Monday, April 02, 2007

Recent Reviews

- Apparently it's "literary figure as crime-solver" season: Giulio Leoni's got Dante solving murders in fourteenth-century Florence in The Mosaic Crimes (reviewed by Frank Wilson in the Philly Inq) and Joel Rose's The Blackest Bird is yet another take on the 1841 Mary Rogers murder, featuring Edgar Allan Poe. That's reviewed by David Hiltbrand, also in the Inq.

- One final review from the Inq this week (packed full of them!): Glenn Altschuler comments on The Lost World of James Smithson, just out from Bloomsbury. Smithson was the man behind the gift which enabled the formation of the Smithsonian Institution.

- Arthur Phillips, whose The Egyptologist I recently reviewed, has a new novel out: Angelica, which takes place in Victorian England and whose plot seems rather difficult to summarize, if Art Winslow's LATimes review is anything to go on. Elizabeth Hand also writes on Angelica, in the WaPo.

- Also at the LATimes, Amy Wilentz reviews Christopher Buckley's newest, Boomsday. I didn't read this review since I recently picked up an ARC of this at the shop, so I'll have some comments on it eventually.

- Lots of history/biography reviews in the Washington Post this week: Joe Ellis reviews Hugh Brogan's new biography of Tocqueville; Benjamin Forgey reviews Grand Avenues (about L'Enfant's designs for Washington, D.C.); and James Campbell reviews a pair of new books relating to slave escapes on the Underground Railroad. One of those titles, I've Got a Home in Glory Land, is also reviewed in the Boston Globe by Renee Graham.

- Our friend Ed Pettit has a review of Thomas Jackson's From Civil Rights to Human Rights, which appeared in the Greensboro News & Record this weekend.