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Monday, January 7, 2013 - Page updated at 05:00 a.m.
Three things we love this week
‘A Small Death in the Great Glen’
This absorbing mystery by the talented A.D. Scott is set in the late 1950s in a hidebound Scottish village, where a small-town newspaper staff is trying to drag its readership into the modern world. There’s a crusading editor, his crusty subeditor, a female reporter with an abusive husband and a talented writer bound for bigger things. There’s the mystery of a young boy’s murder, and some beautiful and empathetic writing about Scotland. There are two more in this series: “A Double Death on the Black Isle” and “Beneath the Abbey Wall.”
Mary Ann Gwinn, Seattle Times book editor
Whatever happened to the comma-dash? It was a staple of Victorian prose, and used to marvelous effect by some early 20th-century writers. Willa Cather was especially aware of its springy possibilities. Take this sentence from her fine short story, “Two Friends”: “When he made a remark, it not only meant something, but sounded like something, —sounded like the thing he meant.” The comma conveys an ever-so-brief pause, with the dash suggesting the rushing out of the summarizing thought. What better way to do it? Bring back the comma-dash!
Michael Upchurch, Seattle Times arts writer
‘The Mindy Project’
I’ve been flirting with “The Mindy Project,” Mindy Kaling’s new rom-com-sitcom (say that three times fast), but didn’t fall in love with it until the Christmas-party episode a couple of weeks ago, when the ever-chipper Dr. Mindy Lahiri learned that her perfect boyfriend Josh (he of the ill-fated ice-skating date) was a cad. The episode was funny, sweet, zingy and, like the best holiday parties, left us wanting more. New episodes return this week; I can’t wait to see where things are going between Mindy and Danny — and to hear Kaling’s deliciously rat-a-tat screwball delivery again. (Tuesdays, FOX)
Moira Macdonald, Seattle Times movie critic
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