Reviews

‘I opened this book with high expectations. They have been admirably fulfilled.  Here we have a stand alone thriller about two lonely people who pursue a relationship of monthly weekends together in remote spots.  Suddenly one of these two fails to get to the rendezvous-vous and the other realises how very limited her knowledge of her  companion is . . . Gradually the reader pieces together some of the facts as an atmosphere of rising tension envelops everything. The intelligent way Jay, Lisa and others plan their actions is enjoyable and the suspense of the tale is palpable.’

- MYSTERY PEOPLE

Book-lover’s Christmas

Some of my new books were really for my birthday, but one way and another I’ve got a good haul this year. Not many suuprises as most of the books were on my wish-list. They include a couple of books that have been highly praised this year: John Williams’s Stoner and James Salter’s Collected Stories, […]

Birthday

Posted on Dec 23, 2013 in 18th December, Birthdays | No Comments

It was my birthday on the 18th December – and also that of my Italian friend, Daniella, who informed that we share a birthday with Brad Pitt. Apparently it is his 50th and that is hot news in the Italian media. Brad Pitt? Fifty? It seems just the other day that he was the young […]

Low Spirits

It’s that time of year. It’s dark when I wake up and dark again by the time my daughter gets home. A succession of grey days when it never seems to get properly light sends my spirits plummeting. My friend Sue has been been feeling low, too: no secret as she has been blogging about […]

Lost in a Book

Posted on Dec 18, 2013 in ebooks, ereaders, Frank Herbert, Terry Prachett | No Comments

I had a day in London yesterday and travelling on the tube between Piccadilly and King’s Cross I sat opposite a young man who was totally engrossed in his SF novel, Frank Herbert’s Heretics of Dune. He was far away, on another planet. One of the consequences of people reading so much electronically is that […]

Endings

I’ve just read Norwegian by Night, by Derek B. Miller. It won the CWA John Creasey Dagger for best debut novel this year and it was a worthy winner. Sheldon Horowitz, elderly watch-repairer and Korean veteran, suffering from dementia, is living in Oslo with his grandaughter when he witnesses the murder of a young woman […]

Penelope Fitzgerald

I am well into Hermione Lee’s biography of Penelope Fitzgerald and I am riveted. I’ll be blogging about it when I have finished it. It is particularly fascinating to read a biography when the subject is someone you’ve known.I first met Penelope when I was curator at the William Morris Society at Kelmscott House in […]

The Seven per Cent Solution

Or to give its full title, The Seven Per Cent Solution Being a Reprint from the Reminiscences of John H. Watson, M.D., as edited by Nicholas Meyer (published 1975). It is of course a Sherlock Holmes pastiche and a clever and enjoyable one. Given recent news headlines, this is a somewhat timely blog for the […]

A Moral Issue

I don’t usually read a Sunday paper, but yesterday a friend who was here for the week-end bought The Observer. There was a superb article by journalist Carole Cadwalladr who spent a week working undercover for Amazon at their Swansea warehouse. It made sobering reading. Long hours, poor pay, employment rights avoided by hiring through […]