Saturday, October 11, 2003

Echoes of the Central Park Jogger 

Four boys between the ages of 11 and 13 were charged yesterday in the death of Jake Grant, the first of five boys to disappear from the Bahamas. Since the family of one of the children is already alleging that police are using coercion techniques to force confessions, I don't have a good feeling about this at all. It may just be easier to theorize that fellow classmates of the boys did this than acknowledge that a serial killer is on the loose.

News, reviews, etc.  

Lots of cranky people at the Guardian's Book review today. Joan Smith is disappointed with Ruth Rendell's latest book, THE ROTTWEILER. Carrie O'Grady isn't thrilled by Michael Collins' new book LOST SOULS (which got a much more positive review in yesterday's Independent.) There are some fair criticisms, and the book does sometimes skate the thin line between melodrama and good drama, but Collins, the Booker-shortlisted author of THE KEEPERS OF TRUTH, has really been able to do what many authors simply cannot do--write a literary novel that keeps to the constraint of crime fiction while breaking those constraints at the same time. For that, and for his sheer strength of prose, he's fast becoming a favorite of mine.

More Guardian stuff: an in-depth look at THE CRIMSON PETAL AND THE WHITE, Natasha Walter pokes some holes in Germaine Greer's new attempt to shock, and Chris Petit is back to panning thrillers as he is wont to do.

And from the Globe and Mail, it's Margaret Cannon's crime column, including raves for James Lee Burke, Carol O'Connell, and Karin Slaughter.

Amanda Cross dies 

Carolyn Heilbrun, a feminist scholar who wrote many novels under the pseudonym Amanda Cross, died at the age of 77. According to her son, Heilbrun committed suicide although she had not been ill. "She wanted to control her destiny," he said, "and she felt her life was a journey that had concluded."

A very sad loss indeed.

EDIT: To the surprise of no one, the New York Post and the Daily News provide more details on Heilbrun's demise.

Friday, October 10, 2003

When websites attack 

Zane Radcliffe is the author of two bestselling comic novels in the UK, LONDON IRISH and BIG JESSIE. I thought the former had a lot of promise, and Jen tells me the second is even better. He doesn't have an official website, so this will have to do for now.

Some writers still have to deal with the specter of their earlier careers. Mark Billingham used to have a website devoted to his other career as a stand-up comedian. Unfortunately, he took it down when the crime novels started making the (London) Times Bestseller List, and this interview is all that's left. However, many moons ago Mark was known to British children (nearly) everywhere as Gary on Maid Marian and her Merry Men. That site's owner conducted an interview with Mr Billingham that, shall we say, is somewhat different than most author interviews....

Novelist guilty of murder 

Michael Peterson, author of several political thrillers, was just found guilty of first degree murder in the death of his wife, Kathleen. "Judge Orlando Hudson immediately imposed a mandatory verdict of life in prison."

Wow. I, like many other people, thought he would walk. The case was rather circumstantial and the prosecution did not have its finest hour in presenting the case.

Booksense 76 Fall Mystery Picks 

They've just been posted. (Link from Publisher's Lunch.)

I'm very glad to see that David Bowker's selling really well in the independent shops. I read the UK edition (the title over there is RAWHEAD) earlier this summer and I loved it. Not only does it send up publishing, the writing process, and has a huge dose of black comedy, it's quite, quite twisted. The things friends will do for each other while quoting from M.R. James and Sheridan LeFanu.

Dan Fesperman, who I seem to talk about here as much as I do about her (What is it about Baltimore journalist types?) is also on the list, and deservedly so. Do I need to say again how wonderful this book is? How if you're not reading it, you are seriously missing out? I thought not.

Interviews and columns 

My friend Jon Jordan has been interviewing authors for several years now. After the hundredth or so, he decided to collect some of the best together as his new book INTERROGATIONS. His latest author interviews are with Irish newcomer Declan Burke, First Novel Edgar award winner Jonathon King, and Peter Straub.

Meanwhile, his sister and fellow snarky child Jennifer has a couple of new pieces up.

Michiko, Michiko, Michiko! 

