Shine on the Weekend Update

First, congratulations to Val McDermid for winning the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year award, given out Friday night at the Harrogate Crime Festival. It’s much deserved, though I do find it interesting (and entirely coincidental) that the two winners so far – McDermid and Mark Billingham – are the festival’s first two chairs.

NYTBR: So maybe it’s me, but [Daniel Asa Rose’s review of Joe Finder’s KILLER

INSTINCT]2 seems a tad mean-spirited. Like, “how dare you take me away

from my beloved trash TV when I really didn’t want you to so I’m going to take it out on you in this review.” Well, that’s just dandy – never mind that I , as the reader, don’t really care what Rose is up to in his leisure time…

More positively, Tartan noir gets its due, with a lengthy profile of Denise Mina and a listing of other masters of the genre: Ian Rankin, Louise Welsh, Val McDermid and Christopher Brookmyre (to which I’ll add up-and-comers Al Guthrie, Ray Banks and Stuart MacBride.)

Otherwise, Marilyn Stasio’s column looks at new crime fiction by Ruth Rendell, Louise Penny, Michelle Wan and Scott Frost; Henry Alford wonders what kind of books people read – and keep – in the bathroom; and Will Clarke’s quirky, unclassifiable novels get approval from Liesl Schillinger.

WaPo Book World: Daniel Alarcon writes about creating Peruvian-American literature in English; Frederick Reuss does an admirable, if flawed job at recreating 1934 Shanghai in his new novel, MOHR; and Kevin Allman reviews new mysteries by Laura Lippman, Ruth Rendell, Marcia Muller, Bill Pronzini and Lawrence Block.

G&M: Peter Stothard wishes there hadn’t been yet another weighty fictional tome on the life of Julius Caesar; Martin Levin exults in the structural and emotional excellence of Katharine Weber’s TRIANGLE; John Degen actually accomplishes what Steven Galloway hadn’t expected – a good Canadian hockey novel; and Margaret Cannon’s crime column reviews the latest by John Dunning, Dan Fesperman, Kathy Reichs, Karin Alvtegen, Arnaldur Indridason and Jake Arnott.

Guardian Review: Mark Lawson thinks Louise Welsh comes close, but doesn’t quite reach, masterclass status with THE BULLET TRICK; Jonathan Haidt’s book on happiness has a tinge of the ancient and timeless, says James Flint;  and Ian Sansom just gives me more reasons why I must, must, must get a copy of THREE BAGS FULL (and Sansom’s new book, too, come to think of it.)

Observer: Robert McCrum is fascinated by a look at Shakespeare and his Elizabethan contemporaries; Sean O’Hagan discovers why Studs Terkel is one of the greatest interviewers who ever lived; and Ranjit Bolt’s biggest problem with a biography of Lorenzo Da Ponte is that he’s not such a very likeable figure.

The Times: Stephen King writes a wonderful appreciation of one of his greatest inspirations, Richard Matheson; Matt Rendell’s book lays bare the tragic and thwarted life of Tour de France winner Marco Pantani; Dara Horn’s THE WORLD TO COME gets a rapturous and well-deserved review; and Marcel Berlins reviews new crime fiction by Denise Mina, Frances Fyfield and Barbara Nadel.

The Scotsman: Librarian Clio Gray is the winner of the paper’s short story prize and her story appears here; Anthony Horowitz talks about the current process of making his bestselling Alex Rider novels into a movie; AL Kennedy discusses her literary and standup comic career; and Andrew Biswell explains why Javier Marais is writing espionage novels that truly go beyond genre conventions.   
The Rest**:

the LA Times Book Review gets a bit darker this week – more noir, that is, because of its focus on the late Mickey Spillane. Max Allan Collins writes a more lengthy tribute than what he contributed to this blog, and Scott Martelle asks several notable authors – including Robert B. Parker, George Pelecanos and Janet Evanovich – on their Spillane-related thoughts. And more Spillane, courtesy the Newburgh Times Herald-Record and the Georgetown (S.C) Times.

Oline Cogdill plays good cop/bad cop this week, raving about Paul Malmont’s debut pulp homage but less impressed with Linda Barnes’ new Carlotta Carlyle novel.

David Montgomery’s newest column for the Sun-Times reviews the latest by Laura Lippman, Janet Evanovich, Lawrence Block, M.J. Rose and Sandra Scoppettone.

At the Chicago Tribune, Dick Adler reviews new releases by Dan Fesperman, Denise Mina, Lippman, Mike Lawson, Louise Penny, Carlo Lucarelli, Lee Goldberg and Michael Bowen.

At the Telegraph, Rachel Simhon is extremely impressed with the latest Inspector Banks novel by Peter Robinson, and Susanna Yager reviews new crime books by Peter Temple and Jim Kelly.

The Missoula Independent catches up with James Lee Burke as his latest Dave Robicheaux novel, PEGASUS DESCENDING, hits stores.

The Independent’s interview of Kathy Reichs is a bit uncomfortable to read because it’s so obvious Peter Stanford could not connect with her on any level. Hey, that happens sometimes…

Kate Flora explains to the Concord Journal why she decided to go in a true crime direction after penning several novels featuring Thea Kozak.

Scott Smith tells the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Regis Behe how THE RUINS came together in an unexpected fashion – and the setting was a product of his imagination, not so much research.

Craig Johnson talks to the Billings (MT) Gazette about moving to an isolated ranch to write and his Wyoming-set detective novels.

The Deseret News’ Dennis Lythgoe chats with Sandra Scoppettone about writing, her fears that her books won’t sell, and why she enjoys hearing from readers.

And finally, Maria Tumarkin writes a brilliant, brilliant essay for the Age on the greatest female spy of them all – Mata Hari.