Books Magazine

Ms. Litlove

By T.v. Locicero

Let me stop here for a moment to praise Victoria Louise Best. If the name is familiar, perhaps it’s because you know her blog, “Tales from the Reading Room,” one of the U.K.’s top literary/book review sites. It’s the place where she calls herself “Ms. Litlove.”

Or maybe you’ve read one of her extraordinary biographical sketches of writers in crisis. You can find the latest (on the remarkable American novelist and story writer, Shirley Jackson) in the current issue of the on-line literary mag, Open Letters.

Or you might know the academic volumes she authored while lecturing for a decade in French literature at Cambridge.

Or possibly you recall my mentioning Victoria here on occasion, as I embarked on one of my pet peeves, Unsympathetic Characters, after one of her brilliant essays on the subject, or my grateful reference to her wonderfully generous take on my novel, The Obsession.

Today the occasion is a recent post she called “A Whiff of Testosterone,” in which she reviewed, kindly indeed, my first two books in The detroit im dyin Trilogy: The Car Bomb and Admission of Guilt. Here’s part of what she had to say:

“If you like Elmore Leonard, you’ll love these books. Fast-paced action with lots of short chapters and sharp, punchy dialogue, and the writing is crisp and contemporary. Tom LoCicero is wonderful at setting up several threads of plot that plait into one another and end up inter-related, and there’s a real pleasure in the moment when they finally combine and the landscape of the book is laid out before the reader. The authenticity of the context is evident, particularly in Admission of Guilt, which has a lot of pithy things to say about the way Detroit was allowed to slip into free fall, the authorities unable and mostly unwilling to intervene in a shocking situation. But ultimately, these are stories about our overwhelming desire to see bullies and users get their comeuppance; there’s little more satisfying than that. The third book in the detroit im dyin trilogy isn’t out yet, but I’ll be waiting for it to appear.”

So as you might expect, my gratitude to Ms. Litlove is matched only by my admiration for her own literary accomplishments. The breath of her knowledge, the depth of her insights and the consistent quality of her taste all prompt me to grab your figurative collar and urge you to check out this woman’s marvelous writing in any and all of the places I’ve mentioned, or wherever you can find it.

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