Books Read 2019

  • Robin Blake - Rough Music. Historical Crime Fiction ( Published 2018). 4th in a series featuring coroner Titus Cragg and his friend Dr Luke Fidelis. It is summer 1742 and Titus Cragg takes his wife and new baby away from Preston to avoid an approaching epidemic. There he is called upon to investigate the death of a local woman in an unusual community.
  • Cyril Hare - Untimely Death. Crime Fiction (Published 2008. Originally Published 1957) Francis Pettigrew, a retired barrister, travels to Exmoor for a holiday with his wife and on a walk discovers a dead body, which half an hour later has disappeared.
  • Mel Starr - Prince Edward's Warrant. Historical Crime Fiction (Published 2018). The 11th Chronicle of Hugh de Singleton, surgeon. Hugh has helped Prince Edward in the past and is asked to help with his health again. He travels to London but soon someone in the palace is poisoned and then others are killed and Hugh has to find the murderers.
  • Horatio Clare - The Light in the Dark; A Winter Journal. Non Fiction (Published 2018). This is the diary of an author with depression surviving the dark days of winter in the North of England. Actually a bit depressing to read!
  • Alexander McCall Smith - The Colours of all the Cattle. Crime Fiction(Published 2018) The latest in The No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. Precious Ramotswe is persuaded to stand for the local council so as to vote against the building of a hotel right beside the grave yard. 
  • Kate Ellis - The Boy who Lived with the Dead. Crime Fiction (Published 2018) This is the second book featuring DI Albert Lincoln and set in 1920, with all the after effects of The Great War still being felt. This is set in the North West of England in a village that seems to be full of secrets.
6 books read in January


  •  C.J. Sansom - Tombland.  Historical Crime Fiction (Published 2018).This is the 7th in a series which has covered many years in Tudor times and featuring lawyer Mathew Shardlake. It is 800 pages all about what is now called Kett's rebellion that took place in Norwich in 1549. All his books are so well researched and written.
  • Elly Griffiths - The Stranger Diaries. Crime Fiction (Published 2018). A stand alone novel not in a series yet. Clare Cassidy is an English teacher at a school that was once the home of R.M Holland a Victorian Gothic horror writer. She is writing a biography of Holland but then her colleague is found dead with a line from Holland's novel by her side.  This is quite a quick read, with the three main character taking in turns to tell the story.
  • E.C.R. Lorac  - Murder by Matchlight (British Library Crime Classic Published 2018. First Published 1945). Set in the London wartime blackout this is a clever mystery . This author wrote several crime fiction between 1930 and 1950's which were totally forgotten until the British Library reprints. 
  • Donna Leon - By it's Cover. Crime Fiction (Published 2014). This series of books, of which this is the 23rd are set in Venice featuring Commissario Guido Brunetti. I hadn't read any before but found this interesting although I struggled with all the Italian names.
  • Joy Ellis - Stalker on the Fens. Crime fiction (Published 2016). Another in the series featuring D.I. Nikki Galena and D. S. Joseph Easter. A friend of Nikki is involved in an accident, then a year later tells Nikki that she is being watched. Is it her imagination or Post Traumatic Stress. Then she is found horrifically murdered.
  • Ngaio Marsh - Hand in Glove. Crime Fiction (Published 1962). Another in the long series featuring Superintendent Roderick Alleyn.
  • Margery Allingham - The White Cottage Mystery. Crime Fiction (Originally published 1927). The first detective story by this author originally written as a serial for the Daily Express. Eric Crowther collected secrets and used them as weapons and there is no shortage of suspects when he is found shot dead in the White Cottage. A short quick read.
  • D.E.Stevenson - Spring Magic. (A Furrowed Middlebrow Reprint Published 2019 Originally Published 1942). After being a dogsbody for her lazy Aunt , Frances escapes to Cairn in Scotland - a place she saw in a painting and knows nothing about. It is wartime and just after her arrival an army training camp also arrives with some of the wives joining her in the local hotel. Like all good romances there are misunderstandings and muddles and a happy ending after some trauma. A light read but one of DES' better stories.
  • Julian Symons - The Belting Inheritance. Crime Fiction (British Library Crime Classic reprint 2018. Originally published 1965). A stranger arrives at Belting Hall claiming to be David Wainwright, eldest son and heir to Lady Wainwright who is seriously ill. Missing for many years since WWII is it really David? Told through the eyes of Christopher, a young orphaned nephew living at the hall this is a good story mixing the ways of the remaining gentry with the new sexual freedoms of the 1960s.
9 Books read in February


