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»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.«

Laura Miller

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.

»The Goldfinch itself could be a controlled substance, which makes the experience of reading it unsettlingly similar to the lives it describes.«

Laura Miller

Donna Tartt‘s masterful, enveloping feat of storytelling about an orphan who steals a celebrated artwork. Laura Miller about The Goldfinch at salon.com.

»Also remarkable is the discipline of Shannon’s prose. Young writers, and especially young fantasy writers, have a tendency to ladle on the description, exposition and emotional prompts, a particularly dangerous inclination when some of the action involves invented incorporeal powers. But more often than not, The Bone Season is as economical (if not quite as stylish) as a hardboiled detective novel. (…)«

Laura Miller

A dystopian thriller that delivers: Laura Miller about the debut novel The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon. Her review at the Salon.com.

»What I found was that there was a whole generation of women writers, mostly working in the period between World War II and the dawn of women’s liberation in the early 1970s. They were critically acclaimed, many won Edgar awards or were made grand masters by the Mystery Writers of America. They sold very well and were published in hardcover, whereas a lot of their male counterparts, who are now considered part of the crime fiction canon or are in Library of America, they were only published in paperback. So, what happened? I wanted to know more about them.«

Sarah Weinman

The grandmothers of Gone Girl: Laura Miller and Sarah Weinman talking about forgotten queens of domestic suspense and the new anthology Troubled Daughters, Twisted Wives: Stories from the Trailblazers of Domestic Suspense, edited by Sarah Weinman. Read the conversation at salon.com.

»The Invention of Murder culminates and concludes with the century’s most famous criminal, Jack the Ripper, and its most famous fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes. As Flanders sees it, each was ›the product of the entire previous century‹ and each figure ushered in a new way of thinking about both murder and the stories we tell about it. The world of fiction might have come to feel a little safer and more orderly, but the real one? Not so much.«

Laura Miller

Non fiction: The Invention of Murder: How the Victorians Reveled in Death and Detection and Created Modern Crime by Judith Flanders is an endlessly absorbing new history of the notorious killers and legendary detectives of the 19th century, Laura Miller says. Her review you can catch at Salon.com.

»Such turmoil aside, while Difficult Men will inevitably be compared to Easy Riders, Raging Bulls, Peter Biskind’s rollicking look at the creative (and pharmacological) revolution that swept Hollywood in the 1970s, Martin is less interested in documenting behind-the-scenes melodrama than in tracing a wider story arc, the fortuitous confluence of factors that brought about our ongoing television renaissance.«

Aaron Gell

How the bad guys won: Aaron Gell about the book Difficult Men : Behind the Scenes of a Creative Revolution: From ‘The Sopranos’ and ‘The Wire’ to ‘Mad Men’ and ‘Breaking Bad’ by Brett Martin. His review at Salon.

»As I watch the Edward Snowden story develop, the foremost thought in my mind is this: It’s just the tip of the iceberg.«

Charlie Huston

»Novelists, rewrite your cyberthrillers« writer Charlie Huston says. His new thriller Skinner has just been published and now he writes about the case of Edward Snowden. His worth reading essay at Salon.com.

»It’s the empty freakishness of the serial killer that makes him superficially fascinating, the stuff that so much bad pulp fiction and so many trashy documentaries are made of. It takes a rarer, more humane and imaginative writer to show the dented magnificence and universal sorrow within ordinary lives, and make you realize how much more they are worth.«

Laura Miller

A gifted reporter does justice to the lives of women murdered by a yet-to-be-found monster in Long Island. Laura Miller about the book Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery by Robert Kolker. Her review at Salon.