Loving the Unreliable Narrator

Sarah Weinman is one of the few people writing thoughtfully about mysteries in the mainstream media these days (as well as on her own site, Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind). This week, in the L.A. Times, she explores the appeal of the unreliable narrator, pointing out some classics (Ira Levin’s A Kiss Before Dying, Dorothy Hughes’ In a Lonely Place and Patricia Highsmith’s books).

She also chooses two newly-published titles.  She describes Jesse Kellerman’s prose as a “silken sheen covering deep existential skeletons” in his new book The Executioner as well as his earlier works.

The Executor
Jesse Kellerman
Retail Price: $25.95
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Putnam Adult – (2010-04-01)
ISBN / EAN: 039915647X / 9780399156472

Audio; UNABR; Penguin Audio; 11 Hours | ISBN 9781101154779

The second book may have the best title and cover of the season, Hello Kitty Must Die, which refers to the main character’s efforts to escape the stereotype of the well-mannered Asian American girl. A first novel, it’s available in paperback and hardcover from indie crime fiction publisher Tyrus Books, in Madison Wisconsin. It’s been well-reviewed in both Library Journal and Publishers Weekly. Weinman is a fan, but admits that the book’s audience may be limited to those who,

…cackle and gasp at the book’s opening line — “It all started with my missing hymen” — and are compelled to move on. For those who recoil, well, that’s your loss, but Fiona Yu doesn’t really care what you think or if she’s offended anyone.

Hello Kitty Must Die
Angela S. Choi
Retail Price: $14.95 pbk/ $24.95 hdbk
Publisher: Tyrus Books – (2010-04-01)
ISBN: 9781935562023; pbk/ 9781935562030; hdbk

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