| 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...
| Jan 14, 2011
Joe Gores, a former San Francisco private investigator who became a prize-winning author of hardboiled mysteries such as "Hammett," "Come Morning" and "Spade & Archer," has died. He was 79.
A resident of San Anselmo, Calif., Gores died of a stomach...
| Jan 15, 2011
By what measures do we assign "greatness" to artworks? The word of experts? Public acclaim? Monetary value? By these standards, Jan and Hubert van Eyck's "The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb," also known as the Ghent Altarpiece, surely warrants a place in...
| Feb 3, 2011
| 3:41 PM
It's easy to get hung up on distinctions between mysteries and thrillers (not to mention the catch-all category of "crime fiction" that often acts as an acceptable substitute) when books, especially those published today, slide fluidly between the two...
| Sep 14, 2010
When Blue Balliett burst onto the tween literary scene with her first action-packed intellectual art mystery six years ago, it was, in every sense, a puzzler. An unknown Chicago teacher had propelled herself to the top of the country's bestseller lists...
| Feb 11, 2011
"Cold Weather," the latest micro-budget movie from writer-director-editor Aaron Katz, is like an exquisite minimalist painting — its beauty will move you, its simplicity will fool you. For there are layers and complexities to be found in the film,...