Reviews

‘an intriguing read . . . keeps the reader guessing . . . a lot to enjoy in this romp through the Cambridge Commons . . . a strong sense of place and a narrative style that is both energetic and engaging.’ [Dead Letters]

- Margaret Murphy, SHERLOCK
Frances Brody Guests

Frances Brody Guests

Frances Brody is my guest on the blog today. Frances writes the Kate Shackleton Mystery Series set in Yorkshire, featuring First World War widow turned sleuth, Kate Shackleton. The fifth novel in the series, Murder on a Summer’s Day, came out in October (and I notice has five star reviews on Amazon) and will followed […]

How long is too long?

It is a feature of crime fiction as a genre that a lot of writers are expected to produce a book a year, often featuring the same detective. It’s not surprising that some of these series get a little tired and even the sainted Agatha wasn’t exempt from this. I’ve just read one of her […]

Death Walks in Eastrepps

Death Walks in Eastrepps

Every now and then I grind to a halt. It doesn’t happen often. Maybe I’ve got a cold or maybe I am under the weather for some other reason. Or maybe I just look at the tottering pile that is my intray, I looked at my inbox stuffed with emails, I look at the overflowing […]

The Bridge

Posted on Jan 23, 2014 in Hinterland, Kim Bodnia, Sofia Helin, The Bridge | No Comments

For my money this is easily the best thing on TV at the moment. We are just over half way through the ten episodes and it is gripping viewing.. It is intricately plotted and full of surprises. It never lets up. It’s got everything: drama, suspense, humour, pathos. It’s beautifully filmed, has a scintillating script, […]

The West End Front

I’ve decided this year to try to make more of my London Library subscription. I’ve been a member since 1984 – I think – around thirty years at any rate and since 1990 I haven’t actually been living in London, though I was pretty close when I was in Cambridge. Sadly Sheffield does not have […]

Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Posted on Jan 14, 2014 in The Archers | No Comments

At one time I used to listen regularly to The Archers. That was long ago when I was living alone in a flat in Birmingham, working on my PhD. I knew I had to get out more when I found myself listening to episodes for the third time in the Omnibus edition. Then there were […]

American Hustle

Posted on Jan 10, 2014 in American Hustle, Christian Bale | No Comments

We saw this scam movie at the cinema last week. There weren’t any huge surprises. I felt it was a bit long and would have been improved by tighter editing. For me any film that runs over two hours has to earn its keep. In the end this did, because the acting was superb. It […]

Too much information?

Posted on Jan 7, 2014 in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

I have nearly finished writing my review of Hermione Lee’s biography of Penelope Fitzgerald for the Journal of William Morris Studies and I have mixed feelings. Hermione Lee writes that ‘perhaps self-deceivingly, I have felt while writing this book that [Penelope] might not have disapproved of me as her biographer – if there must be […]

Ghost Stories

On Christmas Day we watched ‘The Tractate Middoth,’ an M. R. James ghost story adapted and directed by Mark Gatiss. It was enjoyable, but I don’t think M. R. James is all that easy to adapt. So much of the pleasure of reading him is in the tone of the writing. More interesting for me […]

Reading resolutions

This is a good time to take stock of the previous year and plan for the next one. For me the reading highlight of 2013 had to be Vasily Grossman’s Life and Fate. It towered above everything else. What a book, and what a man.The crime novel that’s stuck in my mind is one that […]