Sunday, February 10, 2019

NEWS FLASH: Jean Potts, Attention Getter

As many of you already know Go, Lovely Rose/The Evil Wish will soon be available for purchase from Stark House (release date Feb 15, 2019). Greg, the publisher, received a lovely notice from Booklist -  one of their treasured starred reviews.  Here it is:


Go, Lovely Rose / The Evil Wish.
by Jean Potts
Feb. 2019. 304p. Stark House, paper, $19.95
(ISBN: 9781944520656)
Stark House's ongoing project—reissuing high-class crime fiction from a vanished time—strikes gold with this double-decker release of two fine novels by the nearly forgotten Potts. Go, Lovely Rose dates from 1954; The Evil Wish from 1962. Employing techniques both classic and contemporary, the two tales share the meticulous build-up of tension typical of the Golden Age and the modern tendency to use a crime as an excuse to explore the lives affected. The "Rose" of the first novel is dead when the narrative begins, a crumpled heap with her skull bashed in. There's some detective work here—keep an eye on that headband—but Potts uses rich, vivid language to examine the damage Rose did to a handful of people with their own secrets. If Hitchcock had written a novel, it would have been similar to The Evil Wish, with its study of the corroding effects of guilt. Two sisters plot to murder their father and his fiancée. Turns out they don't have to, but their obsessions—What did the neighbors overhear? What's in that diary?—lead them to near madness. And real crime. Two masterpieces here.    — Don Crinklaw

As the editor of Booklist told us in his cover letter: "A star beside the title indicates a work judged to be outstanding in its genre." More importantly, Booklist is the reviewing and news journal of the American Library Association, the magazine which thousands of librarians across the US use to make their decisions in purchasing new books for their collections. Let's hope that the review can drum up sales for libraries all over the USA. That would make me immensely happy!

From the Department of Life's Unexpected Ironies: The author of this review is writer and English professor Don Crinklaw who not only is the husband of mystery writer Elaine Viets, he also used to be a somewhat regular customer of mine over ten years ago when I was selling books as the owner of Pretty Sinister Books, my former online bookstore.

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