David J. Montgomery, a familiar name to those of you who frequent this obscure corner of the blogosphere, had this to say today about DIAGNOSIS MURDER: THE PAST TENSE in his mystery column in today’s Chicago Sun-Times:
Books spun off from television series are often scorned by critics despite their popularity. One author out to change their reputation is Lee Goldberg, a screenwriter who has produced at least a dozen novels as well as scores of TV shows.
With his fifth book in the "Diagnosis Murder" series, The Past Tense (Signet, $6.99), Goldberg has proven that excellent writing can be found anywhere, even in a TV tie-in novel.When the body of a woman dressed as a mermaid washes up on the beach, everyone is perplexed except for Dr. Mark Sloan (the character played on television by Dick Van Dyke). Sloan recognizes the clues that tie the body to a
series of murders nearly four decades before, a case that haunts him still.
The Past Tense contains all the elements of a fine mystery novel: good characters, interesting plot, surprising twists and, above all, crisp and enjoyable writing. With books this good, who needs TV?