Author Archive: Keir Graff

Keir Graff is Executive Editor of Booklist Publications and the author of six books. His most recent is the middle-grade novel, The Matchstick Castle (2017). Follow him on Twitter at @Booklist_Keir.

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Three Mystery Novels about Hemingway’s Lost Suitcase

Three Mystery Novels about Hemingway’s Lost Suitcase

The Curious Case of the Hemingway MacGuffin Ernest Hemingway may not have written mystery fiction, but you can blame him for a lot of it. It’s possible that, after Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler, no other author has had as much influence on the way would-be tough guys punctuate their crime fiction. (You know. What […]

The Quick and the Read: Six Super-Short Crime Novels

The Quick and the Read: Six Super-Short Crime Novels

Sometimes I want to immerse myself in a 400-page thriller; others I pine for a pocket-sized paperback that can be devoured in a single sitting. And while nearly all crime fiction once fit that description—from Georges Simenon and James M. Cain to Mickey Spillane and Jean-Patrick Manchette—these days, short crime novels are the fugitive kind. […]

Cover Trend Alert: Dead Birds
By April 17, 2018 0 Comments Read More →

Cover Trend Alert: Dead Birds

Book-jacket designers are strange birds, indeed. Idiosyncratic visionaries who often intuit the perfect visual cue to entice us to pick up a book and read it, sometimes, like those giant flocks of starlings who wheel in the sky without using turn signals, they bunch together and do the same thing for no apparent reason at […]

Peter Temple, R.I.P.: A Bibliography
By March 12, 2018 0 Comments Read More →

Peter Temple, R.I.P.: A Bibliography

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the great Australian crime fiction writer Peter Temple, even planning to revisit his books for a piece in the 2018 edition of Booklist‘s Mystery Month this May—so it came as a shock to learn last night that he’d died of cancer at age 71. As a fan, that’s hard […]

Trend Alert: Soccer and “Shithole Countries”
By January 12, 2018 0 Comments Read More →

Trend Alert: Soccer and “Shithole Countries”

As the President of the United States dignifies the discussion of immigration by referring to Haiti, El Salvador, and various African nations as “shithole countries,” immigration is very much on my mind—for a much different reason. A recent story in the Chicago Tribune highlighted the triumph of the Sullivan High School soccer team, a group […]

Booklist Seeks Interns for 2018
By August 31, 2017 0 Comments Read More →

Booklist Seeks Interns for 2018

Gain valuable publishing experience by becoming an intern for Booklist Publications in Chicago! We hire two interns each season—see below for next year’s application deadlines. Candidates should be available a minimum of 12 hours per week. Please send your cover letter and resume to: Keir Graff, executive editor of Booklist, at [email protected] (Be sure to […]

2017 Diagram Prize for Oddest Book Title Announced

2017 Diagram Prize for Oddest Book Title Announced

Always one of my favorite literary awards, the winner of the 39th annual Diagram Prize for Oddest Book Title of the Year has been announced: The Commuter Pig Keeper: A Comprehensive Guide to Keeping Pigs when Time is Your Most Precious Commodity, by Michaela Giles, edged out runner-up Renniks Australian Pre-Decimal & Decimal Coin Errors: The Premier […]

Mysteries on the Small Screen: Happy Valley

Mysteries on the Small Screen: Happy Valley

Title: Happy Valley Starring: Sarah Lancashire and Siobhan Finneran First aired: April 2014–March 2016 (BBC) Where you can watch it: Netflix, Amazon One of the most absorbing and wrenching cop shows I’ve seen in years, the ironically named Happy Valley is set in a West Yorkshire town where it sometimes seems as though half the population is trying […]

The Decline of Western Civilization: Robert Coover’s HUCK OUT WEST
By January 10, 2017 0 Comments Read More →

The Decline of Western Civilization: Robert Coover’s HUCK OUT WEST

What kind of adulthood would you have imagined for Huck Finn? Coover brilliantly envisions what comes next when Huckleberry Finn lights out for the territories. After leaving St. Petersburg with Tom Sawyer, he hits the high and low points of the Wild West Zelig-like, riding for the Pony Express, witnessing the mass hanging of 38 […]

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VIDEO: Live Announcement of Booklist’s Top of the List, 2016
By December 13, 2016 0 Comments Read More →

VIDEO: Live Announcement of Booklist’s Top of the List, 2016

Did you miss this morning’s sneak-attack Facebook Live announcement of Booklist‘s 2016 Top of the List titles? Well, thanks to the magic of archived streaming video, you can catch up at your leisure on the events of this morning. As presenters Rebecca Vnuk (Editor, Collection Management and Library Outreach) and Sarah Hunter (Senior Editor, Books […]