Annal: 2010 Macavity Award for Best Nonfiction

Results of the Macavity Award in the year 2010.

Book:Talking About Detective Fiction

Talking About Detective Fiction

P.D. James

In a perfect marriage of author and subject, P. D. James—one of the most widely admired writers of detective fiction at work today—gives us a personal, lively, illuminating exploration of the human appetite for mystery and mayhem, and of those writers who have satisfied it.

P. D. James examines the genre from top to bottom, beginning with the mysteries at the hearts of such novels as Charles Dickens’s Bleak House and Wilkie Collins’s The Woman in White, and bringing us into the present with such writers as Colin Dexter and Henning Mankell. Along the way she writes about Arthur Conan Doyle, Dorothy L. Sayers, Agatha Christie (“arch-breaker of rules”), Josephine Tey, Dashiell Hammett, and Peter Lovesey, among many others. She traces their lives into and out of their fiction, clarifies their individual styles, and gives us indelible portraits of the characters they’ve created,…[more]

Book:Dame Agatha's Shorts

Dame Agatha's Shorts: An Agatha Christie Short Story Companion

Elena Santangelo

In Dame Agatha's Shorts, mystery author Elena Santangelo guides you through the short works of one of mystery’s most famous writers, Agatha Christie. Find out:

  • what was the most exciting event in Christie’s life outside of dining with the Queen.
  • who Miss Lemon, detective Hercule Poirot’s secretary, listed as a former employer on her resume.
  • which three short stories inspired the novel Evil Under The Sun.
  • what was Ariadne Oliver’s sideline before she became a famous novelist.
  • what inspired Christie’s first story, and possibly her whole writing career.
  • why you should read, or re-read, Agatha Christie’s short stories.

And much more.

Book:L.A. Noir

L.A. Noir: The Struggle for the Soul of America's Most Seductive City

John Buntin

Other cities have histories. Los Angeles has legends.

Midcentury Los Angeles. A city sold to the world as “the white spot of America,” a land of sunshine and orange groves, wholesome Midwestern values and Hollywood stars, protected by the world’s most famous police force, the Dragnet-era LAPD. Behind this public image lies a hidden world of “pleasure girls” and crooked cops, ruthless newspaper tycoons, corrupt politicians, and East Coast gangsters on the make. Into this underworld came two men–one L.A.’s most notorious gangster, the other its most famous police chief–each prepared to battle the other for the soul of the city.

Former street thug turned featherweight boxer Mickey Cohen left the ring for the rackets, first as mobster Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel’s enforcer, then as his protégé. A fastidious dresser and unrepentant killer, the diminutive Cohen was Hollywood’s…[more]

Book:The Lineup

The Lineup: The World's Greatest Crime Writers Tell the Inside Story of Their Greatest Detectives

Otto Penzler

A great recurring character in a series you love becomes an old friend. You learn about their strange quirks and their haunted pasts and root for them every time they face danger. But where do some of the most fascinating sleuths in the mystery and thriller world really come from?

What was the real-life location that inspired Michael Connelly to make Harry Bosch a Vietnam vet tunnel rat? Why is Jack Reacher a drifter? How did a brief encounter in Botswana inspire Alexander McCall Smith to create Precious Ramotswe? In The Lineup, some of the top mystery writers in the world tell about the genesis of their most beloved characters—or, in some cases, let their creations do the talking.

Book:Provenance: How a Con Man and a Forger Rewrote the History of Modern Art

Provenance: How a Con Man and a Forger Rewrote the History of Modern Art

Laney Salisbury, Aly Sujo

A tautly paced investigation of one the 20th century’s most audacious art frauds, which generated hundreds of forgeries-many of them still hanging in prominent museums and private collections today.

Provenance is the extraordinary narrative of one of the most far-reaching and elaborate deceptions in art history. Investigative reporters Laney Salisbury and Aly Sujo brilliantly recount the tale of a great con man and unforgettable villain, John Drewe, and his sometimes unwitting accomplices.

Chief among those was the struggling artist John Myatt, a vulnerable single father who was manipulated by Drewe into becoming a prolific art forger. Once Myatt had painted the pieces, the real fraud began. Drewe managed to infiltrate the archives of the upper echelons of the British art world in order to fake the provenance of Myatt’s forged pieces, hoping to irrevocably legitimize…[more]

Book:Rogue Males

Rogue Males: Conversations & Confrontations about the Writing Life

Craig McDonald

In 2006, Craig McDonald published Art in the Blood, a collection of probing, long-form interviews with 20 major crime writers that was immediately hailed as a definitive text in the study of modern crime and mystery fiction.

Now McDonald a genuine expert on the history of crime fiction (Eddie Mueller, San Francisco Chronicle) returns with Rogue Males, a collection of no-holds-barred interviews with 16 authors who have shaped and defined narrative fiction and songwriting.

Rogue Males includes conversations with crime fiction legends Elmore Leonard and James Crumley (in one of his last interviews); premier stylists James Sallis and Daniel Woodrell; noir kingpins James Ellroy and Ken Bruen, and top thriller writers Lee Child and Randy Wayne White.

Stephen J. Cannell and Max Allan Collins hold forth on the intersection of crime novels and the silver screen while Andrew…[more]

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