  • Ngaio Marsh - Dead Water. Crime Fiction (Published 1964) Another featuring Superintendent Roderick Alleyn. This series which were started in the 1930s is now beginning to seem very dated as she doesn't seemed to have noticed that the 1960s were the beginning of times changing!
  • George Bellairs - Toll the Bell for Murder. Crime Fiction ( Published 1959). Another in the series about Inspector Littlejohn. Called in once again to investigate a murder on the Isle of Man. These have all been reprinted over the last few years
  • D.E. Stevenson - Mrs Tim of the Regiment. Fiction(Published 1932).  Hester Christie tries to run her home like clockwork, as would befit the wife of British Army officer, Tim Christie. Left alone for months at a time whilst her husband is with his regiment, Mrs Tim resolves to keep a diary of events large and small in her family life. This is a light read, written as a diary of an Army wife and her move to Scotland.
  • Ngaio Marsh - Death at the Dolphin. Crime Fiction (Published 1967). The 24th in the series featuring Superintendent Roderick Alleyn. Set in a theatre  among actors. A glove supposedly belonging to Hamnet Shakespeare causes problems and death in a newly refurbished theatre.
  • Elly Griffiths - The Stone Circle. Crime Fiction.(Published 2019) This is the 11th featuring Dr Ruth Galloway. The discovery of modern bones in an archaeology dig starts the search for the killer of a girl who went missing 30 years earlier. 
  • Rory Clements - Nemesis. Crime Fiction (Published 2019) This is the 3rd in a series featuring Professor Tom Wilde, an American living and working in Cambridge. On holiday in France just before the war he is approached by a stranger and asked to rescue one of his students, Marcus Marfield, from an interment camp. This starts a horrible chain of events just as German tanks roll into Poland and a U-boat sinks the Athenia in the Atlantic. An excellent book.
  • D.E.Stevenson - Mrs Tim Carries On (Originally published1941). Another in the series about D.E.Stevenson's fictional alter-ego, Hester Christie. The author brought back this character first written about in 1932 , to lift spirits and boost morale in the early days of the war. Mrs Tim carries on through the war, while her husband is stationed in France. 
  • Ellen Wilkinson - The Division Bell Mystery . Crime Fiction (Originally Published 1932 British Library Crime Classic published 2018). Through the double clamour of Big Ben and the shrill sound of the bell rang a revolver shot. Robert West, a parliamentary private secretary has to find out who killed the financier without  scandals hitting the government.
  • Joy Ellis - Buried in the Fens. Crime Fiction. (Published 2017). Another in the series featuring D.I. Nikki Galena and D. S. Joseph Easter.
9 Books read in March

