"Mystery fiction not limited by form, highly instructive"

People who don't know any better sometimes tell me that I'm a good writer and they'd like to see me write a "real novel," instead of my Palestinian crime novels. Usually I tell them Raymond Chandler once wrote that there are just as many bad "real" literary novels written as bad mysteries -- but the bad literary novels just don't get published. Now I'll be able to add something else to my always polite correction of this misconception about crime novels. That's because of a review of my new Palestinian crime novel THE SAMARITAN'S SECRET in the Feb. 7 issue of The Tablet, a British magazine published for the Roman Catholic community. The Tablet makes THE SAMARITAN'S SECRET "Novel of the Week" and reviewer Anthony Lejeune writes that it's "a novel thick with atmosphere, memorable, unusual and the clearest possible proof that mystery fiction can be moulded into any literary form and is often highly instructive."

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Comment by Benjamin Sobieck on March 4, 2009 at 1:15pm
So you write Palestinian crime novels. What's so bad about that? Write what you are comfortable writing and you'll have the most success. Asking you "Why do you only write Palestinian crime novels?" is like asking me "Why aren't you writing Palestinian crime novels?"
Comment by Matt Rees on March 4, 2009 at 4:34am
A fine appraisal! I often find I come to the end of a "literary" novel and feel as though I've seen a lot of linguistic pyrotechnics, but it hasn't told me anything about life. After the age of about 22, I'd had enough of that feeling.
Comment by B.R.Stateham on March 4, 2009 at 2:58am
You know what a 'literary novel' is? A book with pages upon pages of description and introspection--with damn little to say about anything else. No real plot. Just psychoanalysis and regrets.

And somehow this stuff sells. How?

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