Crime has replaced religion in everyday life,” says James Runcie, tongue in cheek. Even facetiously, it’s a striking sentiment to come from the son of the former Archbishop of Canterbury, but Runcie is an unusually articulate and thoughtful man with some interesting insights into both mystery fiction and his native Britain. In this issue, Craig Sisterson chats with Runcie whose witty Grantchester mystery series featuring Anglican priest Sidney Chambers, has been made into a hit PBS TV series.
Kevin Burton Smith takes a look at well-known writers from other genres who have dabbled their toes in PI fiction’s waters—including the creator of a world-famous young wizard.
Kate Jackson examines “The Wimsey Papers,” a series of mock letters and diary extracts written by Dorothy L. Sayers’ Lord Peter Wimsey and his family and friends during WWII. Don’t miss Harriet Vane’s account of the Great Paggleham Fire Drill! The O.J. Simpson trial has recently been back in the news with a highly lauded new miniseries. Marcia Clark was on the prosecution team during the trial and later turned her legal expertise to use in crafting some fine courtroom thrillers. Dana Kabel interviews this accomplished woman for us.
In this issue, Naomi Hirahara tells our interviewer that her series featuring the Japanese-American sleuth Mas Arai is coming to an end. Hirahara made use of her own family’s often difficult, sometimes tragic history to inform and enrich her novels. Dick Lochte, our audiobooks review columnist, removed his headphones to view The Murdoch Mysteries, set in 19th-century Toronto. He’s an enthusiastic fan and has convinced Brian and I to put this Acorn TV series on our to-be-viewed list.
Bart Paul’s new series is set in the rugged ranching country of the Eastern Sierra, an area he first got to know as a young boy on horse packing trips into the wilderness. Tom Nolan talks to Paul in this issue. David McCallum has taken up writing late in life—he’s 82—but he’s come up with a winning thriller about, of course, an actor in some serious trouble. McCallum still stars on NCIS, and we sent one of his longtime fans, Oline H. Cogdill, to chat with him.
Our New Books essays this issue range from Roman catacombs to Amish communities to Florida estates to the US military.