The Wife Stalker Provides Thrills, Chills, and Twists

The novel's suspense sets the stage for bombshell revelations.

Thrillers with a big twist near the end make for good reading, and that’s what Liv Constantine’s recently published The Wife Stalker provides. It saves lots of its ammunition for the denouement, making it a page-turner—not surprising considering its authors, the sister duo Lynne and Valerie Constantine as Liv Constantine, have written nothing but best-sellers. […]

Laura Lippman’s My Life as a Villainess Goes Down Easy

The Baltimore crime novelist's first collection of essays isn't revolutionary, but it is fun.

I read much of Baltimore crime novelist Laura Lippman’s first book of essays, My Life as a Villainess, while casually sipping a Natty Boh. This felt appropriate—Lippman is famously attached to Baltimore, her hometown, for one. But the book really is a beer-on-the-beach read, if you can safely make it to the beach during the […]

The Hurston/Wright Foundation Virtually Gathers Literary Stars for Writers Week

The local nonprofit continues its 30-year mission to increase Black literary representation.

The Hurston/Wright Foundation is in the midst of its annualWriters Week, which brings together Black writers and literature lovers from around the world. The digital conference, usually held in D.C., began on July 31 with a public reading on CrowdCast, and it continues to this Friday, Aug. 7, with workshops on poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, […]

Nine Shiny Objects Is a Triumphant, UFO-Themed Look at the Reactionary American Mind

"Hidden behind the facade of a book about UFOs is a novel about 20th century America, its flaws and its fears."

Nine Shiny Objects begins like a science fiction novel, or maybe a Stephen King book. In the summer of 1947, Oliver Danville, a drifter and washed-up actor with gambling debts, leaves Chicago for Washington state. He’s chasing the famous “nine shiny objects” that private pilot Kenneth Arnold saw hovering over Mount Rainier, a real event […]

The All-Night Sun Illuminates the Thorny, Surreal Nature of Grief

Diane Zinna’s new novel is centered around a particularly intense—and strange—friendship.

During the summer in southern Sweden, the sky never goes fully black at night; it only dims to a twilight glow for a few hours. The sun does dip below the horizon, unlike in the north and above the Arctic Circle, where it shines in the sky for 24 hours a day. The light contributes […]

The 1455 Summer Literary Festival Will Virtually Bring the Writing Arts to You

The second annual festival, made digital by the pandemic, is set for July 16–18.

On its website, local nonprofit 1455 lays out its goal “to advance the appreciation of and passion for the literary arts through programs that support expression, education, and the sharing of writing and literature.” Right now, in lieu of in-person gatherings, advancing the appreciation of the literary arts means that the nonprofit’s second annual festival […]

The Shooting at Chateau Rock Blends Cuisine, Crime, and Canines

It's author Martin Walker's latest novel in the Bruno detective series.

Crime and cuisine make a zesty fictional pair. At least that’s what Martin Walker’s latest novel, The Shooting at Chateau Rock, demonstrates. Rarely does the police officer from a popular mystery series also have much-loved, real-life cookbooks named after him, but that’s the case with Walker’s hero, gourmet chef and crack investigator Bruno Courrèges. This […]

How Going Virtual Has Opened Up the D.C. Literary and Storytelling Scenes

For some, it has made events and workshops more accessible.

Back in March, at the start of the COVID-19 lockdown, we began to focus on the basics. We worried about food and toilet paper, about helping our kids with virtual schooling. We prepared for a short period of sheltering in place. But that time at home lengthened, and as our idea of normal slowly redefined […]

Red Dress in Black and White Explores the Entanglements of Adult Relationships

Elliot Ackerman's latest is full of prose that is both spare and vivid.

The complications of parenthood make for rich novelistic themes. Elliot Ackerman mines them judiciously in his new novel, Red Dress in Black and White, as he did in an earlier book, Waiting for Eden. In both novels, men deal with attenuated paternity. In the newest one, women also cope with modified maternity. But parenthood and […]

Alexandra Petri Cheerfully Skewers the Horrors of the Present Day With Nothing Is Wrong and Here Is Why

The book "reminds readers of just how bad things are through a veneer of sickly sweet, fantastical, sharp writing."

Relax! Alexandra Petri is here to soothe us in troubled times. In her new book, Nothing Is Wrong and Here Is Why, the humorist and D.C. local reminds readers of just how bad things are through a veneer of sickly sweet, fantastical, sharp writing that combines the rhetorical flourishes of Daniel M. Lavery with the […]

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