Spring, Ali Smith

Look what arrived this week: an ARC of Spring, the third in Ali Smith’s gorgeous Seasons Tetralogy, following Autumn and Winter. Autumn being hailed as the first post-Brexit novel – and it is so much more transformative and lyrical and funny and tragic than that! – the timing of this novel’s release at the end…

The Mitford Murders, Jessica Fellowes

What a classy cover! Don’t be judging a book by its cover, but even so… classy! I want to describe it as being in an art deco style but I’m not entirely sure what that term means… Similarly classy is the pedigree of the author: Jessica Fellowes is a well renowned journalist and editor; she…

A Study in Scarlet and The Sign of Four, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth? The Sign of Four, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle I often find – as I mentioned in my previous post – a post-Christmas lull in my reading. The cold dark days of January, which this…

Rotherweird and Wyntertyde, Andrew Caldecott

Of coracles and crosswords… You know what they say about judging books by their covers? Well, I did with these because they are lovely lovely covers! I was also aware of Caldecott, a respected QC in media law with a string of high profile cases to his name – and what appeared to be a…

2018: A Year in Books

So here it is. New Year’s Eve and, being a dad to a five year old and generally quite antisocial, I am at home with family, a glass of chilled champagne and, currently, Pointless on the television. Living the high life! But I’d have it no other way. The little one is upstairs reading Emma…

Washington Black, Esi Edugyan

Oh well, having set down my best intentions earlier, to review Washington Black before finishing Sally Rooney’s Normal People, and to complete the 30 Day Book Challenge by Christmas, I have failed on all accounts and now have Pat Barker’s The Silence of the Girls to review as well! But, I have had a lovely Chrsitmas…

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…

Lies Sleeping, Ben Aaronovitch

I have thoroughly enjoyed the Rivers of London series as a fresh urban fantasy – and all the freedoms and inventiveness which comes with that – merged with the familiar structures and language of a police procedural. In the previous book, The Hanging Tree, Aaronovitch finally reveals the identity of The Faceless Man, the antagonist…

The Mystery of Three Quarters, Sophie Hannah

Hercule Poirot. Arrogant and dandy and moustache firmly in place. An extended cast of somewhat two-dimensional characters. A convoluted and contrived plot – very contrived in this instance. Very contrived. Let’s face is, when the plot of a novel revolves around the construction of a battenburg cake, that novel is – for fear of being…

Weekly Reading Round-Up: 28th September

A new start to the school year, and a new stage of life as my little one heads into school – real school, Reception Year, for the first time. I had no idea how tough that would be for her – or for me. And, one week, she was poorly on top of everything else;…