Well, if the NY Times Book Review was like the Brady Bunch, I could sort of see Janet mutter something like this every so often....but anyway, Ms. Kakutani, unsurprisingly, doesn't like Barry Levinson's new novel very much.

New York Times Bestseller List, October 19 

It actually went up yesterday, but what the hell, it's still early.

Mitch Albom retains the #1 spot. Obviously the reading public doesn't care if the Freep review was killed, that the editor justified this without really doing so, and that has only poured gasoline on a gaping wound.

Highest debut is David Baldacci's new book SPLIT SECOND, arriving at #2. See, this is a book he actually wrote himself, unlike this one. And although Otto Penzler is now 2.8 million dollars richer, I'm kind of sorry the anthology series won't continue.

Then it's Grisham, Dan Brown, Nicholas Sparks. Next.

And that next newbie is Richard Paul Evans at #6, It's about a newly successful author who experiences an awakening or something like that. Which is that his promotional budget is nil, his publisher hates him, and the contract's going to be dropped after the second book. So what else is new?

Diana Gabaldon's latest book is also a new entry at #9. A lot of fans were really pissed that it's not a continuation of the Jamie & Claire extravaganza, but come on, this series is getting to be as unwieldy and ridiculous as Robert Jordan's. And LORD JOHN AND THE PRIVATE MATTER is way shorter.

A couple more mystery debuts: Robert Parker's new Jesse Stone is at number 11, followed immediately by Fredrick Forsyth's (you know, that DAY OF THE JACKAL guy) latest. Forsyth hasn't written a book in a while, however Parker should have another Spenser novel out in about a nanosecond.

Sara Paretsky starts at #14 with her latest V.I. Warshawski novel. I've been told it's good but my Paretsky-reading days seem firmly attached to my adolescence, and frankly I'm not much of a fan for revisiting my high school days. Meanwhile, James Lee Burke still hangs in the main list at #15, and rounding things out is Steve Martin's ode to OCD, THE PLEASURE OF MY COMPANY.

Looking at the extended, I think the new David Guterson book is a debut entry at #21. Other than that I don't have too much to say except that isn't it time to retire the DUNE ghost already?

Thursday, October 09, 2003

Peter Straub's new strategy 

PW has a long feature on Peter Straub, whose new novel lost boy lost girl was released this week. The recurring theme is that it seems to be vitally important for a writer to produce a book a year these days. That's the party line espoused by Straub's publisher at Random House, Gina Centrello: "A commercial writer needs to write a book a year. Or consumers find somebody else to read. So he'll write a shorter book. Nothing was lost. The book needed this length. It's tight and it's smart. I wouldn't have wanted to see it much longer than that."

I'm not sure I agree with this. If a book is good--or perceived to be that it merits word of mouth or a massive publicity campaign--then no matter what the time lag since the last one, it's going to find an audience. Look at Dan Brown. THE DA VINCI CODE is the biggest selling book of 2003, and his previous book had come out 3 years prior and sold bupkes at the time. There's no word when his next novel will be out, but you think he's under as much pressure to produce a novel a year? Look at Dennis Lehane, who because he turned in his 4th Kenzie/Gennaro novel, GONE, BABY GONE, so late, had to "crank out" the next one (PRAYERS FOR RAIN) in a matter of months in order to keep the book-a-year deadline. Now he writes a book every two years at most and has far more success than he ever did. I worry for writers like Stephen Booth whose books get longer and more complicated with each installment, whose time is increasingly constrained by promotional obligations on both sides of the Atlantic, and are still required to crank out a book a year (in Booth's case, he just signed a contract for 3 more books in his highly acclaimed Cooper & Fry series to be released in the next 3 years.) Is this really healthy?

Not that I advocate an author taking all the time in the world to finish his or her book. It took ten years for Donna Tartt's THE LITTLE FRIEND to see publication and was it ever apparent as the book suffered mightly from the author's infatuation with her own words at the expense of a coherent plot. Deadlines and editors are a wonderful thing. However, there has to be some kind of balance. Or perhaps I'm just a naif.

More proof that in the end, it's all about.... 

