Welcome to Murder by the Book's blog about what we've read recently. You can find our website at www.mbtb.com.

Saturday, October 20, 2007


Sandra Brown (Play Dirty), David Baldacci (Stone Cold) and Joseph Wambaugh (Hollywood Station) are among the slate of authors set to appear on MURDER BY THE BOOK, Court TV’s original series featuring best-selling authors who provide insight into true crime stories that have long captivated or had a personal impact on them. The series also features best-selling crime authors Kathy Reichs, Lee Child, Harlan Coben , Linda Fairstein and Lisa Gardner.

The series returns for a second season with 13 episodes beginning Monday, Nov. 5, at 10 pm (ET/PT). Brown is set to be featured on MURDER BY THE BOOK Nov. 5 and will be followed by Baldacci on Nov. 12. Subsequent weeks will feature Wambaugh, Harlan Coben (The Woods), Lee Child (Bad Luck and Trouble), Lisa Gardner (Gone), Linda Fairstein (Bad Blood), Kathy Reichs (Break No Bones), Elizabeth George (What Came Before He Shot Her), and Nick Santora (Slip & Fall). Returning from last season are authors Lisa Scottoline (Daddy’s Girl), Faye Kellerman (Capital Crimes) and Jonathan Kellerman (Obsession).

Saturday, October 13, 2007

The Spellman Files, by Lisa Lutz

The Spellman Files is one very fun book. The Spellmans are a family of private eyes: the parents start the kids on background checks and simple surveillance at an early age. Naturally, they use the techniques at hand to handle family issues -- e.g when Mom wants to check out our heroine Izzy's new boyfriend or when Izzy wants to dodge said surveillance. The youngest child, Rae, the real star of the story, finds recreational surveillance a great game, and a new telephoto lens the perfect gift. The oldest, David, has managed to escape (more or less) to a career as a lawyer, but when he explains to a young Rae what he does ("negotiate"), he adds blackmail as another useful tool to the family's arsenal of dispute resolution techniques.

Only the thinness of the plot kept me from awarding a star to this very original and entertaining addition to the mystery field.