DSD Note: Steve is filling in today for Kristi. We apologize in advance.
As the luckiest man alive, I somehow got to moderate a panel at the Virginia Festival of the Book this weekend, a panel featuring Mary Louise Kelly, Rebecca Drake, Sarah Weinman, and Lisa Lutz.
I chatted with some swell people there. Friday was dinner outside in great weather and Saturday was dodging puny hailbits. Welcome to spring, eh?
Two "new-to-me" authors I had the pleasure of chatting with are Mark Pryor and Mary Carter/Carlene O'Connor.
I haven't read their books -- shut up, I've been busy. But I bought them, which, as we know, is the important part.
Lee Child says to add Mark Pryor to "your must-read list," so I did, despite Mark's being a West Ham fan. (Go Gunners.)
I bought The Hollow Man, which seems to have garnered some swell praise:
Fans of characters such as TV's Dexter, Sherlock, and House will take a shine to Dominic, a British expat living in Austin, TX, and working for the DA's office. He's having a terrible day: he has to switch to a job that pays less money, and he's barred from playing in a local club. On the plus side, there's a mysterious woman he takes an interest in- she's intriguing, sexy, and the older sister of a boy appearing in juvenile court, where Dominic happens to work. They, and his friend Gus, begin to plan a heist, one that seems simple and will solve Dominic's money woes. Of course, nothing goes as planned, and the protagonist has to tidy things up if he's going to avoid detection and jail. The twists and complications are a little fanciful, but readers will enjoy the mix of legal information and heist. Is Dominic a psychopath? His lack of emotion and empathy might suggest yes. Will he get the girl? Teens will happily read on to find out. VERDICT A great choice for those who want more suspense than mystery and who don't feel they have to empathize with or like the main character.-Laura Pearle, Library School JournalAlso, the Oprah website said Mark is "gritty."
I also chatted with Mary Carter and Carlene O'Connor, who seemed to be one person with two names, which is the exact opposite of Charles Todd, also in attendance.
The newest Carlene O'Connor book is Murder in an Irish Village.
Here's what Laurien Berenson, author of Live and Let Growl, had to say on that one:
If Janet Evanovich and Maeve Binchy wrote a book together, Murder in an Irish Village would be the result. The Irish setting rings with authenticity and Siobhan O'Sullivan is a character to savor. She's funny, feisty, and fearless. I want her to be my new best friend. I also want another book by Carlene O’Connor to read. This one is delicious fun.Anyhoo, check them out. I also got to meet Jamie Mason, Matthew Iden, and Eric Rickstad in the persons. I have some stories to tell you about them, but I have to clear some approvals first.
As always, the Virginia Festival of the Book was a great week. Keep your clickers hovering here for next