Promenade with the Weekend Update

But first, my new column at the Baltimore Sun (I have to get used to them running earlier in the month) which features new releases by Joseph Wambaugh, Katherine Hall Page, Laura Joh Rowland, Peter May and Robert Randisi.

NYTBR: Stephen King makes the cover of the Book Review for the first time…ever. Jim Windolf has lots to say about LISEY’S STORY, and Dwight Garner probes the NYTBR’s uneasy relationship with King over the course of his career. Otherwise, there’s a massive children’s section filled with all sorts of earthy delights; Sophie Harrison is intrigued by the life and times of Barbara Taylor Bradford; and John Wilson wonders why Evangelicals have gotten such a bad name.

WaPo Book World: Ron Charles wishes Antoinette May had done more with the scant material about Pontius Pilate’s wife; Neal Gabler explains the secret to writing a good Hollywood biography; and Jonathan Yardley admires Isabel Allende’s ambition, but finds her latest novel doesn’t pull it off.

G&M: Leah Hager Cohen is impressed with Carol Off’s “impassioned reporting” on the dark side of chocolate; J.G. Ballard is back, and now his social satire extends to malls and consumerism; Martin Levin finds out as much as he can about bird flu; T.F. Rigelhof enjoys Ian Rankin’s theme expansion in his new Rebus novel; and Margaret Cannon reviews new crime novels by Elizabeth George, Jan Burke, Arnaldur Indridason, Vivian Meyer, Alfred Silver & M.C. Beaton.

Guardian Review: Gilbert Adair explains Agatha Christie’s enduring fascination; Ian Thomson is struck by the moral force in Henning Mankell’s new standalone crime novel; and Maxim Jakubowski reviews new crime fiction offerings from Brian Freeman, Paul Charles, Michael Walters and a noir classic by Jean-Patrick Manchette.

Observer: Yes, that’s a review Ben Hutchinson offers of LES BIENVEILLANTES, never mind that the English-language publication date isn’t till early 2008; Peter Guttridge has a good time with Ian Rankin’s latest, THE NAMING OF THE DEAD; he also reviews new releases by Michael Connelly, Benjamin Black, Henning Mankell and Frederick Forsyth.

The Times: Amanda Craig gets at the heart of Scott Westerfield’s dystopian vision; Alice Fordham is almost overwhelmed by Salvador Plascencia’s paper-themed vision; and Marcel Berlins reviews crime fare from Manchette, Adair and Mankell.

The Scotsman: Patrick McCabe’s new novel is all about introspection, concludes Tom Adair; Laura Hird reveals the dark influences underlying her latest collection of stories; Toby Clements is at it again, parodying Mma Ramotswe & Inspector Rebus in one go; and a Russian writer who toiled during the oppressive time of Stalin gets the last laugh.

The Rest:

Oline Cogdill’s mystery column goes local with MIAMI NOIR and further afield with Steve Brewer’s MONKEY MAN.

Dick Adler’s crime column for the Chicago Tribune reviews new work by James Church, Joseph Wambaugh, Brett Ellen Block, Henry Chang, Julie Hyzy, Sean Doolittle, as well as the first issue of MURDALAND and a reissue by Mitchell Smith.

Adam Woog’s Scene of the Crime includes new releases by Kate Wilhelm, Kate Kingsbury, Carola Dunn, J.J. Henderson, Heather Sharfeddin, Donna Anders, Daniel Kalla and Clyde W. Ford.

Richard Schickel is looking for post-911’s John Le Carre, but finds that Robert Wilson’s THE HIDDEN ASSASSINS doesn’t quite hit that mark.

Not that you necessarily needed another reason to read Richard Powers’ unbelievably masterful novel THE ECHO MAKER, but the Sun’s Victoria Brownworth provides a few more.

Like many others, I’m a big fan of Bob Cornwell’s in-depth profiles of crime writers at Tangled Web. His latest interview is with V.I. Warshawski creator Sara Paretsky.

Scott Turow fills the Columbus Dispatch in on his next project: a sequel to PRESUMED INNOCENT.

James Ellroy peddles his shtick to the folks at MeeVee, and I have to say, for someone who claims to live in a vacuum, he’s awfully accessible right now…

Need plans in June? The first annual Kentucky International Mystery Writers’ Festival will take place in Owensboro.

The Jacksonville Times-Union chats with early riser Claire Matturro, doing the promotion circuit for her new mystery BONE VALLEY.

Marisha Pessl’s hometown paper, the Asheville Citizen-Times, catches up with the much-buzzed-about bestseller.

Peter Temple was completely caught by surprise at winning one of Australia’s richest writing grants from the Australian Council of the Arts. Me, I’m psyched that the US edition of BROKEN SHORE will be published by FSG in May. Awesome!!!!

And finally, it had to happen: Hannibal Lecter is on MySpace.