Motoko Rich profiles John Burnham Schwartz, whose new novel THE COMMONER is a fascinating look behind the curtain of Japanese monarchy.

Dennis Moore at USA TODAY likes the filmic aspects of Jo Nesbo’s THE REDBREAST.

Ruth Franklin takes the howitzer to Irene Nemirovsky’s work in the New Republic. (via)

Paul Guyot tells the St. Louis Dispatch why he’s happier to write for Hollywood far away from the bubble. (via)

At January Magazine, Cameron Hughes talks with ex-con turned novelist Richard Marinick about his novels BOYOS and IN FOR A POUND.

John Sutherland suggests some ways to bridge the gap between awards and readers.

Should Dmitri Nabokov destroy his father Vladimir’s final manuscript?

MPR looks at those states still operating under the coroner system – and why that system is destined for change.

Speaking of forensic pathologists, Kirk Makin writes about those who testify for the defense and what a thankless job it often is for them.

The Guardian’s James Randerson examines the Low Copy Number DNA technique, which has just taken a hit in the UK after a recent acquittal. (LCN is not used in the US, not yet anyway.)

Joan Smith decries the recent Arts Council funding cuts, while Antonia Byatt defends them.

And finally, this little guy is super cute.