The Anarchists’ Club, Alex Reeve

In the spirit of anarchy, I chose to read this book – the second of the Leo Stanhope series – without having read the first. I know! ANARCHY starts from this! Being honest, I don’t think it mattered a jot: Reeve introduces his transgender Victorian protagonist essentially from scratch with enough – possibly too much…

The Sentence is Death, Anthony Horowitz

Why do we read detective stories? It is a strange genre.  Every piece of advice is that tension and conflict are the driver of a narrative and, with this genre, unlike the thriller genre, the most significant conflict – the one which traditionally culminates in murder, as it does with this one – occurs significantly…

Lethal White, Robert Galbraith

Let’s play a game. A Robert Galbraith bingo. A Robert Galbraith drinking game. Take a drink every time one of the following happens: Cormoran Strike is described as being pube-headed; Robin Ellacott is described as beautiful; Robin’s breasts are mentioned; Strike doesn’t tell Robin how he feels; Robin doesn’t tell Strike how she feels; Matthew…

The Muse, Jessie Burton

I adored The Miniaturist! It was one of those books which had stayed with me: the cold of her repressed Amsterdam, the sweetness of marzipan, the claustrophobic house. The hint of the supernatural. The difficult, prickly bond between the women. So it was with pleasure and anticipation that I began The Muse and it took…

The Word Is Murder, Anthony Horowitz

Sometimes you want to like a book just so damn much that it feels like you’re the failure when you end up not liking it. So it was for me with this novel. Now there is no doubt that Horowitz can plot a cracking crime story: Midsomer Murders, Foyle’s War, Magpie Murders are all testimony…