The Easter Weekend Update

Greetings on this slow day here in the Nation’s Capital, where everything is pretty much shut down and I should be working on something or other. You know the drill. But in the meantime, the links:

NYTBR: Alan Dershowitz puts his own spin on A DEATH IN BELMONT and how it handles narrative non-fiction; if Caitlin Flanagan didn’t piss you off, Pamela Paul’s review of her book might do the trick; and James Wolcott remembers Dwight MacDonald on the centenary of his birth.

WaPo Book World: It’s all poetry, all the time this weekend, as the editors choose their Top Ten Poets and review new work by Seamus Heaney, Mary Karr and Natasha Trethewey, just to name a few.

G&M: Lydia Millet offers her own take on David Mitchell’s coming-of-age novel BLACK SWAN GREEN; Kevin Chong feels wondrous about Daniel Handler’s newest foray into books for adults; Julian Sher comments on the recent octuple-slaying of the Bandido bikers and how glamorizing biker gangs is less than a good idea; and Margaret Cannon’s crime column looks at new releases by Pat Capponi, Margaret Doody, Jonathan Kellerman, David Hewson, Jenny White and Steve Berry.

Guardian Review: Matthew Lewin wishes Chris Petit’s thriller about the Lockerbie bombing had been a little less densely packed; Maxim Jakubowski gives his approval to Thomas H. Cook and is less impressed with Simon Beckett’s new thriller; and Wagner, a feminist composer? Natasha Walter makes the case for this particular argument.

Observer: Peter Guttridge offers up a belated take on Left Coast Crime; Kylie Minogue’s trek through cancer and chemo is territory Stella Duffy knows all too well; Rachel Cooke remains obsessed with her Penguin Classic editions of various books; and Daniella Westbrook — she of the famously eroded septum — has written a candid autiobiography. And the word nose doesn’t figure in the title at all….

The Times: England fast bowler Matthew Hoggard reports back on his lengthy reading lists; Guatam Malkani’s LONDONSTANI seems to live up to the hype — if Hounslow teenagers are to be believed; Peter Millar is wholly unnerved by Mo Hayder’s PIG ISLAND (which is unbelievably good, and crosses all the way over into horror territory) while Penelope Lively enjoys her turn around Donna Leon’s Venice.

The Scotsman: Alan Massie finds the inaugural entry in Macmillan New Writing to be delightfully old-fashioned; Ali Smith follows up the Whitbread (and TOB) winning THE ACCIDENTAL with a new play, as Aidan Smith finds out; Alan Bissett documents a week in the Big Apple; and Morag Joss reveals what’s on her nightstand.

The Rest:

Oline Cogdill gives strong props to Denise Hamilton and Declan Hughes on their latest and newest efforts.

Dick Adler’s crime column focuses on new stuff by Dave Case, Roberta Kray, Chad Taylor, Seymour Shubin, Mario Acevedo, Jay McLarty and Anthony Price.

Adam Woog is impressed with NIGHT OF THE JAGUAR, the final installment of Michael Gruber’s supernatural-tinged trilogy.

What happens when the writerly muse deserts you? The Sydney Morning Herald’s new literary editor, Catherine Keenan, explores this question.

Shirley Damsgaard tells the Des Moines Register how a childhood tragedy eventually became the impetus for her new mystery writing career.

By venturing into standalone waters, Nancy Pickard is getting more attention than ever before, as she explains to the Kansas City Star.

Another day, another trend piece on the “comeback” of mystery in all forms of media. This time, the Arizona Republic takes a crack at it, talking to James Sallis & Maureen Corrigan, among others, about this so-called resurgence (primarily in film.)

The Deseret News talks to Susan Straight, who’s out promoting her newest novel, A MILLION NIGHTINGALES, based on that famous nurse Florence.

And finally, a legend is dead. RIP, Muriel Spark.