Friday, February 12, 2021

Weinman Gets with the Times

Congratulations to books critic and author Sarah Weinman, who is replacing Marilyn Stasio as The New York Times Book Review’s crime-fiction columnist. Weinman’s debut column will appear in this coming Sunday’s paper, but is already available online.

Stasio has been writing her fortnightly column ever since 1988. Although she’s now relinquishing the reins, a news release from the daily explains that she’ll “continue to contribute reviews to the Times on crime, true crime and other related subjects.” This new arrangement should open up Stasio’s leisure reading schedule to at least some degree; in a brief 2009 profile for the newspaper, she said she was in the habit of consuming “maybe 150” mystery and thriller novels annually. She has also critiqued theater for Variety.

Weinman is the author of The Real Lolita: A Lost Girl, An Unthinkable Crime, and a Scandalous Masterpiece (2018) and the editor of last year’s Unspeakable Acts: True Tales of Crime, Murder, Deceit & Obsession. She’s been a periodic contributor to CrimeReads, and more of her non-fiction work has featured in publications such as Vanity Fair, The Washington Post, and of course, the Times. In addition, she once penned crime-fiction reviews for January Magazine, another Webzine with which I have long been associated. (Pieces of hers that I was pleased to edit include this review of William Landay’s Mission Flats, and this piece about Greece-set puzzlers.)

As the Times’ resident judge of current crime fiction, Weinman succeeds not only Stasio, but a pantheon of previous Times critics, as well: “Newgate Callendar” (aka Harold C. Schonberg), Allen Hubin, and Anthony Boucher, who originated the paper’s “Criminals At Large” column. Her new duties are likely to limit her future participation at Bouchercon and other conventions, and can be expected to force some change in her composition of The Crime Lady, a newsletter she has been e-mailing out for the last several years.

All of us here wish Sarah the best in her latest adventure!

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