So Many Reviews, So Little Time

Just can’t get enough reviews? Then check out the newly revamped New Haven Review. On their Web site, they post one review every Monday of an “unfairly neglected book” (unfortunately, their RSS feed isn’t working yet). It feels like a joke — the good news is that your book got reviewed, the bad news is that it was reviewed because it was “unfairly neglected.”

The Review‘s definition of “neglected” is idiosyncractic. One of the four reviews up now is of Dorothy Gilman’s Mrs Pollifax on the China Station (Ballantine Books, 1983). The reviewer, a literary agent, found it necessary to first explain what a “cozy” is:

Cozies are often set in small towns and there is little graphic sex or violence. People die, but there isn’t much grief; no one close to the protagonist ever seems to die. The protagonist is usually a female amateur detective who relies on her nosy demeanor to solve the crime. There is sometimes a kitschy hook that ties the series together, be it knitting, crossword puzzles, crime-solving pets, whatever. You know a cozy from other mysteries because you’re not afraid or disturbed while you’re reading it and because the reading experience is, well, cozy.

The reviews are worth a look. The books do sound, well, unfairly neglected and some of the reviews give insight on current genres (like the discussion of the meme in the review of Wormwood Forest).

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