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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Olivia Manning, “The Balkan Trilogy”

The Balkan Trilogy first came to my attention via the 1987 BBC series starring Emma Thompson and Kenneth Branagh. Did you remember that they were once married to each other? They met while playing husband and wife in the series. … Continue reading

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