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One of my favorite crime writers was Andrea Camilleri, who died in July of 2019 at age ninety-four. His Inspector Montalbano series, set in Sicily, was the subject of a previous column. Camilleri’s books were full of wit, violence, and a deep knowledge of human nature. His death, and the pro…
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For good or ill, the end of the year calls up a whole half-dozen occasions for bookish gift-giving—holidays, traditions, and family gatherings. In 2020, there’s one more occasion, grimmer and more universal than any of the others have ever been. We’ve all earned the feeling of being survivors. 
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It seems to me that production of detective stories on so large a scale, and by writers whose immediate reward is small and whose need of critical praise is almost nil, would not be possible at all if the job took any talent.
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 The lifeblood of any publishing year is novelty, in all its forms. The endless parade of books on bookstore display tables all calls out to prospective buyers with the same call: new, new, new! The newest novels, the newest histories, the newest biographies taking advantage of the newest so…
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There are some books I am a little reluctant to review. I struggle to overcome that reluctance because dark things happen in our world, and we gain nothing by hiding them—or hiding from them. In truth, we lose because by hiding them, we let then grow and fester.
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From our contributing authors

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Nearly a year into the pandemic now and we’re still trying to do the best we can to avoid both catching and spreading the virus. Aside from masks, isolating and distancing, hand sanitizers and other disinfectant products have been an effective way combat the spread. Unfortunately, in our zea…

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