...the book deal: (link from MobyLives)

Former Ambassador Joseph Wilson is writing a memoir about his diplomatic career and the leak that exposed his wife as a CIA agent and led to a major investigation.

Carroll & Graf Publishers, which announced the deal Wednesday, would not say what Wilson would be paid for "The Politics of Truth," due on bookshelves next spring.

"We made an offer, and he was happy with that," spokeswoman Karen Auerbach said.

And they got 2 million dollars for this, too 

To commemorate the start of the Ottawa Senators' new hockey season, their new owner, Eugene Melnyk, held a private concert at the Corel Centre. Now tell me, if you're going to hold a concert for 16,500 of your closest friends (and when they are shelling out that kind of money, season ticket holders count as such) would you really get as your star attraction.....the Eagles?

I bet Britney would have settled for a mil. Shania might have played hardball though.

You may regret it, we sure don't 

Kendel Erlich, the wife of Maryland's Governor Robert Erlich, made an offhand comment that she wanted to shoot Britney Spears. Some people kinda got upset about the remark so she backed off, saying she was "just joking."

Meanwhile, PopBitch reports that Ms. Spears might be having some tough times as her album's purported to suck. (link from Gawker.)

Memo to TMFTML 

In two parts:

1. You don't have to feel bad about not caring much about the new Eastwood movie. But feel as much guilt as necessary for not reading the book it's based on. And while we have your attention, we think you also might want to pick up his and her books too. Just to start....

2. Free drinks we may not be able to supply in much demand to learn your true (or perceived true) identity. Free books, on the other hand, is a distinct possibility.

The morning roundup 

Due to an unexpected development involving local anesthetic and hospitals, posting will be rather light today.

Tim Krabbe is interviewed in the Guardian. He's the Dutch author of the just-translated THE VANISHING, which may sound familiar as it was the basis for two movies. I must admit that the book was out before I left England and I'm kind of kicking myself that I didn't pick it up......

Cieran Carson is the winner of the Forward Prize, the UK's biggest annual poetry award.

From the NY Times,Janet Maslin reviews Steve Martin's THE PLEASURE OF MY COMPANY, while Readerville is featured (last link from Maud. )

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

The Governator's next project 

And no, I don't mean taking up residence in Sacramento. Because in the wonderful world of movie-land, it takes a while for movies to move from filming to post-production to release, which means that we'll be seeing the governor-elect make a cameo appearance in next year's remake of Around the World in 80 Days (featuring Jackie Chan as Passepartout.)

Of course the way things are going, Arnold might be out of the governor's office before the movie, slated to be released in April, appears in theaters near you.

Analyzing the Dagger Nominees 

I have returned from my morning activities (involving electromagnetic stimulation, poking, prodding, and coffee. I leave the rest to your imagination.) And as promised, will now take a look at the Dagger Award nominees and offer a preliminary prediction or two.

The Gold and Silver Daggers for Fiction

These are the flagship awards without a doubt. The last two years, however, the Gold Dagger winners were greeted with a tremendous amount of controversy because they were written in languages other than English and then translated. Those who grumbled wondered why the CWA--purportedly giving awards to the best in British Crime Fiction--were rewarding authors who, well, weren't writing in English. And how does one know if the translated version is the author's true voice? What book are readers actually getting?

Well, based on this year's shortlist, the "problem", if you will, isn't going away anytime soon, since 1/3 of the nominees are crime novels in translation. As I said earlier today, though, I liked the Akunin and Lucarelli novels very much, and don't have any problems with them being on the shortlist.

The other interesting thing about the shortlist is that only one US author appears on the list, Robert Littell. Last year, James Crumley took home the Silver Dagger, and James Lee Burke and Michael Connelly were nominated as well. So what happened this year? Was it a concerted effort on the part of the committee to keep things closer to home? Was it simply a matter of taste? Hard to say, of course, but it's something to note.

Anyway, the bottom line is that if a translated novel wins for the third year in a row, I expect things to go beyond mere griping and perhaps lead to some changes in how the shortlist is created. That being said...I rather think that will happen. Although the early favorites are Robert Wilson and Minette Walters, I have a sneaking suspicion one, or both, may end up empty-handed.

The Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction

True Crime is a genre that has fallen off considerably, and especially so in the UK. The only book on the list I have even remotely heard of is Erik Larson's THE DEVIL AND THE WHITE CITY, and it's easy to pick that as the favorite. So I'll say that it doesn't have a chance in hell.

The John Creasey Memorial Dagger

There simply should have been more nominees. For one thing, the Steel Dagger contains two debuts, the Historical Dagger has three and only one out of all of these--DISSOLUTION--appears on the Creasey list. Is there some rule against serious award overlap? I'm really shaking my head here. Aside from debuts from Chris Simms, Edward Wright and Babs Horton that I mentioned earlier today, Edwin Thomas's THE BLIGHTED CLIFFS was great fun. Erin Hart's HAUNTED GROUND was a wonderfully written book, one I expect will be on a fair number of US award shortlists next year. Surely the committee could have found a couple of other books worth nominating.

As for a prediction, it's probably CJ Sansom's award to lose. This book has had a tremendous buzz going for it for a while now, well before it was published in the spring. But my vote goes to William Landay. And as for Rod Duncan, it's a nice gesture to put him on the list, but he's a serious longshot to take it.

I don't have a lot to say about the Short Story Dagger except that Marion Arnott is a perennial staple and likely has a good chance to win.

The Ian Fleming Steel Dagger

This award was created out of wholesale cloth last year to highlight the best thriller. Last year's winner--John Creed's THE SIRIUS CROSSING-- was a bit of a surprise, but only to those who hadn't read it. Creed is the pseudonym of acclaimed Irish author Eoin McNamee, author of RESURRECTION MAN, THE BLUE TANGO and probably amongst my all-time favorite writers. Anyway, the shortlist was filled with big names and interesting digressions, and the current list is no different. Littell repeats his nomination here, but the biggest name on the list is Lee Child for his latest Jack Reacher novel, PERSUADER. Curiously, Dan Fesperman's THE SMALL BOAT OF GREAT SORROWS appears here when it seems--at least to me--far more suited for inclusion amongst the main list. The two debuts--Roger Jon Ellory's CANDLEMOTH and Lucretia Grindle's THE NIGHTSPINNERS--are interesting choices but likely not going to factor in the final vote.

The winner? I could see it going to PERSUADER, but my feeling is that something more espionage-y will take it. I don't expect Robert Littell to win the Gold Dagger so he might win this instead as a consolation prize.

The Ellis Peters Historical Dagger

Mike Stotter's prediction is Andrew Taylor's THE AMERICAN BOY, and to be honest, I can't really argue. I haven't read it yet but since I like historical thrillers that I can sink my teeth into, this should fit the bill quite nicely. That being said, the shortlist appears to be very strong. Tom Bradby's THE WHITE RUSSIAN really captured the flavor of Revolutionary Russia juxtaposed against a not-so-simple case of murder. I've already discussed DISSOLUTION, and Olen Steinhauer and Lee Jackson's books have had favorable reviews and press. But like the Steel, I don't really expect a first time novelist to win here, and same applies for Marcello Fois's book--yet another book in translation (one that, incidentally, I never finished.) So the race is between Bradby and Taylor, and think I'll go with the latter choice as well.

So there you have it. The results will be announced at a luncheon at the Brewery, Chiswell Street, London on Thursday 13 November. No doubt some will be happy, others far less so. But after all, if there was a consensus on award-giving, what's fun about that?

Bookslut for Hire 

According to Jessa, the Chicago Tribune claims that newspapers and magazines are looking for new writers by trawling through their blogs. I'll throw my hat in the ring as well: granted, my blog's less than a week old, but since ....various people have been kind enough to link here already, I know it's getting an audience....

Then there's this little gem.... 

So in my excitement at reporting on the Isabel Rose deal, I totally missed out on this (thanks to Old Hag):

"Tamara Faith Berger's second novel THE WAY OF THE WHORE, a literary sexually charged erotic portrait of an introverted Jewish girl who becomes seduced by the sex industry and her tormented relationship with a man who believes he can save prostitutes by marrying them, to Ed Sluga at Gutter Press, by Sam Hiyate at The Lavin Agency (Canada)."

