December 10, 2000 |
I can do without a blow dryer or a slip when I travel. But I wouldn't leave home without a mystery novel. I know I'm not alone. You need only stop in an airport bookstore to find stacks of mysteries or look down the aisle on a plane, where it seems as though someone in every row is bent over a thriller, a suspense novel, an old-fashioned whodunit or a book about a private eye.
September 14, 2009 |
This is how a writer knows his books have grabbed the full attention of mainstream American culture. By the time Dan Brown's "The Lost Symbol," his first novel since 2003's "The Da Vinci Code," lands on bookstore shelves Tuesday, pre-orders will have kept it at or near the top of Amazon's bestseller list for the last 148 days. On Sunday, Parade magazine published a selection from "The Lost Symbol," the first time it has excerpted a novel in its 68-year history. Beginning last Tuesday, in a marketing merger between publisher Doubleday and NBC, "Today" show co-host Matt Lauer unveiled a clue a day about the closely guarded plot.
November 29, 1994 |
For an author, it's a dream come true. Imagine you're a British crime writer who has been awarded round-trip air fare plus $20,000 to spend up to nine months in the United States soaking up Yankee culture for the purpose of "enriching" your writing.
September 23, 2001
September 23, 2001 FICTION Southern California Rating 1 THE CORRECTIONS by Jonathan Franzen (Farrar, Straus & Giroux: $26) The tragicomic saga of the Lamberts, a dysfunctional Midwestern family living at the end of the 20th century. Last Week 2 Weeks on List 2 2 THE SURGEON by Tess Gerritsen (Ballantine: $24.95) A creepy serial killer, adept at using a scalpel on his victims, stalks a Boston doctor as homicide detectives hunt for clues.
November 24, 1991 |
In an interview published a few months ago in the now-defunct national sports daily the National, baseball commissioner and former Columbia Pictures executive Fay Vincent was asked why people are angry about the exorbitant salaries paid to baseball players and not about those paid to movie stars. The commissioner's answer was like a little manifesto of sexism, even though gender was hardly mentioned.
September 1, 1991 |
I'm addicted to the grosses. Big deal, you say. The weekend box-office report, once the epitome of insider information, now makes regularly scheduled appearances in daily newspapers and national TV shows. In Los Angeles, especially--where those in the business are prone to bracing bons mots like "Did you see that 'Delirious' dropped off 50%?"--who made what seems to be on everyone's lips. Critics, however, are supposed to be above the commercial fray.
February 2, 2005 |
There appear to be three plausible explanations why the Dodgers don't feel morally compelled to protect their fans and continue to spend money on earthquake-safety improvements at Dodger Stadium: * The Parking Lot Attendant needed the money to make good on the loan he defaulted on in Boston. * Reader Mark Regan concluded in an e-mail: "I guess the Dodgers don't figure on doing anything earth-shattering."
September 22, 1999 |
Three of the finest sisters in crime have novels out this month, and as I sprawled on the sofa eating licorice drops, happily turning the pages, I found myself wondering how important it was for readers to have previously formed relationships with the main characters to appreciate the new offerings. For example, it would be arduous to plow through Elizabeth George's exquisitely written but labyrinthine "In Pursuit of the Proper Sinner" (Bantam, $25.
May 1, 1990 |
The Mystery Writers of America, formed in 1945, is the senior organization of crime writers in this country. Its annual Edgar awards (named, of course, for Edgar Allan Poe, who is generally saluted as the founding father of the form) are the most prestigious in the field.