Reviews

‘a delightful amateur sleuth novel with a well balanced mix of domestic and academic life and a strong sense of place.’ [Stage Fright]

- EUROCRIME.CO.UK

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 […]

Character versus plot

I recently watched The Stranger on Netflix (based on Harlan Coben’s novel of the same name). It was certainly gripping. I watched one of the eight episodes a night and I really wanted to know what had happened to the woman who went missing at the beginning. There was a lot of excellent acting and […]

Nasty People

Last summer at the St Hilda’s crime fiction convention I guessed who the murderer was (Val McDermid!) in the after dinner play. I wasn’t the only one to get it right, but mine was the name picked out of the hat, and the prize was a year’s subscription for a crime novel sent by Blackwells […]

Thrilled!

I was in Waterstone’s Piccadilly on Tuesday and Barry Forshaw’s Crime Fiction: A Reader’s Guide caught my eye. I’d been meaning to buy a copy since it came out towards the end of last year. It’s the kind of book I love: short reviews of hundreds of books, accounts of different trends in crime fiction, […]

We seek him here . . .

Posted on Jan 24, 2020 in Baroness Orczy, Scarlet Pimpernel | 8 Comments

. . . We seek him there, Those Frenchies seek him everywhere . . .’ My blog friend, Moira at the excellent¬†Clothes in Books, also now my friend in real life, has sent me a copy of a splendid book, Bestseller by Claud Cockburn, subtitled ‘The Books Everyone Read 1900-1939,’ which discusses novels like Beau […]

Murder in Mind

I didn’t get round to posting my talk on Helen McCloy, which I gave at Bodies from the Library last year. So here it is now. The title is ‘Murder in Mind: The Crime Novels of Helen McCloy.’ My attention was first drawn to Helen McCloy when her novel, Mr Splitfoot, was listed by H. […]