Discover more from The Crime Lady
The Crime Lady: Events for Evidence of Things Seen, Recent Writing, and More
Dear TCL Readers,
My next anthology, Evidence of Things Seen: True Crime in an Era of Reckoning, will be out on July 4, which is a little less than two weeks away (!). The Chicago Tribune said very nice things, calling it "an addicting anthology of reporting that reframes crime writing itself" and designated me "a seal of excellence for true crime.” EOTS has already been on a few other preview lists from Town & Country, Literary Hub, and CrimeReads.
First order of business, which many of you know, but bears repeating: advance pre-orders are the absolute best way to make a book a success. So while I always link to the publisher page, which has every possible retailer listed, I’m also going to list them separately, too:
Pre-ordering from your favorite independent bookstore of choice is also an excellent idea! And if you need to buy more books (because we always need more books) here’s a list of books by anthology contributors (including Wesley Lowery’s American Whitelash, which publishes on June 27, and pairs especially well with Evidence of Things Seen.)
On Thursday, July 6 at 3 PM, I will be in conversation with Rabia Chaudry on Instagram Live. (She’s @rabiasquared2; I am @sarahweinman.) I’ve never done one of these before (!) so am excited to discuss our respective essays, the collection as a whole, and our particular vantage points on true crime.
Then come the in-person events. On Tuesday, July 11 at 6 PM, I’m moderating a panel with contributors May Jeong, Amelia Schonbek, and Samantha Schuyler at the Brooklyn Heights branch of the Brooklyn Public Library. Books Are Magic is the host bookseller, and here’s the registration link. If you can’t make it, the livestream link is right here.
On Thursday, July 13 at 7 PM, Jonquilyn Hill, host of Vox’s The Weeds podcast, will be in conversation with me at the flagship branch of Politics & Prose. More details here.
I return to DC for the National Book Festival on Saturday, August 12 for a panel with the novelist Rebecca Makkai (author of I Have Some Questions For You) to talk about true crime in all its messy, complex, ethically fraught glory. More details, including the exact time and location, are forthcoming.
I reviewed one of my favorite books of the year, Genealogy of a Murder by Lisa Belkin, for AirMail. What I loved so much about it, aside from the clean and beautiful narrative writing Belkin is known for, is how its approach to a terrible crime — the murder of a cop in 1960 by a recently released prisoner — mirrors the way investigative genetic genealogy works, and so offers a roadmap for new approaches to crime storytelling.
Last month, the Books desk asked me to write a short essay on the 100th anniversary of Dorothy L. Sayers’ debut novel Whose Body?, which introduced Lord Peter Wimsey to the world. (It was in last weekend’s print edition, too.) I also recommended a bunch of summer books in successive columns. Mostly I want people to read the reissues of Sarah Caudwell’s marvelous Hilary Tamar books, which are note-perfect.
There was a little more love for Scoundrel, too — Barnes & Noble randomly named it one of its Best Books of 2023 (So Far). I suppose since the paperback was published this year, it counts! And the book certainly pairs well with its “Best Con Artists” category cousins, Yellowface by R.F. Kuang and The Guest by Emma Cline.
I’ve already started doing interviews for Evidence of Things Seen (which I’ll link to during publication week and beyond; one early one was with the Mind Over Murder podcast) and in every single once since the piece has run, I’ve mentioned McKay Coppins’ Atlantic feature on how the true crime industrial complex has altered the small town of Moscow, Idaho, forever. It describes all of my own issues with the genre, and gets at what it ought to be — and also, why ordinary people have had enough.
And a Pew Research study on who actually listens to true crime podcasts is fascinating.
My favorite true crime podcast of recent note is Violation, which is wonderfully reported and goes in so many surprising directions. Plus: John Edgar Wideman.
This is more announcement than recommendation, but the HBO documentary Last Call, based on and further enriching Elon Green’s Edgar-winning 2021 book of the same title, will start airing on July 9.
Books I loved that others have reviewed at the paper, therefore I can talk about them: The Sullivanians by Alexander Stille; The Quiet Tenant by Clemence Michallon; All the Sinners Bleed by S.A. Cosby; Beware the Woman by Megan Abbott; Sing Her Down by Ivy Pochoda; The Late Americans by Brandon Taylor; Boys Weekend by Mattie Lubchansky; and the 1929 novel Ex-Wife by Ursula Parrott.
Finally, a book I loved that I still have to figure out how to write about length, even if I can think of *maybe* five people who would dig it as much as I did: Mr. Blok by Gregor Piatigorsky — yes, the famed Russian cellist, one of my own favorite musicians and personages — written probably around the late 1940s/early 1950s, loved in manuscript by Robert Penn Warren (who recommended it to his publisher, Random House) but it never saw the light of day until Piatigorsky’s son Joram found the manuscript and convinced his own publisher, Adelaide Books, to release it…in March 2020. Which is probably why it got no attention at the time! It feels in conversation with early Nabokov novels and yet is much weirder.
That’s it for now. I’ll be back the first week of July — though I am also planning on treating July 4 like the holiday it is!
Until then, I remain,
The Crime Lady
Thanks for reading The Crime Lady! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.