If you haven’t read Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next bibliomysteries, then you’re in for a real treat. Tom Nolan gives an introduction the whimsical world of Thursday Next, literary detective in this issue. (Here’s some advice for newbies, though: Start with the first book in the series, The Eyre Affair.)
Have you ever wondered about the loyal wife, silently standing by her disgraced husband, usually a politician, on the evening news? The Good Wife places that enigmatic figure at the center of one of the most enjoyable dramas on TV. It’s full-bodied, nuanced storytelling—and features probably the only time in history that a steamy sex scene has had National Public Radio’s evening news as a soundtrack. Find out more in Matt Zoller Seitz’s thoughtful article.
Novelist Kelli Stanley is making a splash and her conversation with Oline Cogdill on page 28 reveals why. It’s not every woman who is equally comfortable discussing ancient Roman curse tablets, the second Sino-Japanese War, segregated 1970s Florida, and comics! Also, Art Taylor talks with Louis Bayard about his acclaimed literary-themed thrillers, the latest of which, The School of Night, focuses on a secret, possibly heretical, society of scientists and artists in Elizabethan England.
Theatrical crime is running rampant across the country and Wm. F. Hirschman has tracked down some of the top perpetrators on Broadway and in regional theater for us. Don’t miss his list of classic crime plays—they make good reading!
There’s an avian theme to our latest contest on page 41. All you have to do is come up with ten mysteries with birds in their titles and you’ll be entered to win a free book. As you’ll recall, our last contest, “A Bouquet of Books,” centered on flowers. A reader requested a list of the titles but, alas, we didn’t save those entries. We’ll print the “Fine Feathered Friends” titles in an upcoming issue. In the last issue, I mentioned that Nate Pedersen was finishing off his series on collecting but I spoke too soon. Anne Saller, the new owner of Book Carnival in Tustin, Calif., suggested that Nate tackle topics sent in by readers. Nate is willing, so all that remains, dear readers, is for you to send in your questions!
The mystery world lost two very different, but equally beloved, writers recently: Joe Gores, author of the DKA novels, and H.R.F. (Harry) Keating, creator of Inspector Ghote and a thoughtful critic of the genre. They will be missed.