be announced at a luncheon during the 2004 Left Coast Crime convention to be held in February in Monterey, CA. What's interesting to note is that 3 of the nominees are debuts. Congratulations to all the nominees.

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