You know, if I want this story, I could always get Annie Sprinkle's take on things.

An Open Letter to California 

The big story is the recall. Frankly, I don't have much to say on it that others can't say better. But I must admit, this made me crack up.

Eccentric Seattle 

January Magazine crime fiction guru (and my long-suffering editor) J. Kingston Pierce has a new book coming out. January has the excerpt.

The rest of the Daggers 

It's going to be a light posting day but believe me, I will have more comments on the full Dagger list later. For now, I comment on the Gold Dagger (Best novel) and the Creasey (best First Novel)

Boris Akunin - The Winter Queen - Weidenfeld & Nicholson
Morag Joss - Half Broken Things - Hodder & Stoughton
Robert Littell - The Company - Macmillan
Carlo Lucarelli - Almost Blue - Harvill
Minette Walters - Fox Evil - Macmillan
Robert Wilson - The Blind Man Of Seville - HarperCollins

--This is NOT the list I would have picked, but I also happen to know the overall tastes of the committee which is, shall I say, rather old-fashioned. I liked the lotAkunin book quite a lot, as well as the Lucarelli, which I read right before I left London. And all the rest have gotten great reviews so....why am I underwhelmed? Maybe it's just because I woke up.

Now the Creasey, this gets me upset:

Rod Duncan - Backlash - Pocketbooks
William Landay - Mission Flats - Bantam
CJ Sansom - Dissolution - Macmillan

How the HELL were only three books picked?! And of that, one of them is US only. Now don't get me wrong, I think MISSION FLATS should be on every debut awards list. DISSOLUTION came highly recommended to me (I promise I will get to it after a false start) and the Rod Duncan has been getting good reviews but....but....what about Chris Simms' OUTSIDE THE WHITE LINES? Edward Wright's CLEA'S MOON? Babs Horton's A JARFUL OF ANGELS? Granted, a lot of the excellent debut novels I have read a) are US only b) are not actually released in the UK but come on, it couldn't have been that hard to come up with a fuller shortlist.

(Thanks to Mike Stotter for tipping me to the full list. He thinks Wilson will win the Gold Dagger and Walters will get the silver.....)

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Summer Camp Memoirs 

Publishers Lunch's weekly roundup of deals finally showed up in my mailbox. More comments later--tomorrow, probably--but this one, which I'd actually heard about a few days ago, caught my eye:

"Isabel Rose's THE J.A.P. CHRONICLES, about six women who met as girls at an elite Jewish summer camp, called a "fusion of Candace Bushnell and Jane Austen," to Deb Futter at Doubleday (with the paperback for Broadway), in a major deal, in a pre-empt, by Sally Wofford-Girand (NA). Film rights are with Liz Zeimska at UTA."

Oh god, where to begin. Well, for one thing, I didn't know that either Candace
or Ms. Austen were MOT....

Secondly, as someone who went to a far-from-elite Jewish summer camp at age eleven (and one even further down the totem pole the next two summers), I believe I am fully equipped to explain what this book will likely contain:

1. Campers eating "kosher-style" food*
2. A torrid scene around the campfire as the young campers listen with rapt attention to the sexual experiences of their older, far more wordly camp counsellor (who, remember, is probably only about 3 or 4 years older than the campers and likely hasn't done very much, in hindsight)
3. Lots of groaning about the upcoming canoe trip--which said campers never actually go on
4. Girls and boys "dating" each other after a furtive handholding session--or if the boys are lucky, french-kissing said girl and maybe, just maybe, getting to grope her breasts
5. Campers woken up in the middle of the night to engage in some reenactment of Pioneers' stealth entry into Palestine, and having to wash out all sorts of guck from their hair a few hours later
6. Eating far too many peanut butter sandwiches and hoping nobody got an allergic reaction
7. Parents showing up on Visiting Day to see their kids for the first time in weeks--while the kids just roll their eyes and hope Mommy and Daddy go away already

All this, of course, set against a backdrop of a sparkling lake, state-of-the-art equipment, horses, and a tennis court.

