Archive for April, 2011

Winner of the 2006 Dagger in the Library award from the Crime Writers Association, Jim Kelly is the author of five crime novels in the series that features fictional journalist Philip Dryden. These novels are set in England’s Cambridgeshire Fens. Most recently, Kelly has written three novels in his new series featuring Detective Inspector Peter Shaw, which are  set on England’s North Norfolk coast and in the port of Lynn. The New York Times Book Review declared of Kelly’s work, “Ever since the days of Agatha Christie, the great divide in the British detective story has been between plot and character…The novels of Jim Kelly are. . . a find.” Similarly, the Washington Post said of his work, “Kelly enlivens his tale with a richly atmospheric setting, sharp contemporary characters, and an often biting knack for capturing the essence of people.” (more…)


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This week’s guest at Scene of the Crime needs little introduction to crime and mystery fans. Tess Gerritsen, former physician, is the author of eight books in the popular Rizzoli & Isles series featuring homicide detective Jane Rizzoli and medical examiner Maura Isles, books that inspired the TNT television series. She has also written bestselling stand-alone medical thrillers such as The Bone Garden and Harvest, as well as a number of romantic suspense novels that she began her writing career with.

Of her most recent Rizzoli & Isles series installment, Ice Cold, the Chicago Tribune  noted that Gerritsen “has an imagination that allows her to conjure up depths of human behavior do dark and frightening that she makes Edgar Allan Poe and H.P. Lovecraft seem like goody-two-shoes.” Salon.com noted that the pacing of that novel was done with “surgical precision,” while the Cleveland Plain-Dealer declared it “Amazing . . . another winner.” (more…)

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Barbara Corrado Pope is the author of two excellent historical mysteries featuring Magistrate Bernard Martin and set in late-nineteenth-century France. The first in the series, Cèzanne’s Quarry, finds the famous painter Paul Cézanne accused of murder. The early paintings of Cézanne offer crucial clues to solving the crime. Publishers Weekly wrote of this debut novel that “Francophiles and history buffs will find much to like.” Booklist also praised this first novel, noting: “Pope skillfully explores the subjugation and abuse of women in the nineteenth century; the injustices of the French legal system; the conflict between Darwinian philosophy and established religious belief; and Cézanne’s art, love life, and depressed personality.” Most importantly, according to Booklist, Pope also “weaves a fascinating murder mystery into these diverse thematic threads.” (more…)

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I was listening to the Diane Rehm show the other day, huffing away on my elliptical, and they had a book review edition on C.P. Snow’s The Masters, part of his Strangers and Brothers sequence of novels.

God, how I loved those books when I first read them. I was so callow at the time as to figure, when confronted with them on the shelf of the library, that they must be okay having been written by the author of the Screwtape Letters. A bit of confusion and conflation: C.S. Lewis for C.P. Snow (and how was I to know that the protagonist of Snow’s series was named Lewis, further adding to my dithering confusion?).

Brit lit was not my major. And after all, I had only really started to love books after I determined to be a writer. (more…)

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