Sunday Smatterings

For WoWoW, I offer my take on recent mysteries of a more traditional bent just in time for Malice Domestic, which announced its Agatha Award winners last night. One of these days I’ll figure out how to expand my “New Traditionalism” thesis in longer form so that there’s added structure to my way of thinking…

Oline Cogdill has her say about George Pelecanos’s new novel THE WAY HOME.

The Scranton Times-Tribune profiles Keith Gilman, whose SMP/PWA winner FATHER’S DAY has just been published.

The pseudonymous James Church is interviewed at the LA Times about his Inspector O novels, of which the next one, his fourth, may be the last.

Ace Atkins talks with the Birmingham Weekly about his new novel DEVIL’S GARDEN and its myriad of inspirations.

Jess Walter thoroughly enjoys Denis Johnson’s attempt at noir, NOBODY MOVE, which also gets good reviewe from NPR’s Laurel Maury and The Daily Beast’s Taylor Antrim.

Speaking of Antrim, he also has a witty piece in the LAT about the problems of writing a second novel. Also in the LAT, Tim Rutten enthuses about Lyndsay Faye’s well-done Holmes pastiche DUST AND SHADOW.

Margaret Cannon’s crime column focuses on new releases by Dennis Richard Murphy, Laurie King, Elizabeth Duncan, Sara Mills and Alexander McCall Smith. Also in the Globe & Mail is Sally Cooper’s take on a meta-mystery by Terry Griggs.

In the Chicago Sun-Times, David Montgomery rounds up mysteries & thrillers by Alan Bradley, Harlan Coben, Paul Levine, Nevada Barr and Jack Kilborn.

Rege Behe at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review previews this year’s edition of the Mystery Lovers Festival in Oakmont.

The Toronto Star picks up on Leanne Shapton’s charmed life in the wake of the success of her most recent book, done in the form of an auction catalog.

The International Mystery Writers Festival will return to Owensboro, KY this year, featuring productions of four rare Agatha Christie radio plays.

Rick Riordan chats with the WSJ’s Jeff Trachtenberg about the final installment of his multi-million selling Percy Jackson novels.

Stephen McGinty revisits Raymond Chandler in the Scotsman as Penguin UK republished a bunch of Philip Marlowe novels in hardback.

David Milofsky looks at why the Depression-era pulps have such remarkable staying power today.

Jodi Picoult is the latest subject of the “Lunch with the FT” series of author interviews.

Lev Grossman Q&As with Charles Ardai about the new series of Gabriel Hunt adventure novels. I have read the first one (written by James Reasoner) and it is SO MUCH FUN. Yes. In Capitals.

The Denver Post looks at Elle Newmark and other writers taking more non-traditional routes to traditional publication.

Geoff Nicholson looks at why bad eating makes for excellent writing.

The other big book of the weekend is, of course, Colson Whitehead’s SAG HARBOR (or at least among the literati, prompting a dead-on statement by Jennifer Weiner.) Toure loves it, calling it a great “post-black” novel. So does Ron Charles, Bloomberg’s Craig Seligman, and the SF Chronicle, while Janet Maslin has her say as well. Chip McGrath went out to the Long Island hamlet to hang out with Whitehead in his old summer neighborhood, and the area’s local paper has a profile, too. Taylor Antrim is less enthused, as is Esquire and the Chicago Sun-Times.

From my standpoint, when I’m more interested in how a book is covered

than in the book proper, that says something, but I also think it has

more to do with hearing a constant refrain of “You’ll shoot yer eye out!!!” in my head during SAG HARBOR’s early pages. And then I want to go reread IN GOD WE TRUST, ALL OTHERS PAY CASH and listen to the great man. So I’ll finish the book, but I’m guessing no one cries “Excelsior, you fathead!” at any point during the narrative.

So if you hate doing interviews, why keep doing them?

And finally, the ultimate cure for depression blues.