Where did the summer go? My list of special projects fell behind a stack of books sometime around Memorial Day and hasn’t been seen since. But never mind, I read a ton of great books—I regret nothing.
Sharon Bolton writes atmospheric suspense often set in remote or otherwise isolated locations. Interestingly, she says that is the key for her. “Characters are secondary. Characters look after themselves,” she says. Bolton is gaining quite a following, and Oline Cogdill talks to her in this issue. We also chat with Alex Marwood, the product of a long line of writers. Marwood turned to crime—and a new pseudonym—when her first three dark comedies were mispackaged as chick lit.
Laura McHugh was halfway through her first book, The Weight of Blood, before she realized she was writing crime fiction. As it turned out, she was writing award-winning crime fiction, and now, with her highly praised second mystery her future looks bright. We talk with her in this issue.
Despite the passage of decades, Erle Stanley Gardner’s Perry Mason novels remain topical as well as entertaining. Perhaps that’s not surprising since basics of human nature—and the resulting legal conflicts—don’t change. But did you know that Gardner also wrote about a prosecuting attorney? Michael Mallory looks at the author’s Doug Selby novels in this issue and makes a strong case for searching out this lesser-known series.
A book that’s getting a lot of buzz around our office is Hard-Boiled Anxiety: The Freudian Desires of Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, Ross Macdonald, and Their Detectives, by Karen Huston Karydes. The title alone gets you thinking, doesn’t it? Tom Nolan gives this first book by a septuagenarian librarian an enthusiastic “thumbs up” and talks with the author in this issue.
You would think figuring out who wrote a book would be a simple matter, but that’s not always the case. Jon L. Breen looks at several difference scenarios in which the name on the title page has a tenuous—or nonexistent—connection with the actual author. There’s much more, including Ed Gorman’s chat with S.J. Rozan, in this issue.