Smokey the Cat
Nathan Larson

Sixty seconds with Nathan Larson...

Nathan Larson is an award-winning film composer, musician, producer, the author of the novels The Dewey Decimal System, The Nervous System, and The Immune System. He has made music for many films, including Boys Don't Cry, Margin Call, and the Swedish movies Stockholm Stories and Lilya 4-Ever. He and his wife, singer Nina Persson, divide their time between New York City and Sweden.

RTE: Describe yourself in a sentence?

Larson: I am an over-achieving, impulsive white male person who feels guilty having to sleep.

RTE: What's the one record you'd take to a desert island?


RTE: What did you want to be when you were growing up?

Larson: An avenging ninja

Nathan Larson

Sixty seconds with Nathan Larson...

Con Lehane

Sixty seconds with Con Lehane...

Search Now:
In Association with

MILLER'S MOVIE COLLECTIBLES, The Film Poster Book by Rudy and Barbara Franchi. 325 illustrations plus extensive text on all aspects of collecting movie paper, with current values, sources, history, terminology, and trends. Order one at


Home | About | Reviews | Search | Submit | Links | Cons | Subscribe  Subscribe

May 21, 2016

We are celebrating a long weekend here in Canada - Victoria Day, or if you are in the Province of Québec, la Journée nationale des patriotes - which we all like to think of as the unofficial beginning of summer. This year, we hope Summer agrees.

Whether or not you've got Monday off, you might want some suggestions about what to read, now that the days are long and the weather warm. We've been reading a mixed bag this week, so there should be something here that whets your appetite.

Appropriately for the year that is celebrating the centennial of the US National Parks, Nevada Barr sends Anna Pigeon off to Acadia National Park in Maine in BOAR ISLAND. Sharon Mensing says that you come away feeling as though you've just been on a wilderness trip (with a little ocean thrown in). This year is, as I needn't remind anyone, an election year and John Sanford sends his veteran sleuth Lucas Davenport off to rural Iowa in EXTREME PREY, where at least one voter is mad as hell and is going to do something about it. Barbara Fister remarks that it's a sneaky way of looking at the current electoral scene without actually naming names.

Another way of getting a perspective on the present is by taking a trip to the past and I thought Andrew Taylor's ASHES OF LONDON provides as thoroughgoing a bit of time travel as you could want. The historical period in Stewart O'Nan's CITY OF SECRETS is much closer in time to our own and set in a place (Jerusalem, 1948) where the tensions are still unresolved. Anne Corey reports that while the book provides a "direct exposure to a time and place of great historical significance... it is difficult to feel emotionally connected to the characters or the story."

PJ Coldren says that if the next book in Steve Hamilton's new series set in Chicago is as good as THE SECOND LIFE OF NICK MASON, then he will have a winner on his hands.

From Britain this time we get Alison Bruce's THE PROMISE, a police procedural that Jim Napier found both engrossing and satisfying. Susan Hoover had her reservations about THE EXCLUSIVES, a debut by Rebecca Thornton, but thought it might appeal to younger readers who had experienced the horrors of a girls' boarding school.

Christine Zibas reviews two books involving real artists. DEATH ON A STARRY NIGHT, by Betsy Draine and Michael Hinden, takes up the recently-debated question of Van Gogh's reputed suicide and how it relates to a fictional murder. Christine remarks that it's the art and the south of France that are the real reasons to read this one. Laura Lebow's SENT TO THE DEVIL employs Lorenzo Da Ponte, the librettist for Don Giovanni as an amateur detective. Here again, says Christine, it's the background, not the murder, that is the main attraction.

Anne Corey, who is anticipating the release of Daniel Silva's 16th Gabriel Allon thriller, provides an overview of what has gone on to date in the series, focussing on THE ENGLISH SPY.

