After reading The Lineup: The World's Greatest Crime Writers Tell the Inside Story of Their Greatest Detectives, edited by Otto Penzler, it comes as no surprise that the book won the Edgar Award, and has been nominated for an Anthony and a Macavity. How can you top a book with contributions from Ken Bruen, Lee Child, the Kellermans, Laura Lippman and Robert B. Parker, among others? It's a treat to have them all talk about the detectives they created.
Each author was allowed to tell about their character in their own style. My favorite entries in the book were the ones that allowed the characters, or someone in their stories, to relate their life history. Jeffery Deaver's chapter comes in the form of a memo from the Chief of Police, NYPD, detailing the release that will be published about the tragic death of Lincoln Rhyme. It's a terrific biographical sketch of Rhyme. Faye Kellerman tells the life stories of Rina Lazarus and Peter Decker, and how she reached the point in her life when she could write about them. Tess Monaghan isn't very impressed with the reporter sent to interview her, author Laura Lippman. Robert B. Parker's Spenser agrees to an interview with a friend of Susan's, a professor writing a book. And, one of my favorite characters in Anne Perry's Charlotte and Thomas Pitt books, Lady Vespasia Cumming-Gould, answers questions about them, as Britain prepares for World War I.
There's a short biographical sketch of each author, but the meat of the book lies in the story of the creation of the authors' characters, truly some of the "Greatest Detectives" of our time. And, don't skip Otto Penzler's introduction as to how these sketches came to be. The Lineup truly deserves the honors it has received.
The Lineup: The World's Greatest Crime Writers Tell the Inside Story of Their Greatest Detectives edited by Otto Penzler. Little, Brown & Company, ©2009. ISBN 978036031936 (hardcover), 406p.
FTC Full Disclosure - Library book