Monthly Archives: January 2014

Benjamin Black, “Holy Orders”

I’m a little suspicious about Benjamin Black/John Banville’s rate of production here. Holy Orders is his most recent Quirke mystery, apparently released in August, a year after Vengeance. Yet in March we’ll see The Black-Eyed Blonde, in which Black follows in … Continue reading

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Thomas Cromwell on Stage

The Royal Shakespeare Company has adapted Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies into a dramatic diptych, currently on stage at Stratford-upon-Avon. Two plays, six hours. Wouldn’t you just love to see them?

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Maurice Dekobra, “The Madonna of the Sleeping Cars”

International skulduggery in high society. Glamor, sex, money and violence shaken together into a strong cocktail. Cynical luxury-loving Soviets, a beautiful amoral heroine, and a an implacable all-knowing villainess — why is The Madonna of the Sleeping Cars not a … Continue reading

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“The Goldfinch” Tops “Girl with a Pearl Earring”

At the Frick, that is. Since October, the two paintings have been star attractions in The Frick Collection’s blockbuster exhibition “Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Hals: Masterpieces of Dutch Painting from the Mauritshuis.” People lined up around the block. But a funny … Continue reading

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Sue Grafton, “W is for Wasted”

The new Sue Grafton. Of course I bought it. Didn’t think much about the title: asked recently how far Grafton had gotten in the alphabet, I said, “V.” (Which was “… for Vengeance.“) The alphabet titles aren’t always strong descriptors … Continue reading

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R.I.P. Elizabeth Jane Howard

Much-loved author of The Cazalet Chronicles and the memoir Slipstream, among others. My favorite line from this obituary: Howard explains that she married her second husband “because I became exhausted by people wanting to go to bed with me after half an … Continue reading

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Elisabeth De Waal, “The Exiles Return”

Edmund De Waal’s 2010 family memoir The Hare with Amber Eyes is one of my all-time favorite books, and it’s been a huge publishing success. De Waal is primarily a ceramicist (whose work is really lovely), but The Hare is … Continue reading

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