Reviews

‘A marvellous entry in this excellent series, one of those books that  you have to keep reading but hate to finish. Highly recommended.’ [Stage Fright]

- MYSTERY WOMEN

Why don’t people close their curtains in crime dramas?

Posted on Sep 28, 2015 in Beck, clichés, crime fiction | 2 Comments

Time for some more crime fiction clichés. Last Saturday’s episode of Beck began with a gangster and his family narrowly escaping being shot. Later, at home at night, he is an easy target standing next to a picture window in a well-lit room and is picked off by a sniper. Surely closing the curtains or blind […]

This time it really is going to stop!

Posted on Sep 25, 2015 in book-buying, Helen McCloy, Mr Splitfoot | 8 Comments

A few months ago I wrote a post about cutting back on my book-buying habit: http://www.christinepoulson.co.uk/its-got-to-stop/. And did it? Well, a bit, and for a while, but I am pretty much up to speed again. Yesterday I did my accounts, and realised that it has all got out of hand. Part of it is down […]

A great artist

Posted on Sep 22, 2015 in Ai Weiwei, RA, Straight | 4 Comments

I didn’t expect a great deal from the Ai Weiwei exhibition at the RA, but I happened to be in London on the day of one of the Friends previews, so I thought I’d go. So often I am a little disappointed by contemporary art, but not this time. For me the most moving work […]

Crime fiction clichés

Posted on Sep 15, 2015 in Beck BBC4 | 12 Comments

On Saturday night I was watching Beck on BBC4. At one point Beck arrives at the house of a woman whose friends have reported her missing. He rings the bell, no answer, and touches the door which swings open. And I wondered, do killers and kidnappers never think to lock the door when they leave? […]

Twelve photographs in search of an author: The Starlings and Other Stories

Last Saturday I was at the launch of The Starlings and Other Stories at Waterstones in Wrexham. Nine of the twelve authors were there along with David Wilson, the photographer whose work inspired our stories. I did wonder if we would outnumber the audience (it’s been known to happen with smaller groups of writers than this!), […]

One of the ten greatest novels in the French language?

Posted on Sep 9, 2015 in Germinal, great French novels, Zola | 2 Comments

That was Gide’s view of Émile Zola’s 1885 novel, Germinal. And what a stupendous work it is. I read the Penguin edition in an excellent translation by Roger Pearson. (Alas my French couldn’t cope with this 532 page novel with its complex – though always accessible – descriptions of mining technology). It tells the story of […]

Hermione Lee’s biography of Penelope Fitzgerald

Posted on Sep 4, 2015 in Hermione Lee, Penelope Fitzgerald | 2 Comments

This is the first biography I have read of someone that I’ve actually known. Penelope Fitzgerald was an active member of the William Morris Society of which I was curator, and later vice-chair and then chair in the late 1980s and the 1990s. My memories of her include standing with her on a bitterly cold […]