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  • The Lineup

    Thu, 14 Jan 2010 12:13

    The New York Times on Otto Penzler's The Lineup: The World's Greatest Crime Writers Tell the Inside Story of Their Greatest Detectives:

    It began as a marketing strategy. Otto Penzler, the renowned proprietor of the Mysterious Bookshop in New York City, wanted to keep his customers happy. And he wanted to keep them out of chain stores. So he began commissioning annual Christmas stories from popular crime writers and giving out free copies of these stories as thank-you gifts to the shop's customers.

    Then Mr. Penzler had an even niftier idea. (Santa! Are you listening?) He lined up some of the most famous mystery novelists around and asked them for 10-page riffs about their best-known characters. Those essays have been collected in The Lineup, an exciting omnibus volume that has widespread appeal and adds up to much, much more than the sum of its parts.

    The mystery writers were free to attack this assignment in whatever way they chose. Some were more assiduous than others. Some just rambled; some indulged their egos; some cooked up conversations with their fictitious creations. One, Jeffery Deaver, even used his character's obituary to create a miniature mystery plot.

    But each wound up delivering memorable revelations about the mystery genre and its different incarnations. And there are many conflicting approaches represented here. That makes The Lineup the best book of its kind since Mr. Penzler edited a similar book, The Great Detectives, in 1978. Writers in that one included the creators of Dick Tracy, Matt Helm, the 87th Precinct and Nancy Drew (more...)

    Posted by Mark Mark

    Categories: bookreview, The Lineup

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