The Times has been a bit half-hearted in reviewing crime fiction in the past couple of weeks, which is strange, given the number of good books being published at the moment, but not shy to think of an original idea when someone else has already thought of a good one (and that someone else's idea wasn't exactly original either), next week the paper is to feature a list of, wait for it, the 50 greatest crime writers. I can't see an online announcement at the Times website, but in today's paper version, I learn that "Marcel Berlins [Times crime-fiction reviewer], with Natasha Cooper, Val McDermid, Peter Millar [Times thriller-fiction reviewer], and a host of special guests, guide you through the twisted plots, tough 'tecs and terrifying killers." Watch this space, next Saturday.
Via an email from Amazon:
Enter a competition to "spend a weekend in London with" J.K. Rowling's The Tales of Beedle the Bard,the rare and delightful book of fairy tales handwritten and illustrated by the author (security guards included, of course). Open to Muggles ages 13 and older in 24 countries, with a deadline of 22 April, the Beedle the Bard Ballad Writing Contest challenges you to creatively answer one of the following three questions in 100 words or less:
• What songs do wizards use to celebrate birthdays?
• What sports do wizards play besides Quidditch?
• What have you learned from the Harry Potter series that you use in everyday life?
J. K. Rowling also featured in the Times today. She is one of 14 children's book authors who has signed a letter calling for a ceasefire in Dafur. I showed Jenny the associated article about this letter, which she read. Her (only) comment was that the focus of the article on JKR rather than the other 13 authors reminded her of Rita Skeeter from Harry Potter 4. JKR and Jenny both seem to have the fourth estate down to a T, I think. [photo: the Times.]