Re: RARA-AVIS: Critics again....

Bill Hagen (
Sun, 4 Apr 1999 11:28:02 -0500 (CDT) Jean points out something worth noting about reviewers: with so many books
being published, reviewers are in the position, often, of being able to
choose what they review, particularly if they work any of the "category
fiction" areas.

I also agree that reviewers that reach for the similes or start casting the
novel too quickly probably lack the critical vocabulary or standards or
background to really evaluate. Or they're simply trying for cover blurb

I like this thread. Once upon a time in the 40s (sorry I keep bringing it
up), there were some BIG NAME reviewers of mystery and crime fiction,
publishing in major magazines or newspapers--Will Cuppy, Howard Haycraft,
Anthony Boucher. Interestingly, Dorothy B. Hughes, my current obsession,
was honored for her reviewing by the Mystery Writers Assoc. long before she
was honored for her fiction. (Personally, I remember that Robin Winks did
some nice features for the New Republic in the 70s...)

My sense is that major papers and mags no longer devote the attention to
crime fiction they once did. (Perhaps because "true crime" books have
better plots?) Anyway, are there any critics-reviewers of mystery/crime
fiction TODAY that should command our regular attenton? If so, where do
they publish?

Bill Hagen

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