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

Gone fishing

Posted on Mar 27, 2015 in Uncategorized | No Comments

Well, not quite that, but I will be travelling for the next two weeks and won’t be blogging. At least, now that I have an e-reader, I don’t have to ponder about which books to take. I can take ALL OF THEM. Au revoir, dear readers.

Sue Hepworth, writer of romcoms, is my guest

My writing life – in fact, my life generally – would be so much poorer without my friend and fellow-writer, Sue Hepworth. Since we first met around fifteen years ago, we have each read and commented on everything the other has written and been each other’s staunch supporters in the vicissitudes of the writing life. […]

The pleasure of rereading Michael Gilbert’s crime novels

There are times when I just don’t have the energy to tackle something new, and a return to old favourites is exactly what I need. Michael Gilbert is fitting the bill at the moment. To read his novels is to take a masterclass in crime fiction. He wrote a lot: over 400 short stories and […]

Singled Out

I’ve very much enjoyed Virginia Nicholson’s Singled Out: How Two Million Women Survived Without Men after the First World War. It is the kind of gossipy, anecdotal history that is very easy to read. Nicholson has done an enormous amount of research. The pages throng with remarkable women who managed to find meaning in life without a […]

The Assassination of the Archduke

Posted on Dec 16, 2014 in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

This book by Greg King and Susan Woolmans is subtitled: ‘Sarajevo 1914 and the Murder that Changed the World.’ It was recommended by Elaine at http://randomjottings.typepad.com. I decided that it was something I didn’t know enough about. It did after all set in train a sequence of events that led to the deaths of millions, including my […]

10 Books that have made me laugh

Today Moira at ClothesinBooks.com and I are posting our list of books that have made us laugh. Mine are, in no particular order: Three Men in a Boat, by Jerome K. Jerome. A classic. I particularly love the part where they try to open a tin of pineapple without a tin-opener, and Uncle Podger hanging a picture, […]

An Officer and a Spy

Robert Harris’s novel, An Officer and a Spy, has won the CWA Ian Fleming Gold Dagger for the best thriller of the year and deservedly so. It is a masterly fictional account of the Dreyfus affair, one of the greatest miscarriages of justice in history. I have been intrigued by it since I came across it […]

Crimewriter Sarah Rayne is my guest

I love a theatrical mystery, so Sarah Rayne’s Ghost Song, set in the vividly realised Tarleton theatre on London’s Bankside, has been on my TBR pile for a while. I’ve just finished it and loved all the details of the old music hall shows, the terrific creepiness of the old theatre at night, and the can’t-stop-reading suspense. Sarah […]

Why writers are becoming extinct

The Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society recently did a survery of writers’ earnings and discovered the median income of British professional writers is now £11,000, down from £15,540 in 2005. I am not surprised by the drop in earnings: writers are earning less per sale than in the past. Amazon slashes prices and this in […]

Known Unto God

Posted on Nov 6, 2014 in Uncategorized | No Comments

The First World War poets – Wilfred Owen in particular  – were still very much read when I was at school. And I must have been in my teens when I read Robert Graves’s Goodbye to All That. Most moving of all was Vera Brittain’s Testament of Youth, which I read in my late twenties […]