Reviews

‘Footfall is as engaging as it gets. Cassandra James is . . . a terrific character, beautifully honed from seemingly staid academic to feisty heroine . . . a truly breathtaking read.’

- TANGLED WEB

Keeping a Journal

Posted on Jun 23, 2020 in Leuchtturm1917, Moleskine, Sue Hepworth | 8 Comments

I first started writing a journal twenty years ago when I was writing my first novel. At the beginning it was more of a writer’s notebook in which I jotted down ideas, scraps of conversations overheard on trains, anything that might one day end up in a story. Then it broadened out, particularly after the […]

Packing Up a Life

My husband, the architectural historian and critic, Peter Blundell Jones, died in August 2016. It all happened very fast. I didn’t think to ask him where he wanted his archive to go and he didn’t leave any instructions in his will. It is an important body of material. In the course of his career Peter […]

Old friends

I have plenty of contemporary crime novels to hand that I am looking forward to reading, and yet these days I find myself more often turning to old friends. I’ve gone back to the novels of Ngaio Marsh and have just enjoyed Singing in the Shrouds, Scales of Justice, Clutch of Constables, Death and the […]

Apple blossom

Earlier this month the apple tree that we planted in memory of my husband, Peter, was in bloom. The warm days were followed by cold and windy weather that brought to my mind one of Shakespeare’s most famous sonnets. The power of art to console remains undimmed in these difficult days. Indeed, we need it […]

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 […]