Look for this six-figure-winning prize on bookshelves next year.

(*I ate the real stuff. The camps I went to were too uncool to deviate from actual kashrut.)

So much for singing soprano 

A fake doctor is charged with performing a castration procedure on a transgendered individual.

Every time I read a story like this--which, granted, isn't very often--I flash back to an incident when I was about ten, attending synagogue. The then-rabbi of my synagogue (who later gained notoriety for making his resignation speech from the pulpit, but didn't actually leave for another six months) decided, instead of a sermon, to play Q&A with the congregants. Somehow the topic turned to what cosmetic procedures were allowable under Jewish law in order to guarantee a good marriage (or shittuch).

The week before I had just finished Voltaire's CANDIDE. That's the only defense I have for the question I proceeded to ask....

Suffice it to say that the rabbi stuck to sermons from then on.

Interviews etc.  

Rick Kleffel over at Trashotron interviews Jonathan Lethem, Win and Meredith Blevins, as well as the ubiquitous Chuck Palahniuk.

Slightly less recent interviews are available at Craig MacDonald 's site. I've long believed he gives Robert Birnbaum a run for his money in terms of the quality of interviews. See for yourself in Craig's most recent Q&As with the likes of Karin Slaughter, Ken Bruen, and many more.

Pledging a different allegiance 

Roger Simon equates voting for Arnold with losing his virginity. I guess it's hard to throw several decades worth of left-wing idealism down the drain, but on the other hand, should Mr. Schwarzenegger a) win and b) find himself subject to recall, idealism may be restored somewhat. Or maybe not.

As it stands, things are still too close to call.

Death of a Canadian Mogul 

Izzy Asper, founder and chairman of CanWest Global Communications (and Canada's answer to Rupert Murdoch), has died at the age of 71.

In the "unclassifiable" dept.  

Randy "Macho Man" Savage has a "new albumout. The NY Post calls it a major feat as it "...defies the laws of physics by blowing and sucking at the same time."

More crime fiction 

Kevin Burton Smith quite liked Curt Colbert's latest hardboiled novel, Sayonaraville. I don't always agree with his take on things, but I'm never bored by his reviews.

Haiku would have been better 

So President Bush thinks he's a poet. We're not so sure. (link courtesy Bookslut.)

OTOH, the existential poetry of Donald Rumsfeld is very nearly a stroke of genius.

Mystery Roundup 

David Williams, author of the Inspector Merlin Parry Novels (most recent entry is 2003's PRACTICE TO DECEIVE, died on 26 September in Virginia Water, Surrey. He was 77. (obit summarized from Jiro Kimura's THE GUMSHOE SITE .)

Jiro also alerts us to the latest "At Home Online" interview. This time Qiu Xialong is interviewed by Cara Black. The setup here is quite neat, as a mystery author is interviewed by a fellow author, who is then interviewed by another author and so on and so forth, creating a daisy-chain of sorts. Other interviewees included SJ Rozan, Ian Rankin, Michael Connelly, and ) She Who Has Been Named Too Much (because I link to her so damned often lately.)

Last month, the Annual St. Hilda's Mystery Conference was held at Oxford. I didn't go--I can't go to everything crime fiction-related, though I come pretty damned close--but I was told a good time was had by all. The theme was The Golden Age, and the final topic of discussion was given by Stephen Booth, who has, due to very popular demand, kindly put up the text of the lecture here. I think you'll see why people loved it after you read it.

But it still made the Times list anyway 

Detroit Free Press editor Carole Lee Hutton explains why she killed the in-house negative review of Mitch Albom's new book.

Ms. Hutton complained that the review "gave her a stomachache." That's what antacid pills are for.....

Back to our regularly scheduled frivolity 

I have to read this book: unfortunately, since I can't access the article about it in today's Times, I have to rely on the blurb as given over at Booktrade.info, where I stole the information from:

"More than 50 top writers are to reveal the most humiliating moments of their careers in a new book, Mortification which is published next month.
Writers such as Margaret Atwood, Edna O'Brien, Louis de Bernières, Andrew Motion, Margaret Drabble and Irvine Welsh are all risking ridicule by admitting their private shame.

