R.J. Ellory's standout new novel, Saints of New York, is our July 2014 Top Pick in Mystery. Past and present storylines are equally compelling in this vast and beautifully written novel. We chatted with the British author via email about his masterful new work.
The characters in Saints of New York—from the corrupt cops to the good cops—are all extremely flawed. They’re also surrounded by a world that is extremely dark, and even the “saints” are far from saintly. Was this a difficult book to write?
I think it’s an honest book, and I try to imbue every book I write with that kind of analysis and exposure of the human condition.
For most mere mortals, a position as a full-time historian and tenured professor at the University of Southern California would be sufficiently demanding. But not for Deborah Harkness, who has also managed to squeeze “best-selling novelist” onto her list of already impressive credentials.
Katherine Howe’s new YA novel Conversion alternates between two narratives. In one, contemporary high school student Colleen Rowley’s senior year at the high-pressure St. Joan’s Academy for Girls is interrupted by the outbreak of an unexplained illness. In the other, set at the beginning of the 18th century, a woman confesses to the role she played as a teenager in perpetuating the Salem witchcraft panic of 1692. Taken together, the two stories dare their reader to rethink the differences between past and present, rumor and truth, and science and magic.
BookPage caught up with Howe to find out more about her writing process, her most influential book and her unusual family history.
In a meteoric career that has produced two series and 13 crime novels in as many years, Georgia native Karin Slaughter rocketed to international bestseller status by granting women their rightful place at murder scenes and morgues.
Jennifer Haymore's The Scoundrel's Seduction is our June Top Pick in Romance! Sam Hawkins is an undercover agent, and is sworn to protect his king and country. When he is sent to assassinate an aristocratic conspirator, he carries out his orders, but the traitor's wife, the beguiling Lady Dunthorpe, witnessed the entire event. Sam is horrified and sees no choice but to kidnap her from the scene, yet Élise is glad to be free from her abusive husband. Soon, she is torn between her desire to escape from Sam and the heated attraction between them, but an unforeseen danger at last unites the pair, and they must put faith in each other as they run for their lives. We chatted with Haymore about her favorite character, English history and more in a 7 questions interview.
After writing several acclaimed novels, British author Jill Paton Walsh was tapped by the Dorothy L. Sayers estate to bring back Sayers’ iconic detecting duo, Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane. Walsh’s fourth Wimsey/Vane mystery, The Late Scholar, has just been published.
With The Quick, Lauren Owen has created a brilliant literary debut to rival the work of classic Gothic authors like Radcliffe and Brontë.
Malla Nunn's fourth Detective Sergeant Emmanuel Cooper novel, Present Darkness, is our June Whodunit Top Pick! Set in 1953 Johannesburg during the early years of Apartheid, DS Cooper is grappling with the secret of his mixed race identity while aiding in a highly publicized murder investigation. But when one of the suspects turns out to be the son of Cooper's friend, Zulu DS Samuel Shabalala, Cooper can't shake the feeling that police corruption is playing a part. Our columnist, Bruce Tierney, can't get enough of Nunn's "fast-paced, intricate storylines . . . deeply flawed hero and Oscar-worthy cast of supporting characters."
Bill Geist, longtime television correspondent on "CBS Sunday Morning" and his son Willie, co-host on NBC's "Today" and MSNBC's "Morning Joe," share a passion for journalism, but their real common ground lies in appreciating the hilarious, absurd and just plain odd situations in the world around them. They might have skipped the requisite father-son talks while Willie was growing up, but they're finally getting around to them in their new book, Good Talk, Dad.
Lisa Graff has written several books for middle grade readers, including the National Book Award nominee A Tangle of Knots. Graff has an uncanny ability to give a simple story an intensity that makes you want to keep turning the pages. In her latest offering, Absolutely Almost, 11-year-old Albie is struggling with the idea that he should be “better” than he is: better at math, better at spelling, better at being cool. We asked Graff a few questions about Albie, about writing, and about fitting in.