  • Rachel Hore - The Last Letter Home. Fiction (Published 2018). Historian Briony Wood is on holiday with friends near Naples and after expressing an interest in the story of a ruined villa she is handed a bundle of letters and an old cine film. It seems to mention her Grandfather who was a British soldier stationed in the area during the Italian campaign of 1943.                            The story move backwards and forwards between modern day Norfolk and London and wartime Norfolk, London and Italy.
  • Kate Ellis- Dead Man's Lane. Crime Fiction (Published 2019). This is the 23rd in the series featuring DI Wesley Peterson set around Dartmouth in Devon. Strangefields   Farm is notorious for being the home of an artist now in prison for murdering young women. Now years later it is being turned into a holiday village complex. Then a skull is found on site and a local woman is found murdered in the same way as those women two decades ago. As with her previous stories this book weaves history, archaeology and crime together.
  • George Bellairs- Death in the Fearful Night.Crime Fiction (Originally Published 1960) Another in the slightly dated series about Inspector Littlejohn.
  •  Donna Leon - The Waters of Eternal Youth. Crime Fiction.(Originally Published 2016) Another of the long running series set in Venice with Commissario Brunetti.
  • Joanna Cannon - Three Things about Elsie. Fiction.(Published 2018). 84 year old Florence is laying on the floor in her flat in the Cherry Tree Home for the elderly. She is waiting for someone to miss her and help her up. As the hours pass she goes back over the last few weeks which have taken her memory back 60 years to a hidden tragedy.  It takes a while to sort out what's happening but is such a good book it ought to be read by anyone who has care of the elderly or people with dementia, just to show that maybe what you can see isn't the whole story.
  • Katie Fforde - A Rose Petal Summer. Light Fiction (Published 2019) Another book of light fluffy stuff for a change, a speedy read with a happy ever after ending.
  • Micheal Gilbert - Smallbone Deceased. Crime Fiction  (A British Library Crime Classic Reprint Originally Published 1950) This clever story is set in a lawyers office in London.
  • Elizabeth Berridge- Tell it to a Stranger. Fiction short stories ( A Persephone re-print originally published in 1947/9) These stories, mostly set during the war, are mainly bleak without happiness but still interesting. A quick read.
8 Books read in April

  •  George Bellairs _ Death in Desolation. Crime Fiction (Originally Published 1967) Another  reprinted crime classic about Inspector Littlejohn.
  • Alys Clare - The Woman who Spoke to Spirits. Crime Fiction (Published 2019) The first in a new series. This time it is set in Victorian London in The World's End Investigation Bureau. Lily Raynor has set up an Investigation Bureau after being a nurse in India. Her new employee is Felix Wilbraham and together they work on two new cases. The first is finding out about an actress and the second looking at how a woman is being warned of threats from her spirit guides. Looks like this series will be as good as her others - a quick read.
  • Jacqueline Winspear - The American Agent. Crime Fiction (Published 2019) This is the 15th in this series which starts with a book set in 1929 and in this latest it is now 1940. I love these books they have all been so good and  the Wall Street Journal recommends them by saying "A series that seems to get better with every entry". This is the description from Fantastic Fiction website................................................................................................................................... When Catherine Saxon, an American correspondent reporting on the war in Europe, is found murdered in her London digs, news of her death is concealed by British authorities. Serving as a linchpin between Scotland Yard and the Secret Service, Robert MacFarlane pays a visit to Maisie Dobbs, seeking her help. Accompanied by an agent from the US Department of Justice - Mark Scott, the American who helped Maisie escape Hitler's Munich in 1938 - he asks Maisie to work with Scott to uncover the truth about Saxon's death.
    As the Germans unleash the full terror of their blitzkrieg upon the citizens of London, raining death and destruction from the skies, Maisie must balance the demands of solving this dangerous case with her need to protect the young evacuee she has grown to love. Entangled in an investigation linked to the power of wartime propaganda and American political intrigue being played out in Britain, Maisie will face losing her dearest friend - and the possibility that she might be falling in love again.
  • Chris Nickson  - The Leaden Heart. Crime Fiction (Published 2019) The 7th in a series set in Leeds. During the hot summer of 1899 Detective Superintendent Tom Harper investigates the death of a shopkeeper and uncovers a web of intimidation and corruption that leads back to the mysterious North Leeds Company
  • Jacqueline Winspear - Journey to Munich. Crime Fiction - This was a re-read for me to find out how Maisie Dobbs first met Mark Scott - See above.
  • Anne Perry - Death in Focus. Crime Fiction. (Published 2019) A very good book to start a new series by this prolific author who has written two series set in Victorian London. This new book has as it's main character Elena Standish and is set in 1933 mainly in Berlin as Hitler comes to power. 
  • Joy Ellis - Fire on the Fens. Crime Fiction. (Published 2018). Once again DI Nikki Galena and DS Joseph Easter have to track down a killer in the Fens. This time someone is killing people by trapping them in houses and then setting it on fire. It seems to be some sort of revenge but for what?( I also had "Captive in the Fens" on loan but didn't read it - didn't like the story-line.)
7 Books read in May

