An all-star cast produces a mostly rewarding collection.



Profiles of fiction’s leading sleuths originally published individually for patrons of editor Penzler’s (Black Noir, 2009, etc.) Mysterious Bookshop.

The most notable feature of the collection is the variety of approaches taken by the contributors. Michael Connelly is thematic and evocative in tracing Harry Bosch’s sources, Lee Child pragmatic and market-driven in explaining Jack Reacher’s. Ian Rankin roots John Rebus in his study of English literature; John Harvey roots Charlie Resnick in genre conventions; John Connolly reflects on the ways Charlie Parker combines the two. Stephen Hunter confesses his temptation to swipe the plot for Bob Lee Swagger’s debut; John Lescroart recalls his early struggles to make it as a writer; Colin Dexter answers FAQ about Inspector Morse on the page and television. David Morrell takes a sober Canadian view of Rambo’s origins in the Vietnam War–era counterculture; Alexander McCall Smith pens a love letter to Precious Ramotswe’s Botswana. Faye Kellerman considers the biographical links between herself and Rina Lazarus and Peter Decker, while Jonathan Kellerman embroiders on the observation, “People talk to me; I listen.” Ken Bruen and Carol O’Connell produce stylistic pastiches of their novels, and Robert Crais maintains that Elvis Cole and Joe Pike are always with him. Robert B. Parker, Anne Perry, Jeffery Deaver, Laura Lippman and Ridley Pearson all fictionalize their profiles in distinctive, utterly characteristic ways. Most entertaining is Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child’s dialogue on Aloysius X.L. Pendergast, whose relaxed back-and-forth brings not only the hero but the collaborative process of writing to life.

An all-star cast produces a mostly rewarding collection.

Pub Date: Nov. 10, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-316-03193-6

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2009

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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