Smatterings o’ the day

Want to know why Martha Grimes disdained touring for years? It’s because she suffered from spasmodic dysphonia, a disorder that made it unbelievably difficult for her to speak. But now, as USA TODAY finds out, she’s found a treatment – with Botox.

Janet Maslin’s been on a genre roll of late, praising Carol O’Connell’s newest Mallory novel and having more mixed feelings about Christopher Moore’s latest.

I get the feeling Patrick Anderson really wanted to nitpick Marcus Sakey’s debut, and so be it, but you know, sometimes a kickass read is just a kickass read.

Megan Abbott is this week’s guest blogger at the Rap Sheet, talking about why she was drawn to Jean Spangler’s disappearance in 1949 to write her own account in THE SONG IS YOU.

SHOTS editor Mike Stotter has resisted blogging for years, but now he’s succumbed – and the result is another must-read crime site, SHOTSMAG Confidential.

Danuta Reah appeared at the Author’s Breakfast in the Isle of Man, and the area’s local paper reports on it.

It’s always entertaining when Martin Amis decides to shoot from the hip answering questions from smart & clueless readers alike.

Norman Mailer has plenty to say at the age of 84, and much of it is well, off the charts.

A new documentary about Harry Hume may revitalize his career – and also reveals how the CIA linked in with the Paris Review.

Speaking of the CIA, it looks like they had a mighty big hand in ensuring that Boris Pasternak won the Nobel Prize nearly 50 years ago.

Thanks to J. Peder Zane, now you can get a smorgasbord of author Top 10 lists in a single volume.

And finally, if you ask for two passports of two genders, chances are your request won’t be honored.