Sunday Smatterings on Mother’s Day

Marilyn Stasio reviews new crime fiction by Gillian Flynn, George Pelecanos, John Hart, Maggie Estep and Seth Harwood.

Speaking of Harwood, he gets a meaty writeup for his novel JACK WAKES UP in the Boston Globe.

Also in the Globe, Ed Siegel looks at why Nordic climes are especially hot as PBS prepares to air the first of three Inspector Wallander episodes starring Kenneth Branagh.

Oline Cogdill has her say on Elaine Viets’ new novel KILLER CUTS.

In the Chicago Sun Times, Randy Michael Signor discourses on Gillian Flynn’s DARK PLACES and Ed Champion gets the appeal of Sarah Waters’ THE LITTLE STRANGER.

Marcel Berlins rounds up crime offerings by Hakan Nesser, John Harvey and Rennie Airth.

The Denver Post’s Tom & Enid Schantz review new mysteries by Alan Bradley, Elizabeth Duncan and Robert Barnard.

In the Guardian Review, Clare Clark nails my biggest problem with STONE’S FALL, which started spectacularly and then progressed to one of the stupidest endings I’ve read in a while. After 800 pages. In a word, no.

But the Seattle Times’ Adam Woog was far more a fan of STONE’S FALL and, it seems, didn’t mind the ending so much.

Donna Leon talks about her Inspector Brunetti novels and Venetian corruption with the Telegraph.

The Connecticut Post catches up with Hallie Ephron to chat about her “suburban noir” NEVER TELL A LIE.

Scott Timberg profiles Ursula LeGuin, truly a legend of science fiction and fantasy.

Harlan Ellison, WTF? Did you have to make Les Roberts look like a chump? (via)

Cullen Gallagher talks with James Reasoner about his amazingly prolific writing life and specifically, how he kicks off the Gabriel Hunt adventure novels, which I’ll say again – are SO MUCH FUN. (via)

Also at the Rap Sheet is J. Kingston Pierce’s lengthy obit of Robert Terrall and interview of the author’s son (and noted writer in his own right) Ben.

Curious about the book scene in New Delhi? Here’s your quick guide.

Rief Larsen is the current literary “it” boy now that his postmodern-ish debut THE COLLECTED WORKS OF T.S. SPIVET has been published, and he is duly profiled by the Melbourne Age and the National Post.

Another literary writer to watch is Clancy Martin, and the Kansas City Star meets with the philosophy professor and author of HOW TO SELL.

Something tells me Jason A. Spencer Edwards won’t stay out of the publishing mainstream for too much longer.

Robert McCrum on why writing 1984 nearly killed George Orwell.

Of course there should be an independent bookstore in the South Bronx. Now I hope it just sticks around for a while…

Craig Arnold, the award-winning poet who went missing in Japan last month, is presumed dead. More on the story from Carolyn Kellogg at Jacket Copy.

After reading this story, it occurred to me this would be the kind of piece that appears in newspapers after Harry Bosch wraps up a case.

Mark Athitakis talks with Wheaton College professor James Mulholland and his students about teaching contemporary literature with 911 as the subject.

Finally, Bel Kaufman, whose 1965 bestseller UP THE DOWN STAIRCASE rings as frighteningly and savagely true about America’s public education system as it did decades ago (to my amazement, it’s even better than I remember – I first read it in high school) turns 98 years old today. Sure, the details are different (or as she said in a 1991 preface to the reissued edition I own, “add computers and condoms”) but the substance shows things really haven’t changed so much.