A Month in the Country by J. L. Carr – review

Published by Penguin Publication date – 3 February 2000 Source – own copy A damaged survivor of the First World War, Tom Birkin finds refuge in the quiet village church of Oxgodby where he is to spend the summer uncovering a huge medieval wall-painting. Immersed in the peace and beauty of the countryside and the…

Nicola Upson – Q&A

Nicola Upson is the author of the Jospehine Tey mystery series, which started with An Expert in Murder. The ninth book in the series, The Dead of Winter, is published by Faber and Faber on 5 November 2020. Nicola kindly answered a few of my questions. 1. Tell us a little about The Dead of…

Mr Cadmus by Peter Ackroyd – review

Published by Canongate Publication date – 1 October 2020 Source – review copy Two apparently harmless women reside in cottages one building apart in the idyllic English village of Little Camborne. Miss Finch and Miss Swallow, cousins, have put their pasts behind them and settled into conventional country life. But when a mysterious foreigner, Theodore…

Balancing the Books – October 2020

So, we are well into the season of mist and mellow fruitfulness. October seems to have arrived and disappeared in the blink of an eye. There was much excitement in the Emson barracks as we introduced a new member to the family. Hector the Ragdoll kitten turned 6 months old the week after his arrival….

Number 10 by C. J. Daugherty – extract

C. J. Daugherty is the author of the Night School series. Her latest novel, Number 10, is published by Moonflower Books on 10 November 2020. Today I have an extract from the book. Chapter One‘Want to do some shots?’Gray could barely hear Chloe’s question above the bass thumping from the speakers.It was nearly midnight and…

The Part-Time Job by P.D. James – review

Published by Faber and Faber Publication date – 16 July 2020 Source – review copy I wasn’t in any particular hurry to kill him. What was important was to make sure that the deed was done without suspicion settling on me… Follow P D James, ‘Queen of Crime’, as she takes us into the mind…

Fortune Favours the Dead by Stephen Spotswood – review

Published by Headline Publication date – 12 November 2020 Source – review copy New York, 1946. Lillian Pentecost is the most successful private detective in the city, but her health is failing. She hires an assistant to help with the investigative legwork. Willowjean Parker is a circus runaway. Quick-witted and street-smart, she’s a jack-of-all-trades with…

Crossed Skis by Carol Carnac – review

Published by British Library Publication date – 10 April 2020 Source – review copy In London’s Bloomsbury, Inspector Julian Rivers of Scotland Yard looks down at a dismal scene. Here is the victim, burnt to a crisp. Here are the clues – clues which point to a good climber and expert skier, and which lead…

The Reader’s Room by Antoine Laurain – review

Published by Gallic Books Publication date – 22 September 2020 Source – review copy Translated by Jane Aitken, Emily Boyce & Polly Mackintosh When the manuscript of a debut crime novel arrives at a Parisian publishing house, everyone in the readers’ room is convinced it’s something special. And the committee for France’s highest literary honour,…