RARA-AVIS: Reviewers and handbooks

Thu, 8 Apr 1999 01:48:15 EDT I was glad to see Kevin Smith mention Marilyn Stasio. She has big shoes to
fill at the NY Times, but I also think she does a pretty good job. She gives
an opinion, provides a taste of the book, and seems pretty even-handed. It's
hard to write a good capsule review and she does a pretty good job (and it
seems that I can only write capsule reviews that say "does a pretty good

On handbooks: I though Patricia Highsmith actually wrote an entire book in
the 60s about writing thrillers. Is it just an article? I'm more interested
in the handbook in what it says about the author than what it says, so to
speak. I have a 1976 copy of the Mystery Writer's Handbook by the MWA
(purchased I think for 25 cents), and it includes articles by Frederic Brown,
Avallone, John D. MacDonald, Rex Stout, Stanley Ellin, McGivern, Pronzini,
and Masur, among others. It's great fun.

Doug Levin
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