Reviews

Invisible is a great thriller. I can’t say too much more about the plot because the twists and turns are the whole point of reading a book that wrong foots the reader at every turn . . . Christine Poulson kept me reading by giving out just enough information to intrigue and puzzle so that I had to read just one more chapter. That’s why, in the end, I just dropped everything else and read the last half of Invisible in one sitting.’

- I PREFER READING BLOG

Days Are Where We Live

There are a few blogs that I always read and one of them is ‘Fragments of a Writer’s Life’, which can be found at SueHepworth.com. I’ll declare an interest – she is a good friend – but she is also one of the funniest people writing today. Sue has put together a selection of her […]

Not reading the same novel twice

Just as you never step into the same river twice, you can never read the same book twice. You always bring something new to it. I recently listened to the divine Juliet Stevenson reading Sense and Sensibility. I first read Jane Austen when I was around the same age as the young women in her […]

‘Stone walls do not a prison make’

‘Stone walls do not a prison make, Nor iron bars a cage.’ Those are the most famous lines from the poem ‘To Althea from Prison’ by the Cavalier poet Richard Lovelace, written around 1642. We are not exactly in prison, but we are certainly confined. Here is the whole thing, along with a picture of […]

Martin Edwards is my guest

I’m delighted to welcome to my blog, my good friend Martin Edwards. Congratulations are in order as he is this year’s winner of the prestigious CWA Diamond Dagger for contributions to crime fiction. His new novel, Mortmain, set between the wars, is just out. It is the follow-up to the splendid Gallows Court. It is […]

Lockdown: Day 21. Forget-me-nots

Walking around our garden and seeing the spring flowers, a line from Gerard Manley Hopkins came into my head: ‘there lives the dearest freshness deep down things.’ I looked it up when I got inside and here it is, ‘God’s Grandeur.’ The flowers are, of course, forget-me-nots along with a single solitary celandine.   The […]

Consolation

Posted on Apr 10, 2020 in 'Thaw', Edward Thomas poet, marsh marigolds | 8 Comments

I’ve decided to add something new to my blog while we are all on lockdown. Now and then I will be posting a photo from our garden and a poem that I am finding consoling in these difficult days. Today it is marsh marigolds and the poem is ‘Thaw’ by Edward Thomas (1878-1917), one of […]

Lockdown!

Twelve days into lockdown and you’d think these were ideal conditions in which to write a novel. After all, apart from a walk every day, I am going nowhere and I am seeing no-one except my daughter – and of course the cats. No trips to London. No lunches with friends. And yet, the time […]

Shall it be The Plague or Right Ho, Jeeves?

Posted on Mar 21, 2020 in Albert Camus, P G Wodehouse, The Plague, The Stand | 6 Comments

When the going gets tough, the tough . . . buy books? I couldn’t be better placed for weeks of social isolation from the point of view of reading. I have enough books here to last for years ¬†and years if you count books that I’d be happy to reread. And yet I am still […]

Where it began . . .

When I was invited to submit a short story for an anthology of crime stories based on songs by Joni Mitchell, I was intrigued by the idea. I chose: ‘The Gallery’ on Clouds (1969). This was a song that I used to listen to endlessly as a teenager. I wanted to catch some of the […]

Unexpected pleasures

Something I could never have imagined when I started writing fiction was that I would one day find myself on a panel at the Festival of the International Society of Neglected Tropical Diseases. But so it was yesterday at the Wellcome Institute when I joined Mojie Crigler, the co-author of Under the Big Tree: Neglected […]