| Apr 4, 2010
I should admit up front that my favorite narrators tend to be unreliable. While other readers seek comfort or order, a breather from life's everyday chaos and bad news, I like having my consciousness pricked by protagonists who don't understand their...
| Oct 7, 2009
At a drinks party in London last summer, Ruth Rendell seemed to let slip to a reporter from the Telegraph that "The Monster in the Box" would be the last in her long series of detective novels featuring Chief Inspector Reg Wexford.
The report seemed...
| Dec 6, 2009
Note: This is the first of a two-part column on the current state of contemporary detective fiction. This month: series characters as viewed by their creators.
In an essay for the Wall Street Journal last spring, Alexander McCall Smith explains the...
| Dec 7, 2009
"She was a horrible human being," recalls Otto Penzler, one of her publishers. It's an apt eulogy for a novelist whom Graham Greene, rather more charitably, dubbed "the poet of apprehension," a 20th century demiurge whose "world we enter each time with...
| Mar 1, 2009
Barry Day (ed): "The Letters of Noel Coward" (Vintage)
"The human race is a let down. It thinks it's progressed but it hasn't. It thinks it's risen above the primeval slime but it hasn't -- it's still wallowing in it!," says Gilda in Noel Coward's...
| Jan 31, 2010
Brian Moore was born in Northern Ireland, immigrated to Canada and spent much of his life living here in California, in Malibu. He wrote scripts, short stories and a string of novels, many of which, like "The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne," "Black Robe"...
| Dec 17, 2010
The Texas-born, New York-educated, Europe-dwelling Patricia Highsmith (1921-95), whose genre-bending fiction is hard to pigeonhole, excelled at depicting extreme emotional and psychological states — as demonstrated in "Patricia Highsmith: Selected...
| Aug 29, 2010
It may seem, thanks to her ManBooker Prize winning novel 'Wolf Hall' (just out in paperback, Picador: 608 pp., $16), that the novelist Hilary Mantel needs no more attention; but in fact the large body of her work — and she's been publishing for more...
| Feb 27, 2011
| 12:03 PM
Words & Ideas
Compiled by Grace Krilanovich.
Tamim Ansary: The author of "Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World Through Islamic Eyes" will discuss and sign his new book. Pacific Asia Museum, 46 N. Los Robles Ave., Pasadena. 2 p.m. Free...
| Jul 17, 2011
Guilt was Patricia Highsmith's great theme. In her books even the good know they're not innocent, and they carry an apprehension that they too will be found out. "Night was falling quickly, with visible speed like a black sea creeping over the earth,"...
| Aug 8, 2011
| 12:19 PM
"The obvious trouble with pen names … even with the most inspired and impressive ones, was that they somehow failed to convey truly the full extent of one's literary genius," said Romain Gary, the great French filmmaker and novelist, among other...