  • Hilary McKay -  The Skylarks' War. Junior Fiction. (Published 2018) A lovely story about the children of two families growing up before and during the Great War. This was a re-reading for me as I read it in November last year and saw it sitting on the library shelves and decided to read again as it is such a good story.
  • Julian Symons - The Colour of Murder. Crime Fiction (Published 2018 a BLCC originally printed 1957). A strange book where the first half is taken up by the account of the main character, John Wilkins, talking to a psychologist. This is an award-winning crime novel.... a totally different Who-Done-It.
  • E.C.R. Lorac - Murder in the Mill Race. Crime Fiction (Originally Published 1952.) Another British Library Crime Classic reprint by this excellent author. They are all really well written. 4 reprinted so far, one more due, hope they do more as she was very prolific between the 1930's - 1950s.
  • Joy Ellis - Thieves on the Fens. Crime Fiction (Published 2017) I'm now up to date with this series but should have read this one before the one I read in May.
  • Cyril Hare - Tragedy at Law. Crime Fiction(Originally Published 1942) Another recent reprint introducing the barrister Francis Pettigrew.
  • Michael Gilbert - Death has deep roots. Crime Fiction ( A British Library Crime Classic Reprint originally published 1951. The trial of Victoria Lamartine an ex French Resistance fighter and now a hotel worker in London, is about to take place. It seems she is the only person who could have murdered a visitor to the hotel, Someone she had been eager to meet. But the history of this crime goes back to wartime France and luckily she replaces her defence counsel with a new firm and one of them travels out to France to track down the story.
  • Mark Boyle - The Way Home: Tales From a Life Without Technology. Non Fiction (Published 2019) No running water, no car, no electricity or any of the things it powers: the internet, phone, washing machine, radio or light bulb. Just a wooden cabin, on a smallholding, by the edge of a stand of spruce. In this honest and lyrical account of a remarkable life without modern technology, Mark Boyle explores the hard won joys of building a home with his bare hands, learning to make fire, collecting water from the spring, foraging and fishing. 
  • Edmund Crispin - The Case of the Gilded Fly. Crime Fiction ( 2018 Originally Published 1944). Another book reprinted from the Golden Age of crime. A clever story set in Oxford featuring Crispin's hero - the Oxford Don Gervase Fen. 
8 Books Read in June

  • Edmund Crispin- Swan Song. Crime Fiction (2018 Originally Published 1947) Oxford Don Gervase Fen is asked to help when an actor with an opera company is found hanging in his dressing room. 
  • Elizabeth Fair - Brampton Wick. Fiction ( Originally Published 1952) This is one of the Furrowed Middlebrow books re-published by Dean St Press in 2017. It's light fiction set in a village with all the eccentric characters of the period. Bit of a cross between DE Stevenson and Angela Thirkell.
  • Martin Edwards (Editor) - Deep Waters. Short Crime Fiction Stories.(Originally published between 1898 and 1975.) Another British Library Crime Classic collection of short stories this time all involving the sea, rivers and canals.
  • Juliet Blaxland - The Easternmost House. Non Fiction.(Published 2018).         Juliet Blaxland lives on a crumbling cliff top on the east coast of Suffolk. The Easternmost House will soon crumble into the sea. This book describes a year living on the edge: a meditation on nature, on coastal erosion, on impermanence and on the changing seasons.
  • Julie Wassmer - Murder Fest. Crime Fiction. (Published 2019). Set in Whitstable Kent and featuring Pearl Nolan a Private Detective and owner of a Seafood Restaurant. 
  • Kel Richards - The Country House Murders. (Published 2014) Modern books but written as a Golden Age mystery set in the 1930s. Featuring Clive Staples "Jack" Lewis of Narnia fame who was a tutor at Oxford. There is much discussion on theology, life and death in this book. There are one or two phrases that jar as being too modern but a good read, feel I need to watch the film Shadowlands again now.
  • Donna Leon- Earthly Remains. Crime Fiction (Published 2017). Another of the long running series set in Venice with Commissario Brunetti.
  • Edmund Crispin - Buried for Pleasure. Crime Fiction. ( 2018 Originally published 1948) . Oxford don Gervase Fen decides to take a break from Oxford to run for Parliament. The villages he has come to canvas look quiet but someone in one village is involved in blackmail and soon Fen is caught in a tale of lost heirs, eccentric psychiatrists, beautiful women, an Inn being demolished and a vengeful poisoner. A complicated story but with humourous touches.
  • Donna Leon - Uniform Justice. Crime Fiction (Published 2003). An earlier story from this author in the Brunetti series set in Venice. 
  •  Dan Boothby - Island of Dreams, A Personal History of a Remarkable Place. Non Fiction (Published 2015)

