Saturday, March 17, 2012

Coming Soon: Olen Steinhauer Three-Books Survey, and Collecting Ephemera

Olen Steinhauer (photo by Nancy Crampton)
What we've been up to this week: Dave's preparing a blog series on collecting ephemera -- those "transitory" scraps of paper, photos, maps, etc. -- connected with mystery authors (say, Robert B. Parker, Laurie King, George Pelecanos, and some much earlier authors). He'll start showing photos and commenting, probably tomorrow (Sunday).

And me, I'm re-reading the entire "Tourist" series by Olen Steinhauer, to get the most out of his new release. The sequence is The Tourist, The Nearest Exit, and, released last week, An American Spy. Like David Downing's Berlin series, this is espionage blended skillfully with human desire and the struggle for survival -- although it's set "today." And like John LeCarré's George Smiley sequence, the books probe an increasing visceral distaste for the necessities of global politics.

I'll start the commentary on Monday.

Last but not least, it's almost spring here in Vermont: Most of the snow around us has melted, although the ground is still frozen for at least a foot of depth, maybe more; caretakers for the nearby Moore Reservoir (part of the story in my own novel The Darkness Under the Water) have dropped its water level by at least a foot, to prepare for the meltwater runoff from the most northern mountains; and I'm taking down the back-deck birdfeeder, so we don't accidentally lure winter-starved bears into close proximity as they emerge from their dens. Another sign of the season: Polly's Pancake Parlor, high on the ridge in Sugar Hill, New Hampshire, opened for 2012 today, and we drove the 28 miles over, to savor a classic breakfast. I photographed mine, which includes amazing smoky bacon, as well as a stack of gingerbread pancakes and a couple of eggs. You can spot maple sugaring operations along the forested slopes, by the roiling clouds of steam rising from them; here's to a long and sweet season, with spring's first farm product of the north.

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