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Archive for December, 2007

Dennis Lehane's 5 most important books

Newsweek’s 12/17/07 issue asks Dennis Lehane to choose his five most important books:

1. One Hundred Years of Solitude
2. The Wanderers
3. The Great Gatsby
4. The End of the Affair
5. The Last Good Kiss “The Great American Crime Novel,” Lehane says

Martin Scorcese is to direct a movie of Lehane’s Shutter Island, and you can read an except from it on the Newsweek website.

Ken has seven Dennis Lehane books available online

Life after Easy Rawlins

Walter Mosley will create a new mystery series set in New York featuring African American detective Leonid McGill, the New York Times reported on 12/11/07.   Mosley’s committed to two McGill books and also has a deal for a literary novel, Last Days of Ptolemy Grey, with his new publisher, Riverhead Books.

"Person of Interest" by Theresa Schwegel

Tell Santa I want books by Theresa Schwegel for Christmas.

Janet Maslin reviewed Schwegel’s newest, Person of Interest, on the front page of the NY Times Arts & Leisure section on December 10. Mere books rarely make it to that rarified journalistic real estate. Schwegel’s Officer Down won an Edgar Award for Best First Novel.

In Mystery Scene magazine issue #102, Cheryl Solimini interviews Schwegel, who spent time in Hollywood writing for the screen. Like authors I wrote about in an earlier post, Schwegel says her film stint honed her novelistic skills.

“I became more appreciative of the structure and discipline of screenwriting,” Schwegel told Solimini. “You really have to be selective. You can’t write about the furniture. Every single thing on the page has a purpose and a place.”

Seven books to go for Grafton

T is for Trespass is out, leaving Sue Grafton only “U,” “V,” “W,” “X,” “Y” and “Z” before she gets to retire and spend her days counting her money.

Entertainment Weekly gives “T” a solid A minus.

“As this master of suspense continues to demonstrate in superb mystery after mystery, there are more ugly twists in the human heart than there are letters in the alphabet,” says reviewer Jennifer Reese.

EW reports that Grafton wrote for the TV sitcom Rhoda before hitting pay dirt with the alphabet series.

Question: Why hasn’t there been a Kinsey Millhone movie?

Ken has 24 Graftons, including a first British edition of A is for Alibi and U.S. firsts of “B” and “C” and the rare Keziah Dane.

USA News & World Reports interview with Elmore Leonard

Several years ago, I volunteered with a Detroit area arts organization which was to present an important award to Elmore Leonard. The execs scheduled a meeting with him for lunch to confirm the details, then suddenly realized that none of them had actually read any of his books. They asked me to join them just to have someone at the table who spoke the language.

Turns out we mostly talked about the movies that had been made from his books. In an interview in the 11/5/07 USA Today, Leonard said, “I wanted my books to become movies. That was my aim. I wanted to make some money doing this. My first books, I would get like 2,000 bucks. That was mostly in the ’50s, then it went up to $4,000. I didn’t really make money from books until the 1980s. But I got a lot more from movies.”

In that arts organization meeting, others asked Leonard what authors he read, and his pick at the time was Cormac McCarthy. In the USA Today piece, he mentions Gay Talese, Tom Wolfe and Thomas Lynch, the funeral director-author-essayist-poet from Milford, Mich.

We offer 37 Leonard books online — find them here