It doesn’t take long for a conversation with Val McDermid to turn to her beloved Raith Rovers Football Club. She inherited this affection from her late father who was a scout for the team in their hometown of Kirkcaldy, Fife. Today she serves on the club’s board and even sponsors a spectators’ stand which the Rovers offered to name The Val McDermid Stand. Instead, as she told The Scotsman, “It's known as The McDermid Stand in memory of my father. Being an internationally-renowned cultural icon is all well and good, ha ha, but in Kirkcaldy I'll always be Jim McDermid's lassie."
To the rest of us, of course, Val is quite famous in her own right for a string of excellent crime novels that stretches back to the 1980s. She’s an interesting woman and I think you’ll enjoy her conversation with Oline Cogdill in this issue.
We also talk to James Sallis, who is having a banner year with a highly praised new novel and a film adaptation of Drive starring Ryan Gosling and Carey Mulligan. Sarah R. Shaber discusses her new series about a young widow working in intelligence in WWII-era Washington
Everybody loves Spidey, but do you think of him as an embodiment of the American Dream? British writer Nick Harkaway does and his take on Spider-Man offers food for thought.
Vampires, psychics, witches, and ghosts—Steve Hockensmith looks at supernatural mysteries, the subgenre that would not die. Jon L. Breen is celebrating the return of Max Allan Collins’ iconic private eye, Nate Heller, in a new novel with a look at the entire series. And there’s lots more—enjoy!