Monday, December 6, 2010


Mystery writer Simon Brett talks about five of his favorite 'whodunits.' I'm adding Patrick Hamilton's Hangover Square to my to-read list.

Another 'best books' list, this time from an Oregon bookseller. All sound good, especially Six Suspects and A Small Death in the Great Glen. You can support an independent bookseller by buying directly from Sunriver Books & Music.

New Zealand's inaugural Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel was awarded to a mysterious author, "Alix Bosco, the anonymous author of Cut & Run whose pseudonym has never been breached." The awards were created by Craig Sisterson, a local journalist who writes a blog focusing on New Zealand crime writers.  

Thrillers: 100 Must Reads offers essays on what the author considers to be the best thrillers for those who like to ruminate on the books they read.  It was published in July but I just fell upon it and it might make a good gift.

Finally, if you like criticism that pulls no punches then read David Thomson's review of Dennis Lehane's Moonlight Mile. If you don't know him, Thomson is the author of the much admired The New Biographical Dictionary of Film. For reasons that can only be ascertained by reading Thomson's critique, the review is as much about The Town, the Ben Affleck-directed movie released this summer, as it is about Lehane's new novel. I haven't read Moonlight Mile so can't comment on the criticism, although I have read other Lehane books and have a hard time calling any of it "feel good noir," as Thomson does. But I understand where he's coming from. As for The Town, I agree with a lot of what he says: the boy-meets-girl storyline is facile and the Ben Affleck character is romanticized, even glorified. Not sure why Thomson focuses on the sex, in both the movie and Lehane's novel. Sex is often used as shortcut for intimacy, nothing new here, and he has something much bigger to say about the portrayal of the down-and-out in America. I do agree that little of what goes on film reflects reality and that includes portraits of the poor.

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