    Island of Dreams: A Personal History of a Remarkable PlaceThe Amazon description says...........Dan Boothby had been drifting for more than twenty years, without the pontoons of family, friends or a steady occupation. He was looking for but never finding the perfect place to land. Finally, unexpectedly, an opportunity presented itself. After a lifelong obsession with Gavin Maxwell's Ring of Bright Water trilogy, Boothby was given the chance to move to Maxwell's former home, a tiny island on the western seaboard of the Highlands of Scotland.
    Island of Dreams is about Boothby's time living there, and about the natural and human history that surrounded him; it's about the people he meets and the stories they tell, and about his engagement with this remote landscape, including the otters that inhabit it. Interspersed with Boothby's own story is a quest to better understand the mysterious Gavin Maxwell.
    Beautifully written and frequently leavened with a dry wit, Island of Dreams is a charming celebration of the particularities of place.

  • Angela Thirkell - County Chronicle. Fiction (Published 1950) Another of the wonderful Barsetshire series, with all the usual people from the earlier books popping in, lots of engagements, big houses, servants, petrol rationing, authors and general merriment.
  • Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird. Fiction. (Published 1960). A re-read of this influential book.
12 Books read in July
  • Harper Lee - Go Set a Watchman . Fiction (Published 2015). Although published 55 years after To Kill a Mocking Bird, this book was actually written in the mid 1950's before Mockingbird but refused by publishers at the time. It had very mixed reviews. In this book Jean Loiuse 'Scout', now mid 20s, is back from New York City to visit her father. It is set among all the racial tension of the time and explains the differences in race relations between small town life in the Southern States and in a big city and how Jean Louise sees her father and aunt and the small town-folk in a new light and questions everything about race and colour. 
  • Donna Leon - Blood From a Stone. Crime Fiction.(Published 2005) Another in the long running series set in Venice. 
  • Richard Mabey - Home Country. Non-Fiction. (First Published 1990). One of the early books by the author best known for Food for Free. This is about his early adventures with nature in the Chilterns.
  • Cyril Hare - With a Bare Bodkin. Crime Fiction.(Originally Published  1946) Another crime story featuring barrister Francis Pettigrew. The blitz has forced government offices out of London and people are forced to work and lodge together, where they start a game of 'plan the perfect murder'. Then a real murder occurs.
  • Catrina Davies - Homesick; Why I live in a Shed. Non Fiction. (Published 2019). After years of living in rented rooms, a caravan and even in a van, Catrina returns to Cornwall and makes her home in a dilapidated shed, once used as an office by her father. Needing little money to live on she is able to spend her time surfing, writing and making music. The lack of affordable housing in holiday areas where most of the houses are now second homes is one of the main themes of the book which is well researched with lots of quotes from various sources.
  • Edmund Crispin -  Holy Disorders. Crime Fiction. (Originally published 1946). A strange story of spies in cathedrals - set during WWII. It took me the whole book to make sense of this story again featuring Gervase Fen. 
  • Elizabeth Fair - The Native Heath. Fiction. (Originally Published 1954). A Dean Street Press Furrowed Middlebrow title reprinted in 2017). Another light read set in a village. When widowed  Julia inherits a house she takes her cousin and old nanny to live with her there and tries to sort out all the village problems.
  • Donna Leon - The Temptation of Forgiveness. Crime Fiction (Published 2018). Another of the long running series set in Venice with Commissario Brunetti. 
  • Robert Macfarlane - The Gifts of Reading. Non Fiction. (Published 2016) An essay that's been turned into a VERY small book. It's all about the gift of books that have shaped his life and the books he gives as gifts.Took just a few minutes to read.
9 Books Read in August
