The Weekend Update on Memorial Day

To kick off the Update, I encourage everyone with even the slightest interest in crime fiction to read Gregory Beyer’s article in the Times’ City section on the relationship between crime fiction and actual crime, especially as it relates to New York. (Disclosure alert: Beyer interviewed me for the piece on background.)

NYTBR: I have to say, it’s pretty cool to see Shannon Burke’s dark novel of ER foibles grace the cover of the Book Review; Raymond Bonner is profoundly affected by STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE, the book; and Mike Meyer previews the Beijing Olympics from a literary standpoint.

WaPo Book World: Anne-Marie Slaughter is intrigued by the idea of a Superclass; Jonathan Yardley takes a trip down retirement community lane; and Anne Safer and Richard Brookhiser talk about their 27-year dual-writer marriage.

LA Times: Richard Rayner rereads the streetwise patois of Damon Runyon; Susan Straight effuses about her Edgar win for Best Short Story; Samantha Dunn admires Ed Park’s satirical tendencies; and Joe Queenan is a fan of Scandinavian mysteries? You mean he actually likes something? Wow!

G&M: Wesley Wark examines the life and work of Ian Fleming; Daniel Richler’s nose is bent out of joint by a slew of disappointing books on Canada; and Margaret Cannon’s crime column reviews new offerings by Ken Bruen, Donna Leon, Elizabeth George and Kjell Eriksson, as well as the BLUE RELIGION anthology.

Guardian Review: Zadie Smith sings the praises of MIDDLEMARCH and George Eliot; James Campbell chats with Gore Vidal on all variety of subjects; Steven Poole wishes Nick Harkaway would calm his excitable prose down; and Laura Wilson reviews recent crime fiction by Ariana Franklin, Will Lavender, Andrew Taylor & Stuart MacBride.

Observer: Philip French enjoys Mike Leigh talking about Mike Leigh; Siri Hustvedt tells Rachel Cooke about literary coupledom and outsider status; Sarah Anderson’s memoir of being one-armed strikes a poignant chord for Andrew Barrow; and Robert McCrum exits the Observer after more than 10 years on the job as its literary editor.

The Times: Sebastian Faulks reveals the process of writing the new James Bond novel; Peter Millar has his say on Andrea Maria Schenkel’s new crime novel THE MURDER FARM; and John Dugdale reviews thrillers by Walter Mosley, Sophie Hannah, Tom Rob Smith, Philip Kerr, Alex Berenson, Harlan Coben and John Harvey.

The Scotsman: Christopher Brookmyre talks about his shift from Catholicism to humanism and how that affects his recent work; Andrew Crumey reads up on a forerunner of Fox Mulder-like conspiracy theorists; and Gerald Kaufman rounds up new crime fiction by Diane Wei Liang, Gyles Brandreth and Guillermo Martinez.

The Rest:

Oline Cogdill tries to let Peter Leonard’s QUIVER stand on its own, not be compared to his dad Elmore.

But the Chicago Sun-Times’ Randy Michael Signor finds QUIVER to be more “Leonard-lite.”

Hallie Ephron has her say on new crime fiction by Jennifer McMahon, Sheldon Siegel and Chris Knopf for the Boston Globe.

Tom & Enid Schantz review new mystery novels by S.J. Bolton, Stephen Booth and Grace Brophy for the Denver Post.

At the Philadelphia Inquirer, Peter Rozovsky has his say on Declan Hughes’ latest and Bill Kent reviews Boris Akunin’s new Sister Pelagia book.

Don Winslow talks with the WSJ’s Jeff Trachtenberg about his incredibly awesome new novel THE DAWN PATROL.

The Chronicle Herald’s Mary Jo Anderson takes a crack at the Inger Ash Wolfe guessing game. That way lies madness, as this guesser found out in due course….

The Independent’s Jane Jakeman profiles Cuban crime novelist Leonardo Padura and raves about Andrew Taylor’s BLEEDING HEART SQUARE.

Mark Sarvas gets the Q&A treatment from Mary Ann Gwinn at the Seattle Times.

The SF Chronicle’s Michael Berry has his say on YA releases by Cory Doctorow and Christina Meldrum.

And finally, how to become a vegetarian with one video.