Tag Archives: Crime

An evening with Vaseem Khan

Chopra 2

Last night I went to Mostly Books to hear Vaseem Khan talk about his two crime novels featuring Inspector Chopra which are set in Mumbai. I didn’t have time to read one of the books before the event, but any novel that begins: On the day that he was due to retire, Inspector Ashwin Chopra discovered that he had inherited an elephant…. Read more »

French, comic and dark – it’s a Pascal Garnier story…

Garnier edge

Too Close to the Edge by Pascal Garnier Translated by Emily Boyce The dark short novels of Pascal Garnier have been a revelation for me (find out more here) so, the moment I got my hands on the latest to be translated by French to English specialists Gallic books, I just had to read it. He is often described as Simenon’s… Read more »

Three shorter reviews

look at me

Trading Futures by Jim Powell Matthew Oxenhay is having an existential crisis. He set his hippy ideals behind him long ago, swapping them for a career in the city, wife, kids, nice house in a nice London suburb. Then it was his 60th birthday, and shortly afterwards he lost his job, but his boss let him keep coming to work… Read more »

Celebrating John Creasey and Dennis Wheatley

2016-02-20 Creasey Wheatley Salon (1024x576)

Yesterday I went to another of literary agency PFD’s salons at the Groucho Club, this time to celebrate the books and lives of John Creasey and Dennis Wheatley.  Authors who were read by everyone at their peaks, hugely influential with totally different lives and styles – yet as we discovered, they have a lovely connection…  It was a real pleasure to… Read more »

My introduction to Margery Allingham

look to the lady

Look to the Lady by Margery Allingham You may recall that last November I went down to London for an afternoon hosted by literary agents PFD to celebrate the authors Margery Allingham and Eric Ambler (see here).  Barry Pike, the chairman of the Margery Allingham Society recommended Look to the Lady as the best place to start with her Albert Campion novels. Campion originally appeared as… Read more »

Charlie Mortdecai, volume two

After You With The Pistol by Kyril Bonfiglioli This is going to be a quick post, as you shouldn’t read the second novel in this delightfully Un-PC comedy crime series until you’ve read the first – they follow directly on from each other, but I’m not giving anything away with this quote from near the beginning… To this day I still do not know… Read more »

A Walk Among the Tombstones: Book v Film

The recently released movie A Walk Among the Tombstones starring Liam Neeson is based upon the 10th in the series of Matt Scudder books by Lawrence Block. I’ve read the first twelve – and have enjoyed them all, with a few more still to read one of these days. I read this back in 2006, and my capsule review from my… Read more »

Nick loves Amy, Amy loves Nick, don't they?

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn This book is our book group choice for discussion this month – I would normally wait until after we’ve met to put down some thoughts about our reading, but after devouring this novel in two sittings, (I started at bedtime last night, and finished it when I woke up this morning – which did mean I… Read more »

The adventures of a gentleman thief

Raffles: The Amateur Cracksman by E W Hornung Those of a certain age like me, may well remember the 1970s TV series Raffles with some fondness. It starred Anthony Valentine (right) as the titular gentleman thief, and Christopher Strauli as Bunny, his sidekick. A pair of dinner-suited scoundrels fleecing a bunch of toffs to fund their own lavish lifestyle, combined… Read more »

Getting to grips with the phenomenon that is Lee Child

Killing Floor: (Jack Reacher 1) by Lee Child Lee Child is a phenomenon. Made redundant by Granada TV at the age of forty, the Sheffield man who had initially studied law turned to writing and created the series of thrillers featuring Jack Reacher – there are now seventeen of them. Child is a worldwide bestselling author and now divides his… Read more »

Bodies in Bologna

AnnaBookBel   September 29, 2010   No Comments on Bodies in Bologna

Almost Blue by Carlo Lucarelli, translated by Oonagh Stransky. Lucarelli is apparently an established author of over a dozen books, and a TV presenter to boot, but this is the first of his detective novels to get translated into English. Ispettore Grazia Negro is part of a new group within the Italian constabulary set up to investigate serial murders.  Several… Read more »

A Cosy Mystery That Hits The Spot

M C Beaton, the pen-name of Marion Chesney, is a prolific author of cosy mysteries with two hit series to her name… You may be familiar with Agatha Raisin – a bossy urban sleuth who now lives in the Cotswolds and is delighted to stick her nose into things to keep busy. While I’ve read the first few ARs and enjoyed… Read more »

When motherhood all gets too much?

The Point of Rescue by Sophie Hannah. Sally and Nick have two young children and they both work hard.  The year before, Sally was feeling the strain of juggling motherhood and her career, all the multi-tasking; she was desperate for a break from it all.  When a business trip fell through, she didn’t tell her husband. Instead she went off anyway… Read more »

An Evening with Sophie Hannah

Last night it was my great pleasure to go to a literary dinner in Abingdon hosted by that second home of mine(!) Mostly Books at a local hostelry – an Abingdon first I believe. The Mostly Booklovers club at the shop had been offered a list of authors who might be approached to give an after dinner talk, and Sophie… Read more »

The First Detective Novel

The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins This was my bookgroup’s Christmas read – we like to pick something classic for festive reading. This was a popular choice, as several of us, me included, have read Kate Summerscale’s The Suspicions of Mr Whicher, the real-life Victorian murder case which inspired Collins. I started reading well before Christmas, but somehow didn’t gel with… Read more »

This is not a Whodunnit, but a Whydunnit!

Rupture by Simon Lelic This is not a normal whodunnit crime novel, it’s a ‘whydunnit’. We know from the start that a mild-mannered school teacher shot and killed three pupils and a teacher before turning his gun on himself. It’s D.I. Lucia May’s case and although it appears to be an open and shut case, she doesn’t believe it’s as… Read more »

A chilling and contemporary twist on the vampire novel

Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist All the other vampire books I’ve read in my ‘Season of the Living Dead’ have been rather cosy or had a good sense of humour. But then they’ve been mostly aimed at teens and young adults.Then I came to a Nordic vampire novel Let the Right One In, and found something… Read more »

Sookie & Vampire Bill – what a couple!

Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris The high-school vampire novels I read last week were but mere hors d’oevres in preparation for this – the main course. The Sookie Stackhouse novels have been given the HBO treatment by Alan ‘Six Feel Under‘ Ball, and are currently on our screens as True Blood, but before I watch the TV series (I’ve… Read more »

Richard III – Dastardly murderer or totally misunderstood?

The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey  Most people if asked, including me, would think of Richard III as the hunchback who murdered the princes in the tower. Our information generally comes from Sir Thomas More’s hatchet-job of him by way of Shakespeare and Laurence Olivier or Anthony Sher with a crutch capering around the stage. Josephine Tey does her best… Read more »

What my Mum is reading

Being between books to review at the moment, I asked my 70-something Mum what she’s reading. She probably reads more books than I do, and every time I see her she borrows a bagful or two. She always returns them with sticky notes on telling me what she thought. She reads widely, and dare I say it, has similar tastes… Read more »