Cops and Private Eyes ~ Show September 12 and 13

FEATURED BOOKS PREVIEWED

“Black” by Russell Blake
“Pretty Girls” by Karin Slaughter
“Brush Back” by Sara Paretsky
“Cross and Burn” by Val McDermid
“X” by Sue Grafton
“Dexter is Dead” by Jeff Lindsay
“Bum Rap” by Paul Levine

INTERVIEW
Sara Paretsky, Author

TUNE IN TO THE PROGRAM FOR
An arresting mix of new titles with amateur sleuths, private eyes and cops in the line up. Sara Paretsky drops by to speak about her newest title in the VI Warshawski series, “Brush Back.”

Listen to The Book Report at your convenience. Go to https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-book-report/id540205917?mt=2, or at bookreportradio.com, click on Archived Shows

Ruth Rendell Dies At Age 85

Ruth Rendell, one of Britain’s best-loved authors, who delighted fans for decades with her dark, intricately plotted crime novels, passed away on May 2. Baroness Rendell of Babergh, the creator of Inspector Wexford and author of more than 60 novels, had been admitted to hospital after a serious stroke in January and died in London.

The crime writer Val McDermid voiced the sorrow of many Rendell fans when she heard the news. “Ruth Rendell was unique. No one can equal her range or her accomplishment; no one has earned more respect from her fellow practitioners. Current British crime writing owes much to a writer who over a 50-year career consistently demonstrated that the genre can continually reinvent itself, moving in new directions, assuming new concerns and exploring new ways of telling stories.”

Baroness Gail Rebuck, chair of Penguin Random House UK, said: “Ruth was much admired by the whole publishing industry for her brilliant body of
work. An insightful and elegant observer of society, many of her award-winning thrillers and psychological murder mysteries highlighted the causes she cared so deeply about. She was a great writer, a campaigner for social justice, a proud mother and grandmother, a generous and loyal friend and probably the best read person I have ever met. Her many close friends in publishing and the House of Lords will greatly miss her wonderful company and her truly unique contribution to our lives.”

Rendell’s novels included the Inspector Wexford crime series and the psychological thrillers she wrote as Barbara Vine. Her debut, “From Doon with Death,” introduced Wexford in 1964. “He sort of is me, although not entirely,” the author told the Observer in 2013 when the inspector made his 24th outing, in “No Man’s Nightingale.” “Wexford holds my views pretty well on most things, so I find putting him on the page fairly easy.”

Rendell landed her £75 publishing deal after a decade of life as a mother and housewife. She had been a journalist on the Chigwell Times, but resigned after it emerged that her report of a local tennis club dinner had been written without attending the event, meaning she missed the death of the after-dinner speaker during his speech.

Ian Rankin said he’d viewed Rendell as “probably the greatest living crime writer” and added that “if crime fiction is currently in rude good health, its practitioners striving to better the craft and keep it fresh, vibrant and relevant, this is in no small part thanks to Ruth Rendell”.

Rendell’s death closely follows that of fellow crime writer PD James, her good friend and political opponent in the House of Lords. A tribute by the broadcaster and writer Mark Lawson this weekend called them “the George Eliot and Jane Austen of the homicidal novel: different minds and style but equal talent”. He credited them with saving British detective fiction from the disdain of serious literary critics.

Rendell won prizes including the Crime Writers’ Association Cartier Diamond Dagger for “sustained excellence in crime writing”, and, as a Labour life peer, helped pass a law preventing girls being sent abroad for female genital mutilation.

Listen to The Book Report at your convenience. Go to https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-book-report/id540205917?mt=2, or at bookreportradio.com, click on Archived Shows

The Sleuth….And Their Sidekick ~ Show January 31 and February 1

FEATURED BOOKS PREVIEWED

“Personal” by Lee Child
“The Escape” by David Baldacci
“Faceoff” edited by David Baldacci
“The President’s Pilot” by Robert Gandt
“The Einstein Pursuit” by Chris Kuzneski
“No Fortunate Son” by Brad Taylor
“Die Again” by Tess Gerritsen

INTERVIEW
David Baldacci, Authors

TUNE IN TO THE PROGRAM FOR
A literary salute to the sleuth…and their sidekick. After all, what is Sherlock without Watson or Poirot without Hastings? Elaine speaks with David Baldacci who, once again, is at the top of his game with “The Escape.” David also introduces us to “Faceoff,” a thriller lover’s dream.

Listen to The Book Report at your convenience. Go to https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-book-report/id540205917?mt=2, or at bookreportradio.com, click on Archived Shows

Doris Lessing’s Library Headed To Zimbabwe

DORIS LESSING’S LIBRARY HEADED TO ZIMBABWE

Nobel Prize-winning novelist Doris Lessing, who died last year, spent her early years in Zimbabwe. She is still giving back to the country whose former white rulers banished her for speaking against racial discrimination.

The bulk of Lessing’s book collection was handed over to the Harare City Library, which will catalogue the more than 3,000 books. The donation complements the author’s role in opening libraries in Zimbabwe, to make books available to rural people. “For us she continues to live,” said 42-year-old Kempson Mudenda, who worked with Lessing when she established the Africa Community Publishing and Development Trust. “The libraries she helped set up are giving life to village children who would otherwise be doomed,” said Mudenda, who said he used to trudge bush paths daily to reach remote villages with books. Lessing’s trust started libraries in thatched mud huts and under trees after the author was allowed to return to Zimbabwe following independence in 1980.

Lessing went to what was then Southern Rhodesia with her parents as a child, staying from 1924 for 25 years until she moved to London. After achieving success with her first novel, “The Grass Is Singing,” she returned in 1956 but was soon expelled for criticizing the white rulers of the time. She returned again in 1982. She died at her home in London at the age of 94.

In her writing, Lessing explored topics ranging from colonial Africa to dystopian Britain, from the mystery of being female to the unknown worlds of science fiction. She was best known for “The Golden Notebook,” in which heroine Anna Wulf uses four notebooks to bring together the separate parts of her disintegrating life.

Listen to The Book Report at your convenience. Go to https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-book-report/id540205917?mt=2, or at bookreportradio.com, click on Archived Shows

LA TIMES LITERARY AWARDS

The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books recently announced their 34th Annual Book Prizes, for creativity and the written word. Winner in key categories are:

Biography: Marie Arana, Bolivar: American Liberator

Current Interest: Sheri Fink,Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital

Fiction: Ruth Ozeki, A Tale for the Time Being

First Fiction: NoViolet Bulawayo, We Need New Names

History: Christopher Clark, The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914

Mystery/Thriller: J.K. Rowling writing as Robert Galbraith, The Cuckoo’s Calling