  • Alys Clare -  City of Pearl. Historical Crime Fiction(published 2019). This is the 9th book in the Aelf Fen series about Lassair, the young healer. It is 1093 and Lassair  is in Cambridge where she is being taught by Gurdyman. But he is ill and something has made him decide that they both  need to travel to Spain. But Why?
  • E.C.R.Lorac - Fell Murder. Crime Fiction. ( British Library Crime Classic reprint. Originally Published 1944). Another excellent story featuring Chief Inspector Macdonald, called in to investigate the murder of an old farmer and landowner. Set in Lunesdale in Lancashire it has good descriptions of farming and countryside at the end of WWII.
  • Willa Cather- My Antonia. Fiction(Published 1918) The library website says" In this novel Jim Burden tells the story of his beloved childhood friend Antonia, the immigrant girl and woman whose struggle and splendour represent the source of life itself."                                                   And from Amazon website" My Antonia is the unforgettable story of an immigrant woman's life on the Nebraska plains, seen through the eyes of her childhood friend, Jim Burden. The beautiful, free-spirited, wild-eyed girl captured Jim's imagination long ago and haunts him still, embodying for him the elemental spirit of the American frontier. "                                        Now a  Modern Classic, not my usual reading but so glad I did read it. 
  • George Bellairs - The Body in the Dumb River. (British Library Crime Classic Reprint Originally Published 1961.) This is the 22nd book by this author that I have read, all reprinted recently after not being available for 50 +years. Another story featuring Chief Inspector Littlejohn. This is set in Yorkshire after starting in the Fens. 
  • Andrew Wilson - Death in a Desert Land. Crime Fiction (Published 2019) This is the third in a series featuring Agatha Christie as the 'detective', using real episodes in her life. In this one she is asked by her friend in the secret service to travel to an archaeological dig in Ur, to find the truth behind the death of historian, archaeologist and author Gertrude Bell. 
  • Neil Ansell - Deep Country,Five Years in the Welsh Hills. Non-Fiction (Published 2011) This was a re-read for me. The cottage Neil lived in had no electric,no gas, no running water, no vehicular access and he could walk 20 miles west without seeing another house. It's about how he immerses himself in nature and the wildlife he saw. 
  • Kel Richards - The Floating Body. Crime Fiction. (Published 2016) Although written recently this is one of 4 books which are set in the 1930s and are written as a homage to C.S.Lewis. The main character is Tom Morris, once a student of Lewis at Oxford. The story is set in a Cathedral School .
  • Ursula Orange -  Tom Tiddlers Ground. Fiction. (Originally Published 1941) This is the Furrowed Middlebrow reprint that I found by happy chance at a car boot sale. Just like 'Company in the Evening' by the same author and reprinted, this book is quite a treat. Caroline Cameron - charming and superficial, evacuates from London in the early days of the war to stay with an old school friend Constance Smith - completely opposite of Caroline in every way. This is a witty look at troubles and changes with evacuees and disastrous marriages.
8 Books read in September

  • Alan Melville - Weekend at Thrackley. Crime Fiction. (British Library Crime Classic reprint published 2018. Originally published 1934) A typical country house crime, with guests invited to a country house weekend, where the owner has a collection of jewels and plans to add his guests jewels to his secret stash in a hidden cellar. 
  • Katherine Rundell - Why You Should Read Children's Books, Even Though You Are So Old and Wise.. Non Fiction. (Published 2019) Like the small book by Robert MacFarlane, that I read in August this is an essay turned into a book. The author writes books for children and I read this book in 15 minutes. It doesn't really say anything more than what's in the title.
  • Ann Cleeves - The Long Call. Crime Fiction (Published 2019). A new detective for Ann Cleeves,  set in North Devon. Mathew Venn takes on his first big case after moving back to the area.A man is found stabbed and then a girl with Downs Syndrome goes missing. The cases seem to be connected with The Woodyard, a centre for counseling , day centre for people with learning difficulties and a bit too close for comfort to Mathews home life past and present. 
Just 3 books read in October

