Barrie Olmstead

41 Articles

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PREMIUM

Poisoned at the Priory

Although the book is billed as true crime, this is a bloodless mystery that will appeal to fans of cozies and Agatha Christie, as well as those who enjoyed Eleanor Herman’s The Royal Art of Poison.
PREMIUM

The Best New True Crime Stories: Small Towns

Given the range of crimes, locales, time periods, and writing styles, this collection is uneven and the analyses often feel pat, if not absent altogether. For hard-core true crime fans only.
PREMIUM

The Cold Vanish: Seeking the Missing in North America’s Wildlands

For fans of true crime, this book will likely reinforce the admonition of My Favorite Murder podcast hosts Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark to “stay out of the forest.”
PREMIUM

Is Rape a Crime? A Memoir, an Investigation, and a Manifesto

Chanel Miller’s Know My Name demonstrated that coming forward to tell one’s story is in itself a powerful form of victim advocacy; Bowdler does the same in this affecting account. [See Prepub Alert, 12/9/19.]
PREMIUM

This Is the Night Our House Will Catch Fire

There is clearly a lot to mine from Flynn’s youth, but this memoir is both disjointed and illusory, featuring imagined monologs from Flynn’s mother to engage audiences further. Best for die-hard fans of Flynn’s first memoir. [See Prepub Alert, 1/29/20.]
PREMIUM

The Heart and Other Monsters

Andersen’s genuine love for her sister is compelling; many readers will relate.
PREMIUM

Conditional Citizens: On Belonging in America

Lalami’s conclusions are not groundbreaking and have been investigated in other works, but she is a gifted writer and her informative narrative shines when she shares her own experiences.

PREMIUM

Smacked: A Story of White-Collar Ambition, Addiction, and Tragedy

The book’s strength is in the first half; Zimmerman’s reckoning with her own incognizance will likely ring true with many readers who have confronted addiction in loved ones, friends, and colleagues.
PREMIUM

Meaning a Life: An Autobiography

Oppen’s memoir is a rich history of leftist political thought in America while chronicling a literary companionship and enduring love story; it is highly recommended for all collections.

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