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Monday, March 08, 2004

Yet another Monday morning roundup 

I can see that the Book of the Week--since Janet Maslin's reviewing it today and Chris Lehmann gets it tomorrow, I believe--is Tom Perrotta's LITTLE CHILDREN. I read ELECTION and loved it, and JOE COLLEGE was really good as well, so I'm excited to get this book. Maslin, FWIW, thought it "poignantly funny."

What's going to be the biggest seller of 2004? More of THE DA VINCI CODE? Something we don't know about? Eh, based on the fact that the first printing is sold out three weeks before publication, it's more likely that it'll be GLORIOUS APPEARING, the 12th (and last!) book in the LEFT BEHIND SERIES.

Patrick Anderson devotes his thriller column to Daniel Silva's A DEATH IN VIENNA, the latest in a book by one of the four living writers he feels are "world-class practitioners of spy fiction." The coda rounds up the Best Novel nominees for the Edgar, and Anderson's apparent surprise (and delight) that Ken Bruen's THE GUARDS made the list. May we point out that at this point, that book seems the best bet to take home the prize as well? What exactly that means for the Edgar itself remains to be seen, of course, but on occasion, they do go out on a limb in terms of branching out beyond the more "conventional" mystery novels that often take home the big prize.

Dick Adler's column for the Chicago Tribune is mostly made up of raves; Another one for Daniel Silva, a special notice for Andrew Taylor's AN UNPARDONABLE CRIME (or THE AMERICAN BOY for those, like me, who read the UK edition) as well as for Olen Steinhauer's THE CONFESSION (and it's supposed to be a five-book series, not a trilogy) and Laurie King's THE GAME, and some good praise for Twist Phelan's legal thriller FAMILY PRAISE.

But speaking of THE GAME, Clea Simon of the Boston Globe is less enthusiastic about its merit, saying that its overall theme of Sherlock Holmes pastiche has worn out its welcome.

Judith Redding rounds up some crime fiction for the Baltimore Sun, including Rebecca Pawel's LAW OF RETURN and curiously, Jack Kerley's debut THE HUNDREDTH MAN (which Dutton bought last year for a cool $500 K) which isn't even out in stores until the 7th of June. Of course, not that there's an embargo on print reviews of the book or anything....

...not like a certain Mr. Blair, who is duly pilloried in USA TODAY. So the reviewer was predisposed to trashing the book, but to his credit, he actually does find some merit: that Blair had a story to tell, but the way he did so is not the book's strongest suit.

Rosemary Goring lets her indignance about authors and product placement get the better of her by comparing them to the wonder of Toad (in Kenneth Grahame's THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS) discovering a motor-car for the very first time.

If I grow up to be a famous writer, will my expletive-filled rants fetch a nice sum of 30 000 pounds? Of course, I'm not Ernest Hemingway (nor would I really want to be, honestly.)

Luke Sutherland's novels reflect his upbringing and isolation as a black man living in the small town of Orkney. He speaks to the Scotsman about how he channelled his childhood experiences into writing and what influence they still wield on his current work.

Dan Rhodes is interviewed at the Elegant Variation. Is he truly the "Angry Young Man" that the media makes him out to be? Find out for yourself....

And finally, Ed, I did link to the Paretsky review yesterday, but I haven't caught up with her books in the last few years. Besides, don't you have some Ian Rankin to start reading?

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