Author Archive: Bill Ott

After more than 30 years at Booklist, editor and publisher Bill Ott continues to edit the crime fiction section of the magazine and still delights in discovering new hard-boiled writers. Follow him on Twitter at @Booklist_Bill.

rss feed

Author's Website →

Celebrate the Chairman’s 101st birthday with the 10 Best Sinatra Songs
By December 12, 20160 Comments Read More →

Celebrate the Chairman’s 101st birthday with the 10 Best Sinatra Songs

Editor’s note: Happy 101st birthday, Frank Sinatra! This piece first appeared last year, but we’re making Uncle Frank’s birthday an annual tradition at Booklist, so here it is again. Please note we’ve included a playlist below. I fell in love with jazz in high school and became something of an obnoxious purist, convinced that violins belonged only in classical music. […]

Posted in: Books and Authors
Shelf Evaluation: Judging Books by Their Covers

Shelf Evaluation: Judging Books by Their Covers

In this new feature, we’re asking Booklisters to give themselves a “shelf evaluation.” The rules are simple: pick any shelf in your home library, take a picture of it as is (no alphabetizing, no dusting), and then . . . explain your shelf! “Oh, my pounding heart, the jackets, it made my scrotum tingle just […]

Brothers and Sisters of Salander

Brothers and Sisters of Salander

In The Long Goodbye, Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe famously said, “I needed a drink, I needed a lot of life insurance, I needed a vacation, I needed a home in the country. What I had was a coat, a hat, and a gun. I put them on and went out of the room.” Sleuths live […]

Art and Murder: Test Your Knowledge of Fine-Art Capers

Art and Murder: Test Your Knowledge of Fine-Art Capers

Mystery writers are forever looking for ways to seduce high-minded readers into dipping their toes in the fetid waters of genre fiction. Nothing works as consistently to accomplish this goal as serving your murder and your mayhem with a side of fine art. Genre writers were luring the PBS crowd by burying clues in the […]

The Year’s Best Crime Novels, 2016

The Year’s Best Crime Novels, 2016

For the past 20 years Booklist has published a Mystery Showcase issue in spring. For the past seven years, we’ve enhanced that coverage online during May—which we’ve dubbed Mystery Month. As we launch the 2016 edition, we’re reprinting this list from the May 1 issue of Booklist.    Comic caper novels, psychological thrillers, and history-mystery blends dominate the best […]

What I’m Reading Right Now

What I’m Reading Right Now

It never fails. When I have a lot of books to assign for review, I make the same mistake again and again. Sorting through the piles of books on my desk and on my floor and on every other available surface in my office, I invariably wind up throwing far too many galleys into a […]

75 Years of Service to Booklist

75 Years of Service to Booklist

Every year, the American Library Association holds a service awards ceremony, honoring employees whose term of employment ends in a multiple of 5. This year, Booklist had 6 full-time employees out of our current 18 (we have a few positions to fill) on the list. If you’d like to get to know them better, here’s how their supervisors summed […]

Posted in: Inside Booklist
Stories across Time: Iain Pears’ Arcadia

Stories across Time: Iain Pears’ Arcadia

A genre-blending, time-collapsing tour de force in which the power of narrative builds worlds and destroys them. Pears seems to love three-part harmony, though time, not music, is his medium of choice. In Stone’s Fall (2009) and The Dream of Scipio (2002), he weaved remarkably complex stories set in three different time periods that echoed one another, fugue-like, with […]

Posted in: Books and Authors
Top 10 Sinatra Songs
By December 14, 20151 Comments Read More →

Top 10 Sinatra Songs

I fell in love with jazz in high school and became something of an obnoxious purist, convinced that violins belonged only in classical music. At some point, though, I heard Frank Sinatra’s trailblazing concept album In the Wee Small Hours, arranged by Nelson Riddle, and realized I would need to modify my point of view. […]

Posted in: Books and Authors
Sinatra in Fiction: 10 Novels That Reference the Voice
By December 11, 20150 Comments Read More →

Sinatra in Fiction: 10 Novels That Reference the Voice

Tomorrow, December 12, 2015, is the 100th anniversary of the birth of Frank Sinatra, a skinny kid from Hoboken, New Jersey, whose life and career “touched almost every aspect of American culture in the twentieth century,” as his biographer, James Kaplan, puts it. Those who wonder if that claim is merely wild hyperbole need only […]

Posted in: Books and Authors