»Lately, though, publishers have been pulling out some mighty big guns in the series revival game. This fall, two celebrated British novelists, Sebastian Faulks (Birdsong) and William Boyd (Any Human Heart) have published a new Jeeves and Wooster and a new James Bond novel, respectively. Come spring, the Booker Prize-winning novelist John Banville will publish a new Philip Marlowe novel under the pseudonym he uses for his own detective fiction, Benjamin Black. All three of these authors can be counted among the most esteemed British and Irish literary novelists alive today — which is a far cry from pen-for-hire jobbers like Ripley.«
When celebrated literary novelists revive classic heroes of popular fiction, the results can be surprisingly good, says Laura Miller. Her view on new books by Sebastian Faulks, William Boyd and John Banville with familiar characters at Salon.
I Was Jack Mortimer by Alexander Lernet-Holenia, originally published in 1933 entitled Ich war Jack Mortimer, is »a fascinating snapshot of Vienna between the wars« says Laura Wilson. Her review of this and four other new published crime books you will find at The Guardian.
»It’s in a book such as this, at least while we’re immersed in its reverberant pages, that we can find the only place where meaning, as dark as it might be, emerges as a balm against nothingness. Anyone who loves fine fiction has no choice but to read this novel now.«
A place quite dangerous for writers: Alan Cheuse about the novel Death of the Black-Haired Girl by Robert Stone. His review at SFGAte.
»Tatiana leaves the reader hoping that Smith’s Arkady Renko series, like that loop of film, plays again and again.«
Lean and swiftly paced: Gerald Bartell about the novel Tatiana by Martin Cruz Smith. His review at SFGate.
»But Maggie differed from her contemporaries in another crucial way. In an era when most mysteries featured strong men, or non-aggressive women like Miss Marple or Nancy Drew, Maggie’s protagonists were smart, difficult, and sometimes threatening. They were women who shared a quietly desperate view of a hard-boiled world.«
Mores and corruptions of a stratified society: Kathleen Sharp with worth reading portait about literary suspense author Margaret’Maggie’ Millar. Her portrait The Dangerous Housewife at the Los Angeles Review of Books.
»The «hard-boiled» genre of detective fiction – tough realism with a vernacular dialogue; a focus on the less noble side of humanity – was defined for all time when Dashiell Hammett wrote The Maltese Falcon, a multi-layered tale of greed and deceit.«
Dashiell Hammett‘s drama was a ground-breaking work of detective fiction which paved the way for film noir, says Will Hodgkinson. His essay you will find at The Telegraph.
»Wie sein gelassener Held nimmt auch der Autor Ritzel keine Abkürzungen, wenn es um die Wahrheitsfindung geht.«
In den Graubereichen: Sylvia Staude bespricht bei der Frankfurter Rundschau den aktuellen Kriminalroman Trotzkis Narr von Ulrich Ritzel.
»Für Dennis Lehane sind die 20er-Jahre, die Jahre der Prohibition, die sexieste Dekade der amerikanischen Geschichte.«
Gangster-Krimi mit Tiefgang: David Westphalen bespricht beim Bayerischen Rundfunk den neuen Roman In der Nacht von Dennis Lehane. Seine Kritik gibt es dort als Podcast zu hören.
»Was für ein Festessen für Hollywood. Allein schon auf das Casting für die beiden weiblichen Hauptrollen darf man nach der Lektüre sehr gespannt sein.«
Thriller für Hollywood: Thomas Burmeister hat für die dpa den neuen Krimi In der Nacht von Dennis Lehane besprochen. Seine Kritik findet sich unter anderem bei volksfreund.de.
» Q. You’ve said that the detective novel is a barometer of narrative production in any country. By that metric, where does Italy rank?
A. Narrativity presumes a special taste for plot. And this taste for plot was always very present in the Anglo-Saxon countries and that explains their high quality of detective novels. It is absolutely true that until recently there was nothing in Italian similar to Agatha Christie or Ian Fleming, not to speak of Sherlock Holmes. But there is something new. As in the Swedish culture, where there was an enormous birth of crime stories, in Italy for the past 20 years, there’s been a great production of good-quality detective stories. It’s a miracle — suddenly the Italian culture discovered the art of the plot.«
Exploring imaginary lands with one of Italy’s masters of fiction: Stephen Heyman in conversation with Umberto Eco about fiction and Mr. Eco’s latest book The Book of Legendary Lands (dt.: Die Geschichte der legendären Länder und Städte). Read an excerpt of the conversation at The New York Times.