Interview with Sarah Weinman

I’m not a big fan of interviews, but I enjoyed Mystery Morgue’s interrogation of Sarah Weinman very much.  Hard to go wrong, maybe, with the topic (crime fiction) and the subject (the genre’s best-known blogger, at Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind, as well as a coauthor of publishing news and gossip blog GalleyCat). Fascinating to read about Sarah’s history and success as a reviewer, writer and blogger — a mixture of talent, determination, good timing and (not to be underestimated) sheer hard work. Here are a couple of her "blurb" reviews from the sidebar of "Confessions":

Benjamin Black: Christine Falls: A Novel
Is this the bridge book between literary and crime fiction? I’ll debate that later, I suppose, but at the moment I’d rather wholeheartedly recommend Banville’s maiden genre foray because he gets it: understands the Grand Guignol aspect of families with corrosive secrets, gets the genre conventions while developing characters in all their unholy motivations, and writes within conventions without looking down upon them. But I must say, I can’t wait to see the reviews and reaction upon its publication in March.

Chris Mooney: The Missing: A Thriller
It’s been a few years since Mooney’s Edgar-nominated REMEMBERING SARAH came out, but the wait produced this excellent and scary thriller that fans out from the night a trio of faltering friends stumble across a rapidly developing nightmare. Left to pick up the pieces is Darby McCormick, now a crime lab tech with a case that will put her through newfound and shocking variations on her previous hell. Mooney surprises with unexpected plot twists and grabs the reader with empathy for his understandably guilt-ridden (but supremely capable) protagonist.

Blidgets and widgets

You can customise your widget in all kinds of ways, and then post a little button on your blog. When a visitor clicks on the button, they can customise your widget too, and put it on their own blog or site.

(Note: I’ve removed the button because it was making loading too slow. Instead, see the blidget here.)

I am not too sure why a blidget is intrinsically a better way to link to another blog than using the (presumably now) old-fashioned single-link blogroll, but there you go. The widgetosphere is growing rapidly and the blidgetosphere will soon follow, if you believe what they say about it.

Everything Typepad, the Typepad house blog, has an entry explaining all about blidgets and why you should want one. But you don’t need a Typepad blog to have one, Widgetbox supports most blogging formats. 

The Grave Tattoo

My review of Val McDermid’s The Grave Tattoo was published in the Philadelphia Inquirer yesterday, 7 February.

From the review:

"A little-known fact about Fletcher Christian, leader of the mutiny on the Bounty, was that he was born on a farm in Cumbria, in the English Lake District, in 1764, six years before William Wordsworth, whom he probably knew.

Val McDermid’s latest novel is an inventive historical mystery taking off from these bare facts. The trigger is the discovery of a body in a Lakeland fell, a body well over 100 years old and covered with tattoos in what turn out to be all the right places. Capt. William Bligh had described Christian thus: "5 ft. 9 in. High. Dark Swarthy Complexion. Hair – Blackish or very dark brown. Make – Strong. A Star tatowed [sic] on his left Breast, and tatowed on the backside."  "

Read on at the link, or if the free access period is over and you want to read the review, let me know in the comments.