Category Archives: Crime Fiction

Robert Parker Dies Writing at Age 77

>The Boston area lost one of its own on Monday, January 18, with the death of Robert B. Parker, best known as the author of three popular mystery series featuring Massachusetts investigators: Spenser, Jesse Stone, and Sunny Randall. Split Image, the ninth Jesse Stone novel, is due out on February 23.

“Publishing 65 books in 37 years,” Bryan Marquard writes in yesterday’s Boston Globe, “Mr. Parker was as prolific as he was well-read. He featured Spenser – ‘spelled with an ‘s,’ just like the English poet,’ he said – in 37 novels.” Read the whole article here.

Booklist editor Bill Ott blogs about his pleasure in Robert Parker’s novels on the Booklist blog.

For many more tributes, obituaries, and reminiscences, including her own Los Angeles Times article, check out Sarah Weinman’s post on her blog, Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind.

Nine Dragons and the State of Crime Fiction

I’m on the library “holds” list for Nine Dragons, Michael Connelly’s latest book in the Harry Bosch series, but in the meantime — if I don’t run out and buy it over Thanksgiving weekend — I might check out one of the many other crime fiction authors recommended in The State of the Crime Novel, a recommendation-filled interview by author Jason Pinter with various book reviewers on, yes, The Huffington Post‘s Books blog.
Here’s how Oline Cogdill, mystery reviewer for The Sun-Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale and Publishers Weekly responded when asked: Who are three veteran crime writers you feel are still at the top of their game? Who are three writers flying under the radar you feel deserve to break out?:

Oline Cogdill: Michael Connelly is perhaps our most consistent living mystery author and his novels are about moments in our time, how the changing LA copes in the 21st century. Laura Lippman continues to amaze me with how she can so precisely tap into the issues of women. Laurie King’s Mary Russell novels would have been the kind I would have loved to have as a young teenager. I think they will be timeless. Val McDermid continues to be one of my favorites and I am looking forward to Dennis Lehane’s next novel, especially with the buzz I’ve been hearing. I also always look forward to novels by Peter Robinson and Ian Rankin and S.J. Rozan, Charles Todd. For breakouts: Michael Koryta is an amazing writer and so young. We’ll be hearing a lot more from him. I feel the same way about John Hart, that he will be a novelist with a long career. Linwood Barclay has been around for a while but his family thrillers put him in league with Harlan Coben and may finally put him over the top with American audiences. Some upcoming novelists I think you’ll be hearing about are Bryan Gruley (Starvation Lake), Attica Locke (Black Water Rising) and Paul Doiron (The Poacher’s Son comes out in April) These are major talents. I loved Harry Dolan’s Bad Things Happen and I want to see what he does next.

Thanks to Becky, a library book blogger at RA for All, for pointing this interview out. Subscribe to her blog for great reading advice.

The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz

cover image of The Spellman FilesAuthor Lisa Lutz has created a winning new private eye in Isabel “Izzy” Spellman, the 28-year-old daughter with a checkered past in a family that thinks it’s normal, although they’re almost all private eyes who have no respect for privacy. Izzy and Rae, her much younger sister, have the business in their blood–Rae has to be reined in from her recreational tailing and shadowing while she’s still in elementary school. Izzy’s older brother David escapes the family business and become a high-powered lawyer, but can’t avoid occasional professional and personal contact with his family, who — sneaky and intensely curious — are very good at what they do.

Recorded Books narrator Christina Moore does a fantastic job with Izzy’s detailing of her life story thus far, including Rae’s troubling disappearance, Uncle Ray’s drinking benders, Izzy’s string of ex-boyfriends, and the cold case that is meant to be Izzy’s final investigation.

First in series of three so far, The Spellman Files will be a hit with Janet Evanovich readers.

Watch a video interview with author Lisa Lutz from Simon & Schuster, publisher of the abridged audio edition.

Check availability of this title in Old Colony Library Network catalog here: