The Battlecry of the Weekend Update

My newest “Dark Passages” column is up at the LA Times, themed around crime novels that feature crime writer protagonists.

NYTBR: Marilyn Stasio reviews new crime fiction by Thomas Perry, Anthony Flacco, Michael Koryta and Karin Fossum; Haruki Murakami explains why his obsession with music is inexorably linked with writing; John Irving has his say on L’Affaire Grass; and who’d have thought David Markson would finally get a long, drawn-out, glowing review in the NYTBR? Not me, but I’m glad to see Catherine Texier praise THE LAST NOVEL as it ought to be praised.

WaPo Book World: Jabari Asim affirms that “no one should read a Stephen Carter novel for the mystery”; Elizabeth Strout enjoys the lyrical pace set in Carrie Brown’s THE ROPE WALK; and a new book deciphers Fidel Castro’s schoolboy years for clues to future dictatorship.

LA TImes: Tod Goldberg is impressed with Ron Currie’s prose prowess; Richard Rayner dives into the Dickensian-style world created by George Hagen; and Judith Freeman’s review convinces me that I should pick up THE GIRLS OF RIYADH at some point this summer.

G&M: Joanna Schneller has coffee with James Patterson; Warren Carriou puts the recent Day of Action by Canadian First Nations in literary perspective; and Margaret Cannon reviews the latest in mystery by Martin Cruz Smith, Mary Jane Maffini, James Lee Burke, Stephen L. Carter, L.M. Jackson and Valerie Sherrard.

Guardian Review: Julian Barnes considers the work of Prosper Merimee, best known for writing the novella used by Bizet as the basis for CARMEN; Ann Wroe puts a metaphysical spin on Percy Bysshe Shelley; and Olivia Laing is the latest to jump on the MISTER PIP bandwagon.

Observer: Peter Guttridge reflects on the legacy of Michael Dibdin; Alex Clark delivers the verdict on two comic-book adaptations of Agatha Christie novels; Simon Garfield is relieved not to have to sit through the inevitable movie version of Sam Bourne’s new thriller; and Casper Llewellyn Smith says Pete Doherty’s book might be…worth reading?!

The Times: Matthew Syed picks the best literature about the Tour de France; Simon Kernick recounts his brush with kidnapping and near-death at the age of 16; Douglas Kennedy reviews two translated-from-French novels by Jean-Francois Parot and Claude Izner; and Will Gatti explains the appeal of the elusive Pimpernel.

The Scotsman: Gerard Kaufman’s crime column focuses on new-old books by James Patterson & Michael Ledwidge, Jean-Patrick Manchette and Thomas Perry; Alan Massie settles back with the winner of the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize; and Scarlett Thomas’s marvelous THE END OF MR. Y finds favor with Andrea Mullaney.

The Rest:

In the wake of Peter Temple’s much deserved Duncan Lawrie Dagger win, post-coverage comes from the Sydney Morning Herald, the Australian, the Age and ABC Online.

The Chicago Tribune has a fantastic writeup of the seven authors comprising the Outfit.

Adam Woog crams a lot into his latest Seattle Times column, mentioning or reviewing new crime novels by Charles Ardai, Megan Abbott, James Lee Burke, J.A. Jance, Ruth Rendell and more.

John Preston reviews the final Aurelio Zen novel, END GAMES, for the Telegraph. For the same paper, Susanna Yager enjoys the latest by Laura Lippman and Mayra Montero.

John Connolly talks to the Australian Sunday Mail about the impetus for his new Charlie Parker novel, THE UNQUIET. (And I can’t help but wonder if this is the interview he referenced in a recent blog post.)

William Gibson previews his upcoming novel, SPOOK COUNTRY, for the College Crier.

Brad Thor demonstrates his right-wing tilt to the Chicago Sun-Times’ Kevin Nance.

Terry Teachout has his say on the state of regional criticism in the Wall Street Journal.

John Freeman interviews Stephen L. Carter for the Independent, talking about the privileged class, law and fiction.

Could Sebastian Faulks be the mystery “big name author” penning a new James Bond novel? MI6 seems to think so.

Roger K. Miller has an excellent appreciation of Damon Runyon in the Denver Post.

And finally, confirming what we already know: the five-second-rule doesn’t really work.