North Carolina’s own John Hart won his second Edgar Award for Best Novel of 2010 last night at the Mystery Writers of America’s annual awards banquet (complete list of winners here). The Last Child (which I reviewed for the Washington Post) took home the top honor, just as Hart’s previous novel, Down River (which I also reviewed for the Post, not quite as favorably), did in 2008. I’m still scratching my head a little over that earlier honor, but this new one is more than deserved. (And incidentally, I’m pulled once more toward Dave Cullen‘s Columbine, which earned the Edgar for Best Fact Crime — a possible addition to my fall True Crime course, along with two other of this year’s Edgar nominees already in the line-up: Megan Abbott‘s Bury Me Deep and Jeff Guinn‘s Go Down Together: The True, Untold Story of Bonnie and Clyde.)
Archive for April, 2010
Today, AARP: The Magazine published my quick reviews of two new books that together offer intriguing looks at both the history of and the craft behind some of the best British mystery fiction of the last century. With Agatha Christie’s Secret Notebooks, John Curran delivers an often playful study of the exercise books in which Dame Agatha worked out the characters, plots, settings and more of her many books. And in Talking About Detective Fiction, Dame James does… well, just that: surveying a lifetime of great mystery novels, both others and her own. Check out the full reviews here.
We all know not to drink and drive, but how about taking a slug and then getting behind the pen? Here’s an interesting little list from Lapham’s Quarterly — though I’m not quite sure why the author/editor focusses on Faulkner’s film work in 1936 (Road to Glory??) instead of Absalom, Absalom! or on one of Chandler’s scripts rather than any of his novels. (I mean, hey, you can’t tell me that either of these men weren’t regularly imbibing throughout their whole career, yeah?)
Still, an interesting little connect-the-dots — or prescription list depending on the kind of literary output your aiming for.
Sometimes books show up on my doorstep that I’m not sure why they’re showing up on my doorstep. Such is the case with Jennifer Belle‘s new novel, The Seven Year Bitch. April is a little early for beach reading, but this one looks like a great contender for later in the season, especially for young mothers who’ve just had enough. So let’s make this easy. The first person to email “Bitch for the Beach” to MetroBooksNC@gmail.com gets to take this baby home — or rather, have it mailed to your home. (No need to send address now; I’ll contact you if you win it.)