Weekend Smatterings, with Different Skin

With the new year approaching I felt like going with a different color scheme for Confessions, so voila. And so full Weekend Updates will not resume until ‘09, but content yourself with this list ‘o links:

Susanna Yager, the Sunday Telegraph’s crime fiction critic, has passed away. Ali Karim reprints Natasha Cooper’s fine obituary of one of the UK’s more discerning and intelligent critics in the genre.

Julius Fast, who was the very first debut novel winner of the Edgar Awards back in 1946, has also passed on. He was 89.

Oline Cogdill presents her top mysteries of the year, headed up by Colin Harrison’s THE FINDER. She explains how she made her choices at the Off the Page blog.

The Tribune’s Paul Goat Allen looks at recent releases by Evan Kilgore, Max Allan Collins, Zoe Sharp and Tony Spinosa.

Tom & Enid Schantz review new crime fiction by Donna Andrews, David Stuart Davies and Chris Ewan for the Denver Post.

John’s Grill, best known for being mentioned in THE MALTESE FALCON, celebrates an important anniversary.

Charles Taylor delves into Derek Raymond’s Factory novels at the Nation.

Michael Dirda highlights the small presses making an impact on contemporary horror fiction and ghost stories.

This is your life, David Wroblewski.

Stuart Neville may be on his way to a Wroblewski-like life, too.

Kate Summerscale looks at a new edition of the 1940s board game Cluedo.

Kate Figes presents the UK books published that didn’t live up to expectations and got away from desired publishers.

Ex-Harcourt chief Andre Bernard comments on the publishing year that was 2008.

Some entertaining “alternate prizes” for the UK publishing industry. (via)

Chris Goldberg thinks “dudes don’t read” but I think he’s looking in the wrong places.

David Ulin revisits REVOLUTIONARY ROAD, the classic novel, as the wretched movie hits screens in a few days.

Lionel Shriver considers the career path not taken.

Canongate and Jamie Byng get the star treatment from the Scotsman.

And finally, the mystery author of “The Empty Chair” is revealed to be….Graham Greene!