During the fortnight since I wrote about Harry Kemelman I have been reading my way contentedly through FRIDAY THE RABBI SLEPT LATE, SUNDAY THE RABBI STAYED HOME, TUESDAY THE RABBI SAW RED, WEDNESDAY THE RABBI GOT WET, THURSDAY THE RABBI WALKED OUT and have got MONDAY THE RABBI TOOK OFF on my reading pile. At only a few pounds each on Abebooks, they are good value. In some ways I do miss those pre-internet days of prowling around second hand bookshops, the thrill of the chase, and the excitement of finally coming across a book you’d been wanting for ages. Now it’s just a matter of a few clicks of the mouse and the books are winging their way to you, but of course that’s great too. I like the titles of the Rabbi books and wonder if Kemelman had expected to write a series. Once he had worked his way through the days of the week, he moved on to ‘Someday’ and ‘One Fine Day.’ I still intend to read those too.
I’ve also managed to get through a fair number of contemporary crime novels over the summer and two that stand out are Hakan Nesser’s WOMAN WITH BIRTHMARK and Laura Wilson’s AN EMPTY DEATH. I very much like Nesser and have read all his books as they’ve been published in English. In this one we know who the killer is from the start, though we don’t know her precise motivation, and the suspense lies in whether she will get to the end of her list before Inspector Van Veeteren tracks her down. Laura Wilson’s novel is the second in her historical series set in the forties and is a perfect holiday read: dense and meaty with a plot twist that took my breath away. I recommend them both.