Monday, April 29, 2013

Soho gains further repute through Times review of "The Tooth Tattoo"

Official cover for The Tooth Tattoo
Benay’s client Soho Press landed yet another laudable review in the April 21st Sunday New York Times Book Review, with the recent release of Peter Lovesey’s The Tooth Tattoo out of their crime imprint. Times Reviewer Marilyn Stasio calls Lovesey’s newest work an “ample display” of his oh-so characteristic “droll humor.” As it goes with most crime fiction, Lovesey’s novel deals with the mysterious murder of a young woman who fits the bill for the classic victim; a young Japanese music lover who has traveled all the way to Bath, England to fulfill her dream of witnessing a world renowned string quartet.

Yet, perhaps as is (again) characteristic to crime novels, not much is what it seems; a statement applicable both plot-wise and stylistically. The novel starts out as such:
“Eleven-thirty at night, sweaty in his evening suit and shattered after a heavy night playing Rachmaninov, Mel Farran plodded out of the artists' exit on the south side of the Royal Festival Hall. Good thing his legs didn't need telling the way to
Waterloo station and the tube. He'd done it a thousand times. Rachmaninov
was said to be the ultimate romantic—miserable old git. The six foot scowl,
as Stravinsky called him, had been a pianist through and through. He worked
the string section like galley slaves to show off the joanna man, and Mel
Farran was a viola-player, so thank you, Sergei.”

Soho Crime author, Peter Lovesey
It is apparent straight from the beginning that Lovesey holds no pretense. For all we know, we are as good as sitting in a theater seat watching the scene unfold in front of us with Lovesey right beside us, in whispering the narrative in our ear as it goes. It is a refreshing way to read, to say the least, and impressive in its let-me-guide-you-while-you-lead mentality.

The accessibility of Lovesey’s writing is only furthered by his cavalierness in the face of ostentation – which is perhaps apparent from the passage above. There’s much of it to spare in the elite world of classical music (at least in Lovesey’s world), and the fact that he takes the back-door perspective through the eyes of the “lowly” viola player, as opposed to the star pianist, says a lot about his character as an author. It’s one of the many things that truly solidifies a readership for an author, and is yet another testament to Soho’s outstanding judgment in choosing their authors.
View the comprehensive excerpt from The Tooth Tattoo by visiting the book's page at the Soho website. You can find more of Peter Lovesey's titles at his page on the Soho website as well.

- Colleen McClintock

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