| Apr 18, 2011
It's telling that the title of Marcia Clark's murder-mystery debut is smaller than her name on the novel's cover. Clark is best known as the lead prosecutor in the media circus known as the O.J. Simpson murder trial. She's less recognized as an author,...
| Oct 28, 2010
Massive, worldwide success often remains a bit enigmatic, but this publishing breakthrough seemed especially unlikely.
The first novel begins with the dull thud of a family tree full of foreign names: The book starts slowly — digging into arcane...
| Oct 31, 2010
Did Ms. Scarlet silence Mrs. Peacock with a knife to the throat? Or did Col. Mustard throttle Professor Plum with a silver-plated candlestick? Mystery buffs can map out, investigate and solve murder mysteries at a variety of hotels and bed-and-breakfasts,...
| Nov 14, 2010
The Mind's Eye
Alfred A. Knopf: 270 pp., $26.95
Oliver Sacks has built a reputation on exploring the medical mysteries of individual patients to illuminate the larger mysteries of human experience.
"The Mind's Eye," a collection of essays...
| Nov 26, 2010
Finding "Naked Heat" by Richard Castle simmering on the bestseller list wouldn't be unusual — it's the second in a mystery series, with a sexy cover and a blurb from author Michael Connelly — but for one thing: There is no Richard Castle. He's...
| Dec 19, 2010
Of Love and Evil
Alfred A. Knopf: 176 pp., $24.95
During the Christmas season, it's perfectly reasonable to think about angels, isn't it? After all, didn't they bear glad tidings about a babe born in Bethlehem?
Angels have long been...
| Dec 23, 2010
NEW YORK — For someone steeped in murder, grift and shady characters, Otto Penzler is remarkably cheerful.
"I'm the happiest person you know. I am an optimist, I'm happy, I love life, I love friends, I love my job," he says in his book-lined...
| Dec 19, 2010
What are we supposed to think when someone claims he's getting important life-changing news in a dream or from an angel? For some, the reaction is: Get the straitjacket ready. Others, however, will turn to someone like Richard Dawkins, who says such...
| May 1, 2011
The intersection of DeSoto and State streets here doesn't look like anything special.
On the southeast corner of the roads is H Town Custom Wheels. Across DeSoto to the west is Beer & Bud Mart, which faces a Church's Chicken stand. Immediately to the...
| Jul 11, 2010
When is an apple more than an apple? When it's resting in Eve's palm – or better yet, in the hands of the storyteller(s) of Genesis.
The same happens to other objects touched by myth: Fire, for instance, has Genesis-sized significance in the...
| Aug 1, 2010
Though I write for this West Coast newspaper, I live in New York City. That means, like a lot of dwellers of the five boroughs, I spend a disproportionate amount of time thinking about real estate, whether griping about too-high rents for tiny...