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

Which is your favourite Trollope novel?

It’s many years since my career took a surprising, not to say wrong, turn and I found myself catching the train from Birmingham to Solihull every day to my job in the Tax Office. This was in my early twenties and it was so long ago that smoking was still allowed in the office – though only […]

Inventing Impressionism

This was a great idea for an exhibition: Impressionist paintings connected with the dealer Paul Durand-Ruel, who was so important in promoting the work of Monet, Renoir, Manet, Degas, Pissarro and Sisley. Everything here was either sold by him, owned by him or in one of the influential exhibitions that he organised in Paris, London or […]

One of the wonders of the world

Posted on Apr 21, 2015 in Oxymandias, Shelley, Terracotta Warriors | No Comments

Being a literary type, what came into my mind when I saw the terracotta army was Shelley’s poem, ‘Oxymandias.’ I met a traveller from an antique land Who said: “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand, Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown, And wrinkled […]

Posted on Apr 17, 2015 in Midnight in Peking, Paul French, True crime | No Comments

On a cold day in January 1937, the body of nineteen year old Pamela Werner, daughter of an elderly ex-consul, was discovered near the Fox Tower in Peking with her heart ripped out. Paul French’s book, Midnight in Peking, follows the abortive investigation into the crime, brings new evidence to light, and offers a solution to […]

The books that people leave in hotels . . .

                      I had plenty of books on my e-reader (and a little World’s Classics edition of Persuasion, just in case), but what I actually read during my first week in China was a book that I found at the splendid Red Wall Garden Hotel in […]