Books Read 2018


  • Alexander McCall Smith - The House of Unexpected Sisters. Crime Fiction (Published 2017) The latest  in The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency series. Set in sunny Botswana
  • J.Jefferson Farjeon - Seven Dead. Crime Fiction (First Published 1939 Reprinted in 2017 by British Library Crime Classics) Good story. 
  •  Susan Hill - Jacob's Room is Full of Books; A Year of Reading. Non Fiction ( Published 2017) I didn't think this was as good as her other book about reading ( Howard's End is on the Landing) but still interesting. I wouldn't want to read many of the books she mentions in this book but did agree that Each Peach Pear Plum by Janet and Alan Ahlberg is a children's rhyming book that many adults of a certain age can recite!
  • Mel Starr - Deeds of Darkness. Historical Crime Fiction ( Published 2017) Set in 1371 this is  the tenth story about Hugh de Singleton, surgeon and bailiff in Bampton near Oxford. Written by an American who is "an authority on medieval surgery and medieval English".
  • Bernard Cornwell - Fools and Mortals. Fiction (Published 2017) A well written  historical novel about William Shakespeare's players and his brother Richard. The story seemed sort of familiar as I've read several of the Edward Marston Elizabethan players series and Rory Clements books about John Shakespeare - another brother and set at the same time.
  • Alys Clare - The Rufus Spy. Historical Crime Fiction. (Published 2017). The 8th in the Aelf Fen series featuring the young healer Lassair set in the 11th century in the Fens and Cambridge.
  • George Bellairs - The Case of the Demented Spiv.  Crime Fiction( First Published 1949, reprinted 2017). Another title by this author who was popular in his day but then forgotten for 50 years.
  • Lois Austen-Leigh - The Incredible crime: A Cambridge Mystery. Crime Fiction ( First Published 1931, reprinted by BLCC 2017). A good story, slightly dated but interesting for me as it is set on the Suffolk coast and Cambridge. The author was distantly related to Jane Austen and wrote 4 books in the Golden Age of Crime.
  • George Bellairs - Bones in the Wilderness. Crime Fiction (Originally published 1959) another of the well written crime books by this author that have been reprinted recently. 
  • James McGee - The Reckoning. Historical Crime Fiction. (Published 2017). The sixth in a series about Mathew Hawkwood now a Bow Street Runner. The sounds, smells, squalor and horror of early 19th century London when the government were concerned with defeating Napoleon and keeping secrets.-
10 books read in January

  • Ngaio Marsh - Death and the Dancing Footman. Crime Fiction ( First Published 1942) The 11th book featuring Chief Detective Inspector Roderick Alleyn. 
  • Gerald Hammond -  Dead Weight. Crime Fiction. ( Published 2000). Set in Scotland all about gundog training and shooting. By a very prolific author. 
  • Mary Wesley - Jumping the Queue. Fiction. ( Published 1983) Recently widowed, Matilda Poliport's meticulously planned bid for graceful suicide by drowning is foiled. Later she foils the suicide attempt of another lost soul, Hugh, on the run from the police, and life begins again for them both. But life also throws up nasty secrets and awkward questions, both from Matilda's past and her present.
  • D.E. Stevenson - House of Deer. Light Fiction ( Published 1970) One of this Scottish Authors later books when they were lighter and more like romance. A Quick Read.
  • Ngaio Marsh - Colour Scheme. Crime Fiction ( First Published 1943). 12th in the series. Set in New Zealand. 
  • Ngaio Marsh - Died in the Wool. Crime Fiction (First Published 1945) Set again in New Zealand during WWII 
  • Raymond Postgate -  Somebody at the Door. Crime Fiction ( Originally Published 1943. Reprinted 2017) Another British Library Crime Classic. Really good, well written set during WWII. The passengers in a railway carriage all have a story and a reason they could have been the murderer. 
  • Chris Nickson -  Free From All danger. Crime Fiction. (Published 2017). October 1736 and Richard Nottingham has been persuaded out of retirement to serve as Constable of Leeds again.The sixth of this well written series.
  • Gyles Brandreth - Jack The Ripper - Case Closed. Crime Fiction(Published 2017) Oscar Wilde helped by his friend Arthur Conan Doyle solve the case of Jack the Ripper. Brilliantly well written. 
  • Derek Tangye - A Cat in the Window. Fiction ( Published 1962) A very small book about Monty the ginger cat who moved to Minack  from London with Derek and his wife in the late 1950's.
  • Adrian Bell - Men and the Fields. Non Fiction. (Published 1939) A journey around the country looking at farms and farmers just before WWII.
11 books read in February

