When Intellectuals Read Crime

Part of February’s month-long celebration of A Grave Talent.

A writer tosses books out into the world without much clue about where they will wash up or whose hands they will end up in. Naturally, this is especially true with a first book. What, people who don’t know me will read it? Wow.

(Personal note from the publisher. Common Knowledge was a new journal then, from Duke University, whose articles still “challenge the ways we think about scholarship and its relevance to humanity”.)

With A Grave Talent, one of those who picked up the book was a gentleman named Richard Rorty. A philosopher who taught at Princeton, Wellesley, and Stanford, won a MacArthur fellowship, wrote books with titles like Consequences of Pragmatism, Essays on Heidegger, and What’s the Use of Truth?, and developed the ideas of antirepresentationalism, Ironism, and Epistemological behaviorism (and no, I have no idea what any of those are)—this gent took time out of his Big Important Philosophical Ideas writing to send in a little review to Common Knowledge about my little book:

(Click on the image to read it.)

I particularly love the way he hedges his bets so thoroughly. Granted, there were other fictional Californian lesbian cops out there, but as fields go, that one is fairly small.

Still, thanks, RR!


Read about A Grave Talent (with order links), see the other Martinellis,

or order a signed copy.


  1. Kate Edgar on February 15, 2023 at 10:38 am

    My husband and I are huge fans ever since Kate Martinelli appeared .

    Richard Rorty!!

    Thank you for many happy hours. Your books and Jacqueline Winspear’s are my go-to when I am not editing Oliver Sacks.

    Kate Edgar, executive director
    Oliver Sacks Foundation

    • Laurie King on February 15, 2023 at 10:57 pm

      Jackie and I would indeed make a nice break from Oliver Sacks! Glad you’re enjoying them.


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