  • Martin Edwards (Editor) -The Measure of Malice. Short Crime Stories. (BLCC published 2019.Originally published between late C19 and 1955). Another collection of short stories from authors well known in their day. The stories in this book are all based on science in some form from chemicals to poisons.
  • Ann Granger - The Murderer's Apprentice. Historical Crime(Published 2019) . Another in the series that started several years ago ago featuring Inspector Ben Ross and his wife Lizzie in Victorian London.
  • Chris Nickson - The Hocus Girl. Historical Crime (Published 2019). This is the second in a series about a Thief Taker - Simon Westow. The stories are set in the early C19 in Leeds as industrialization increases the people moving into the city.
  • Ronald Blythe - Forever Wormingford. Non Fiction (Published 2017). Blythe is a local man - very elderly now, once a friend to famous people like Benjamin Britten. This book is another compilation of his writings for The Church Times. He writes about his home,church,travels and old customs and old friends 
  • Neil Ansell  - The Last Wilderness; A Journey into Silence. Non Fiction. (Published 2018). After re-reading his first book I decided to try again with his most recent. This book is the story of 5 visits over a year to a very remote part of Scotland. He walks and camps in the wilderness watching birds and mammal local to the area while also charting how he is losing his hearing as years go by.
  • Roger Deakin - Notes from Walnut Tree Farm. Non Fiction. (Published 2008). Edited by his partner and son after his death in 2006 this is a book of diary notes from some of his years living in an old farmhouse on Mellis common in Suffolk. Deakin was an author and broadcaster and his first book Waterlog started the wild swimming movement.He had many friends in the world of nature and writing. He often mentions visiting Ronnie ( Ronald Blythe)
  • John Dickson Carr - It Walks by Night; A Paris Mystery.(A British Library Crime Classic Reprint Originally published 1930). I read this but it was a complicated mystery, had to keep re-reading bits to see what had happened.It was the first by this prolific American author.
7 Books Read in November

  • George Bellairs -  Surfeit of Suspects. Crime Fiction (Another B.L.C.C. originally published 1964) This author write good stories and it's surprising they disappeared for so long. This is a story of fraud regarding land and old families.
  •  Barry Turner - Waiting for War; Britain 1939-1940. Non Fiction. (Published 2019) A new book looking at the "phoney war" at the start of WWII. Using words spoken at the time to document how people went about preparing.
  • Rachel Hore - The Love Child. Fiction. (Published 2019). In 1917 Alice Copeman is forced to give up her baby for adoption. Edith and Phillip Burns adopt the baby Irene, who grows up knowing she is different. Alice tries to forget about the baby and embarks on a medical career, against opposition from so many male doctors. The story of Alice and Irene carries on through two decades, inter-twining into the second world war.
  • Mel Starr. - Without a Trace. Historical Crime Fiction (Published 2019). The Twelfth Chronicle Of Sir Hugh de Singleton, surgeon and Bailiff. These are set in the mid C14 countryside, always a good easy read crime story with lots of Medieval details.
  • Helen Cox - Murder by the Minster. Crime Fiction (Published 2019). A First book by a new author. Kitt works in the University library and when her best friend Evie is accused of murdering an ex-boyfriend, she sets out to help the police solve the murder. A good story although a bit unbelievable in places, an easy read.
  • Robert Harris - The Second Sleep. Mystery Thriller. In 1468 a priest sets out on horseback across Exmoor to take the funeral of his predecessor. Except all it's not as it seems. This 1468 is 800 years after the Apocalypse!
6 Books Read in December

92 total for 2019


  1. Looking forward to seeing what you've read. You seem to have quite a pile of library books each month and some very different reads.

  2. I’ve waited with bated breath for Atwood’s sequel to the Handmaid’s Tale. Started reading The Testaments yesterday. I highly recommend it!!