‘an intriguing read . . . keeps the reader guessing . . . a lot to enjoy in this romp through the Cambridge Commons . . . a strong sense of place and a narrative style that is both energetic and engaging.’ [Dead Letters]

- Margaret Murphy, SHERLOCK
Interviewing crime-writer Kate Ellis

Interviewing crime-writer Kate Ellis

Posted on Jul 3, 2014 in Kate Ellis | No Comments

Kate Ellis’s new novel, The Shroud Maker (she is so good at titles) has recently appeared in paperback. She kindly agreed to be interviewed on my blog. I began by asking her how she carves out time to write. What is her writing routine? Over to Kate: How do you carve out time to write? […]

How many books are too many books?

Posted on May 9, 2014 in Uncategorized | 7 Comments

I am tempted to say that you can’t have too many books, but that is patently not true, unless you are the British Library, or the Library of Congress or some other copyright library. I don’t know how many my husband and I have, but it must run into quite a few thousand. Every time […]

Three Singles to Adventure

Posted on Apr 4, 2014 in Uncategorized | No Comments

These days there are plenty of books aimed at the thirteen to fourteen year old female market, but when I was that age, books weren’t categorised in the same way. There was no Judy Blume or – these days – Louise Rennison and I’m not really sorry. I didn’t want to read books that reflected […]

Too much information?

Posted on Jan 7, 2014 in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

I have nearly finished writing my review of Hermione Lee’s biography of Penelope Fitzgerald for the Journal of William Morris Studies and I have mixed feelings. Hermione Lee writes that ‘perhaps self-deceivingly, I have felt while writing this book that [Penelope] might not have disapproved of me as her biographer – if there must be […]

The Yiddish Policemen’s Union

Posted on Nov 13, 2013 in Uncategorized | No Comments

Meyer Landsman, the policeman protagonist – hero woud be pitching it far too high – has a drink problem, a failed marriage, and is inevitably taken off the case after maverick behaviour. But that’s where Chabon’s novel parts company with classic noir. Because the mean streets in question are not those of Los Angeles, but […]

Plotting for Grown-Ups

Plotting for Grown-Ups

Posted on Sep 21, 2013 in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Sue Hepworth’s new book, PLOTTING FOR GROWN-UPS is being launched next Tuesday. I thought I’d interview her and this is what she had to say: How far do you draw on your own experiences in your books? In other words, are you Sally Howe? ‘I always draw on my own life in my books, but […]

I’m glad I didn’t read . . .

Posted on Nov 17, 2012 in Uncategorized | No Comments

. . . THE QUARRY by Friedrich Durrenmatt before I wrote my own short story, ‘Vanishing Act'(published in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine last year). I got THE QUARRY out of the London Library after Mark Lawson talked about Durrenmatt recently in one of series of programmes about European crime fiction on Radio 4. And as […]

Present Tense

Posted on Oct 10, 2012 in Uncategorized | No Comments

Yesterday I was browsing in Smith’s on Sheffield station and my eye was caught by a promising book title: Autumn Killing by Mons Kallentoft. I hadn’t read anything by the author before, but when I’d scanned the blurb, I felt inclined to buy it. I love Nordic crime and this was set in Sweden, one […]

The Laughing Policeman

Posted on Sep 15, 2012 in Uncategorized | No Comments

After I’d enjoyed working my way through Magdalen Nabb’s novels early in the year, I thought I’d do the same for Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo. This Swedish husband and wife writing team wrote ten novels over ten years. THE LAUGHING POLICEMAN has probably been the most frequently reprinted of their ten novels and certainly […]

Those Were the Days

Posted on Sep 7, 2012 in Uncategorized | No Comments

The summer holidays are over, school has started, and it is time to start blogging again. There’s a lot I want to blog about, and it’ll take me a while to catch up, but I’ll start with the Lyttelton Hart-Davis Letters.I read these avidly at least twenty years ago and have dipped into them occasionally […]