  • Erica James - Coming Home to Island House. Fiction ( Published 2018) A Good story, well written, Starting in the summer of 1939, this is the story of one family coming together during the first year of the war. 
  • Ngaio Marsh - Final Curtain. Crime Fiction ( Published 1947) Another story featuring Chief Detective Inspector Roderick Alleyn and this time also his wife Troy. 
  • Joan Barfoot - Gaining Ground. Fiction. (Published 1978) Abra has left a husband,children and suburban security to live in an isolated cabin without mirrors,clocks or human contact. As time passes she achieves the inner peace and strength which had always eluded her before. Is she ill or is she well? When her daughter tracks her down Abra is forced to account for her actions. (When I told Col about this book he said it sounded like the sort of thing I might do!)
  • Ngaio Marsh - Swing Brother Swing.Crime Fiction  (Published 1949). The 15th in this  series.
  • Ronald Blythe - At The Yeoman's House. Non Fiction ( Published 2011) A short book, a glimpse at the history of the Author's house 'Bottengoms Farm' situated on the Suffolk/Essex border.
  • Robert Barnard - The Missing Bronte. Crime Fiction (Published 1983) Short crime novel by prolific author. Very dated . 
  • Gerald Hammond - The Curse of the Cockers . Crime Fiction.(Published 1993). A short book set in Scotland in the world of gundogs and their training by a prolific author Now slightly dated. 
  • Angela Thirkell - Love Among the Ruins. Fiction. ( Published 1948). Another in the Barsetshire series, stories of the gentry in the aftermath of WWII and the cold winter of 1947.The ruins in the title are the remains of the big houses and landed estates that had been requisitioned during the war. There is much talk of Them - being the new Labour government. 
  • John Lewis-Stempel - The Secret Life of the Owl. Non Fiction (Published 2017). A very small book about British Owls. Some famous poems and not a lot of information.
  • Cora Harrison - A Shameful Murder. Crime Fiction (Published 2015) First in a series that I hadn't come across before. Set in Cork in 1923 during the early 'troubles'. The Mother Superior of a convent school helps solve crimes. Well written
  • Tobias Jones - A Place of Refuge; The story of Windsor Hill Wood; An Experiment in Communal Living. Non-Fiction(Published 2015). An amazing couple open their home to the troubled. After reading I just said - I couldn't do that! 
  • E.C.R.Lorac -Bats in the Belfry.Crime Fiction ( First Published 1937) Another of The British Library Crime Classics by long forgotten authors. 
  • Henry Buckton - The Children's Front; The Impact of the Second World War on British Children. Non Fiction (Published 2009) Memories of various aspects of the war.
  • The Detection Club - The Floating Admiral. Crime Fiction.( First Published 1931) Several well know crime authors collaborated, writing one chapter each, on this book. Including Agatha Christie, Dorothy L Sayers and G.K. Chesterton.
  • Carol Smith - Grandmother's Footsteps. Crime/thriller (Published 2002). A stay at home Dad works out the answer to a series of murders with potentially disastrous results. 
 15 read this month

  • Marjorie-Ann Watts- Slideshow; Memories of a Wartime Childhood. Non-Fiction (Published 2014). From 1930s Hampstead to Cornwall and back to war torn London, the memories of an unusual girl growing up. 
  • Edward Marston - The Nine Giants. Crime Fiction.(Published 1991). One of this prolific authors early series about Elizabethan actors and featuring their stage manager Nicholas Bracewell. 
  • Marjorie Allingham - The Case of the Late Pig Crime Fiction (Published 1937) . A short story by this well known author from the golden age of crime.
  • Rory Clements - Nucleus. Crime/Thriller ( Published 2018) The second in a series set just before WWII in Cambridge and Germany.  ( I wrote about the first..... Corpus HERE) A really good read again.  
  • Cora Harrison - Beyond Absolution. Crime Fiction ( Published 2017) Another of this series set in Cork, Ireland in the 1920's. Featuring The Reverend Mother Aquinas.
  • Kate Ellis - The Mechanical Devil. Crime Fiction. (Published 2018) 22nd in the Wesley Peterson  police/archaeology series set in Devon. Her books are getting shorter and more predictable, but I still read them! 
  • Dorothy L Sayers - Hangman's Holiday. Crime Fiction Short Stories (First Published 1933). From the famous author who wrote in the golden age of crime.

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