Reviews

‘absorbing second mystery . . . stunning resolution.’ [Stage Fright]

- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

I am buying books in my sleep

Regular readers of my blog will know that I have decided to abstain from buying books for three months. I began on the 24th September and I have been more or less faithful to my vow (I’ve bought a book at a book launch and a friend’s newly published poetry collection – I wanted to support her […]

Surprised by Agatha Christie

I have just read Agatha Christie’s autobiography. Two things surprised me. One was that she couldn’t remember anything about writing Peril at End House – one of her most ingenious and highly regarded novels. The other was that she was favourably inclined towards the death penalty. I wouldn’t have guessed that from her novels. She […]

Martin Edwards and The Golden Age of Murder

One of the unexpected pleasures of becoming a crime writer has been the friendship of other crime writers. I first met Martin Edwards through the Crime Writers Association and we found we shared an interest in golden age crime fiction – though Martin knows far, far more than I do. We’ve had many absorbing conversations over the […]

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 […]

Miss Marple: Proto-feminist? Scarcely, and yet . . .

I’ve been reading with great pleasure Virginia Nicholson’s excellent, Singled Out: How Two Million Women Survived Without Men after the First World War. In a chapter on the stereotype of the spinster I was interested to come across this as an example: ‘Agatha Christie’s knitting detective Miss Marple incarnated the spinster sleuth.’ Last week I was reading The […]

Eight of my favourite books set in schools

Today I am blogging about books set in schools and Moira at Clothesinbook.com is doing the same. Our tastes are similar but don’t quite overlap, so I’m always fascinated to see what she has chosen. There are very few fictional schools that one would like to have attended or to have sent one’s own children […]

My top five Agatha Christie’s

Posted on Jul 24, 2014 in Agatha Christie | 7 Comments

I’ll begin by saying right away that I am not suggesting that these are the five best Agatha Christie’s. I wouldn’t dare. I am not even saying that they were my favourites last week or would be next week. But right now I am choosing these as my desert island five (though even now at […]

Summer Reading

The school holidays have started. I don’t expect to do much writing, but I plan to do plenty of reading. First on the list is my book group’s big read, Middlemarch, and I am so much looking forward to it. It’s a long time since I have reread it from cover to cover, and I’ll […]

How long is too long?

It is a feature of crime fiction as a genre that a lot of writers are expected to produce a book a year, often featuring the same detective. It’s not surprising that some of these series get a little tired and even the sainted Agatha wasn’t exempt from this. I’ve just read one of her […]

The West End Front

I’ve decided this year to try to make more of my London Library subscription. I’ve been a member since 1984 – I think – around thirty years at any rate and since 1990 I haven’t actually been living in London, though I was pretty close when I was in Cambridge. Sadly Sheffield does not have […]