Phyllis Onstad did have a few complaints about DON'T YOU CRY, by Mary Kubica, but still was drawn to the novel despite her reservations. Allison Brennan raises the problem of cyberbullying and its attendant suicide in POISONOUS. Lourdes Venard says that this strong thriller is an addition to the list of books attempting to make sense of this sad phenomenon.

Larry D. Sweazy's book-indexing amateur sleuth Marjorie Trumaine is back in SEE ALSO DECEPTION and Meredith Frazier reports that this trip to small-town North Dakota in 1964 is engaging. Amateur detectives can also flourish in major population centres and that is the case for Theo Bogart in Susan Cox's THE MAN ON THE WASHING MACHINE. Tina's in San Francisco, starting a new life after a family tragedy. Sharon Mensing reports that though this does not appear to be the start of a series, she'd very much like to see more of Theo and her circle. Diana Borse, on the other hand, suspects that after the second in Tina Whittle's Georgia-based series starring gun-shop owner Tai Randolph, RECKONING AND RUIN, the series may be running its course.

Our guest in the Sixty Seconds this week is the multi-talented Nathan Larson. Don't miss what he has to say for himself in the box over to your left.

We only read two Brits this week. If you want more, try a visit to CRIMEREVIEW, where you can find out about crime fiction in the UK.

So there we have it for now. We'll be back in June with more. Please come back and see.



P.S. If you wish to submit a book for review, please check here before contacting us. Please note that we do not review self-published books.

Our mascot and masthead is Smokey the Cat. Smokey the cat went to the great playground in the sky on April 29, 2008, at 3:30 p.m. He was about 13 years old, had diabetes and only 11 teeth left. He is much happier now. He will remain as our masthead and mascot.

Recent Reviews:

We have thousands of reviews archived on this site. Use the form below to search by title, author's name, or keyword (e.g., noir, cozy, PI, female, thriller, gay, cats).




Publishers or authors wishing to submit books for review should contact the editors. Please note, before approaching us, that the publishing house must be a print publisher, pay advances and issue royalty statements, edit books, create covers, neither solicit nor accept financial payments from its authors, never copyright an author's title under the publisher's name, and never expect or ask authors to buy a certain number of copies of the author's books. As a general rule we will only consider books for review which have been published by publishers listed on the Mystery Writers of America approved list. We can never guarantee that a review will appear. And our reviewers are given a free rein to express their opinions constructively and honestly.

Please note that we review crime fiction and selected science fiction and horror. We have a policy of not accepting any religious books—and that includes religious crime fiction. We are unable to review any ebooks, unbound galleys, PODs, or PDF files.


Since RTE first appeared, some twelve years ago, the business of books has changed out of all recognition. Then, books were reviewed in the print media for the most part, though Amazon was encouraging readers to post their reviews of the books they read. Now, newspapers across North America have reduced or eliminated the space they allot to books and, with certain notable exceptions, only best-selling authors are likely to get noticed. As a result, electronic reviewing has become increasingly important and, due to the somewhat slippery question of online authorship, occasionally problematic.

For this reason and in view of a recent article in the NY Times detailing a reviews-for-hire enterprise, it's probably wise for RTE to reiterate its position on reviewing. While our reviewers receive galleys, ARCs, or finished copies of books for review, they are otherwise unpaid. Furthermore, they are asked to disclose any special interest they might have in a book or an author they are reviewing. No one, including the editors, receives any compensation for the work they do. All our reviewers are encouraged to express their honest opinions, whether positive or negative, about the books they are reviewing. None of our reviewers uses a pseudonym and all are who they say they are. Nor do we employ rating systems (stars, grades, "highly recommended," or the like) in the belief that our reviews deserve to be read in their entirety. Since RTE does not review self-published or digital-only releases, we are perhaps less vulnerable to offers to pay for reviews, but it seems a good idea to make our policy clear. Finally, in the years that I've been editing RTE, I have never once been approached by a press or a publicist to violate this principle in any way.

Contact: Yvonne Klein (

[ Home | About | Reviews | Search | Submit | Links | Cons ]