Sunday Smatterings Between the Holidays

Marilyn Stasio’s last crime fiction column of 2009 rounds up new crime fiction by Sue Grafton and Christopher Fowler, and new-to-US books by Pierre Magnan and Ken Bruen.

Also in the NYT is an excellent piece on Open Letter, the literature-in-translation house based out of the University of Rochester.

Oline Cogdill looks at a debut novel by the newest Tony Hillerman Prize winner, Roy Chaney.

David Montgomery gives his verdict on mysteries & thrillers by Brad Parks, Sophie Littlefield, Tom Piccirilli, Joseph Wambaugh and Dave Heinzmann.

Hallie Ephron reviews new crime offerings from Katherine Hall Page, Ken Bruen and Brad Parks in the Boston Globe.

Margaret Cannon has her say in the G&M about crime fiction by Lee Lamothe, Jonathan Gash, Ruth Rendell and Yasmina Khadra, as well as a new Sherlock Holmes-themed anthology.

What is Canada’s Environment Minister, Jim Prentice, reading on airplanes? Lots of crime fiction and weighty history tomes, as he tells the National Post.

Christa Faust wonders why there’s a dearth of tales that invert the LAURA template – i.e., instead of a man obsessed with a beautiful dead woman, it’s the woman obsessing over a gorgeous dead man.

The Chronicle Herald reviews Inger Ash Wolfe’s new novel THE TAKEN, and no “her” identity still isn’t out yet.

The Observer analyzes why Henning Mankell’s recent crime fiction centers around a brand-new female character instead of Linda Wallander, daughter of Kurt, who was meant to carry the fictional torch.

William E. Butterworth IV breaks down the collaborative state between him and his father, now age 80, on the W.E.B. Griffin novels for the Dallas-Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Mark Haskell Smith reveals the lengths to which he’ll go to research the marijuana industry — all background for his forthcoming novel, BAKED.

150 years after its initial publication, Wilkie Collins’ THE WOMAN IN WHITE still haunts all manner of readers.

Sherlockians give a big thumbs-up to the new film version of SHERLOCK HOLMES, which did rather well in its opening weekend. And in the WSJ, John J. Miller looks at the often complicated relationship between Arthur Conan Doyle and his world-famous creation.

Finally, Kei Suzuta, who writes crime fiction under the name Toshiyuki Tajima, has gone missing under suspicious circumstances.