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The Lineup    edited by Otto Penzler order for
by Otto Penzler
Order:  USA  Can
Little, Brown & Co., 2009 (2009)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

For diehard mystery fans The Lineup, edited by Otto Penzler, will answer questions about how some of their favorite authors work and why they have given their characters some of the quirky personality traits that make them so interesting.

Penzler, the owner of New York City's iconic The Mystery Bookshop, has collected a number of essays written by some of the top names in the field that address these topics.

Subtitled 'The World's Greatest Crime Writers Tell the Inside Story of Their Greatest Detectives', this anthology contains material written by over twenty writers. Among this star-studded group you'll find essays by Ian Rankin, Robert Parker, Alexander McCall Smith, Laura Lippman, Jonathan and Faye Kellerman, Jeffery Deaver, Michael Connelly, Lee Child and Anne Perry.

One of my favorite writers, Alexander McCall Smith, explains how a brief encounter with a native woman in Botswana inspired the creation of his famed heroine Precious Ramotswe. You'll also discover how a real-life location inspired Michael Connelly to create Harry Bosch, a Vietnam vet tunnel rat, and why Lee Child's character, Jack Reacher, is portrayed as a drifter.

In other articles Ridley Pearson creates a question and answer session for Lou Boldt, and Faye Kellerman explains how much she resembles her protagonists Rita Lazarus and Peter Decker.

From start to finish, this is a captivating collection of essays about some of the most beloved and famous characters in the mystery/thriller genre. Here's a wonderful opportunity to learn more about these old friends and what inspired their creation.

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