Their excruciating stories range from finding themselves at public engagements with an audience of one to being caught in compromising circumstances with pictures of the singer Kylie Minogue.

It's a good bet few, if any, crime writers are included, but I could think of a few stories I've heard that would have merited inclusion.....

On a serious note 

Most of the time this blog is of a highly frivolous nature, but then I get pissed off. Way back when, I wrote about cases that haunt me. What I neglected to mention was that I read about Etan Patz's disappearance as a child, and I've never forgotten. All those years ago, though, I harbored some belief that perhaps he was still alive. That changed emphatically when his parents had him declared legally dead in 2000, believing him to be a victim of imprisoned child molester Jose Ramos (who was the boyfriend of Etan's babysitter at the time).

Ramos, like many other predators, has concocted story after story to explain how he could have come in contact with Patz yet not killed him. Now he has a new story, which makes even less sense. Isn't it time to just admit what happened and let Etan's parents have some measure of finality (the word closure makes me gag) already? Not that I'm optimistic. Granted, Ramos has never been charged in the disappearance, and if he were to confess his guilt all of a sudden, he'd likely lose whatever trump card he has, ie. any chance of getting out of prison.

But when it comes to missing children, Etan's only the tip of the iceberg. Which is why I have this included amongst my links.

Monday, October 06, 2003

And finally 

Thanks to everybody who's linked here in the last little while. You know who you are and I appreciate it (and if you haven't yet well....this is still new. I won't get mad till next month.)

One thing I must clarify: The mugshot you see there adorns Victor Gischler's columns every time. But while I have your attention, go read his book, GUN MONKEYS. It's fast and mean with loads of black humor. In short,it rocks.

And finally, finally, the latest issue of Bookslut is up. Hooray!

Further Dagger news, and more 

The Dagger in the Library shortlist is up. The winner, picked by UK librarians, is deemed the author who "gives the most pleasure to readers." When I was at the Harrogate Crime Festival earlier this summer, one of the big initiatives there was to get more Yorkshire residents--and the UK in general--to read more. So it's cool to see awards like this. Congrats to Stephen Booth, Chris Brookmyre, Ann Cleeves (who was the key organizer of the Harrogate library initiative, I might add), Julie Parsons, and Mike Ripley for making the list.

And voting for the Barry Awards have closed tonight. George Easter reported that as of yesterday, the race in all four categories was incredibly tight. It will be very interesting to see who wins, but all I know is that if a certain someone loses for the fourth straight year, things may get very, very amusing.

Challah tastes even better after a fast 

God, I stay away from the computer and not only do I have an unfortunate amount of spam to delete (god help me when I'm out of town next week) but I can't keep up with what's happening.

So Patrick Anderson's . weekly thriller column is up....and he reviews a Southern novel instead. Go figure.

New York Magazine asked a bunch of gossip doyens to wax eloquent about Lloyd Grove. Naturally, Choire, who is watching Grove's progress at the Daily News like a hawk, has my favorite line:

"Mr. Grove has spent so much time in our nation’s capital, I’m sure it’ll take him a while to get socialized to human interaction.”

Sunday, October 05, 2003

I've got 25 hours to go.... 

No new posts till Tuesday. Well, maybe Monday night if I'm up to it. I'll be spending the next little while wishing I could eat food and drink water. The joys of Yom Kippur.

I'm sure you can amuse yourself by visiting each and everyone of the links to the right.

More reasons why you should always pick the lady 

It was bad enough that Roy Horn got attacked onstage and now his life and career is in jeopardy (and for those that wanted to see him, tough luck.)

Now this. I always knew lions were much cooler.

When Has-beens feud 

According to Page Six today, Barry Manilow and Bette Midler were sniping at each other when they appeared together on the Today Show, and that they were "reunited" for the appearance. Funny, I thought they had just worked together on a Rosemary Clooney tribute album....which was the reason they were on the Today Show in the first place....

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