Sunday Smatterings for Bank Holidays

To the Guardian’s credit, they get John Banville to respond to post-Harrogate genre controversies, and it is kind of awesome.

Marilyn Stasio has her say on new mysteries by Rennie Airth, Theresa Schwegel, Harry Dolan and Steve Hockensmith.

Oline Cogdill reviews Daniel Levin’s debut thriller THE LAST EMBER for the Sun-Sentinel.

The Times’ John Dugdale rounds up recent crime fiction by George Pelecanos, Karin Slaughter, George Dawes Green, Karin Fossum, Denis Johnson, Adam LeBor, John Harvey and Henry Porter.

In the Chicago Sun-Times, Jeffrey Westhoff reviews David Levien’s new PI novel, Mary Houlihan rounds up mysteries for the younger set.

What do real life spooks think of fictional spies? The BBC investigates.

George Pelecanos got a ton of press for THE WAY HOME while he was over in England, what with a long interview in the Telegraph, a short Q&A in the Independent and a surprise, secret pub appearance with The Pogues.

David Peace is adamant he is only writing 12 novels, total. Which means, as the Scotsman’s David Robinson finds out, he only has three more left to write after OCCUPIED CITY.

Harry Dolan talks about his droll debut BAD THINGS HAPPEN with the Lansing City Pulse.

In last week’s Parade, Lee Child explains why getting fired was the best thing that ever happened to him.

J.A. Jance converses with the Arizona Star Republic about her recent crime novels and why she spends half the year in the state, half the year in Seattle.

At Radio Free Europe, Igor Pomarantsev looks into the history of Russian crime fiction, and finds there isn’t all that much beyond Julian Semyonov (who could really use a revival, come to think of it) and Boris Akunin.

Megan Abbott talks about her current novel, BURY ME DEEP, and her contemporary-set work in progress with Tom Piccirilli.

Newsweek’s Malcolm Jones examines how Denis Johnson and Thomas Pynchon do noir at a time when crime fiction is in something of a new golden age. Also, based on his top 10 list of crime novels, dude needs to read more women. And yes, I know that’s an easy shot (especially since he does have a mighty fine list *plus* Ross Thomas), but still.

Speaking of Pynchon, I have a long, long essay brewing that will hopefully see the light of day here once I finish reading INHERENT VICE, but in the meantime read the WSJ’s look at the book’s surprising commercial appeal and why it seems to be flummoxing Pynchonites and literary critics alike. Seriously, can’t a National Book Winner kick back, smoke a doobie or two and write himself a good time?

Starting Monday, the Rap Sheet will run an original short story by Tom Cain in three parts that might prove a bit controversial.

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel books editor Geeta Sharma-Jensen takes a buyout and says goodbye.

The National Post’s Mark Medley takes a creative writing course at Humber College and talks to instructors Rachel Kushner, David Mitchell and Martin Amis.

Robert Patrick (aka T-1000 in TERMINATOR 2) tells the Memphis Commercial Appeal about what it was like to play an aging Elvis in the film version of Steve Brewer’s LONELY STREET.

Larry McMurtry says his 30th novel may be his last.

If you think your debt woes are bad, you could be in Annie Liebovitz’s position.

And finally, holy hell yes this is the greatest book cover ever.