Reviews

‘My favourite type of mystery, suspenseful, and where everyone is not what they appear . . . Christine is great at creating atmosphere . . . she evokes the magic of the stage, and her characters [have] a past to be uncovered before the mystery is solved.’ [Stage Fright]

- Lizzie Hayes, MYSTERY WOMEN

What to read when you are not very well

I have got one of those annoying colds that just goes on and on with days when I think I am getting better followed by relapses when I don’t want to do anything but loll around and read something undemanding. So what did I read? This Xmas my brother gave me one of his own books that I have long coveted: […]

Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination

The British Library are on a roll. They’ve followed up an excellent exhibition on book illustration with an equally good one on the Gothic. I absolutely loved it. The range is wide, taking in its origins in Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto and Strawberrry Hill and going right up to the Whitby Goth Weekend, photographed […]

Mat Coward is a guest on my blog

Posted on Dec 20, 2014 in Mat Coward, Morning Star, QI | 2 Comments

I first came across Mat Coward in a CWA anthology. He is a first-rate short story writer, but he also writes across a wide range of other genre: sci-fi, crime, children’s books (including Dr Who adventures), as well as being a gardening columnist for the Morning Star and a researcher on QI. I began by asking […]

The Assassination of the Archduke

Posted on Dec 16, 2014 in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

This book by Greg King and Susan Woolmans is subtitled: ‘Sarajevo 1914 and the Murder that Changed the World.’ It was recommended by Elaine at http://randomjottings.typepad.com. I decided that it was something I didn’t know enough about. It did after all set in train a sequence of events that led to the deaths of millions, including my […]

How I learned about love and sex in the sixties

Information was not easy to come by at my Girls’ Grammar School. Biology lessons focused mainly how rabbits reproduced and raised more questions than they answered. At one point there was a book in a plain brown wrapper (yes, really!), called something like Married Love, though I don’t think it can have been exactly that. […]

The moon was a ghostly galleon

Stepping outside our house the other evening, I saw the moon riding high among turbulent clouds and I spoke out loud the line from Alfred Noyes’s ‘The Highwayman’: ‘The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas.’ I’ve just looked up the poem and what a poem it is, with a terrific driving rhythm. Strange […]

A marvellous painter that I’d never heard of . . .

Posted on Dec 2, 2014 in Giovanni Battista Moroni, Royal Academy | No Comments

. . . even though I did History of Art and taught it at degree level. Giovanni Battista Moroni was a sixteenth century Italian artist, a contemporary of Titian. There is an exhibition of his work at the RA until 25th January. I was entranced by it. It is mostly portraits with a few altarpieces and it […]