Furious Hours by Casey Cep

Harper Lee, Truman Capote and the Reverend Willie Maxwell…

😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

In June, 1977, a man walked into a funeral home in Alabama during a service, accused one of the mourners, Reverend Willie Maxwell, of murder and shot him dead. When the shooter, Robert Burns, was subsequently tried for the murder of Maxwell, everyone wanted a seat in court. Harper Lee got one. Years after helping Truman Capote with the research that lay behind his best-selling In Cold Blood, Lee had decided to write her own true-crime book, and the Maxwell case promised to provide plenty of material. In this book, Cep tells both stories: of Maxwell, the crimes of which he was suspected, his own murder and the trial of his killer; and of Harper Lee and her failed attempt to turn the Maxwell story into a book.

Cep starts by describing the still racially divided area of Alabama in which Maxwell operated, a place of black poverty and strong religion. The son of a black sharecropper, Maxwell received only a basic education. He served in WW2, then when he came home he married and worked in various jobs but found it hard to keep them. He took to preaching and gained a following, but he was hardly a good man even then – he used his preaching as a way to find vulnerable women he could seduce. After twenty years of marriage, his wife, Mary Lou, was brutally murdered. The evidence pointed to Maxwell and he was duly indicted. Between the indictment and the trial, with the breathtaking hubris that he would show time and again, Maxwell claimed on the insurance policy he’d bought not long before Mary Lou’s death. Despite this, he was found not guilty. Over the next few years, several of his relatives would die suspicious deaths, and Maxwell would make many insurance claims, but somehow he continued to evade the law, until Robert Burns, a relative of the girl assumed to be his latest victim, took justice into his own hands.

Rev Willie Maxwell

As with all great true crime, Cep uses this basic story as a jumping-off point to look at various aspects of the society of the time. First she looks at the birth and growth of the insurance industry and how it became open to abuse by both buyers and sellers. Amazingly, it was perfectly legal for someone to take out a policy on the life of another person without that person’s agreement, or even knowledge. It gave me a real insight into why so many American crime novels and movies of the mid-twentieth century feature insurance as a motive, especially in noir.

One of the reasons Maxwell continued to evade justice was that often it wasn’t possible to determine the cause of the deaths associated with him. Everyone suspected him, everyone feared him, but no one could prove his guilt. This led to rumours that he was practising voodoo, and Cep uses this aspect to look at the history of voodoo in the South, referencing Zora Neale Hurston’s anthropological efforts to record rituals and practices.

Zora Neal Hurston beating a hountar, or mama, drum in Haiti 1937.

For years, Maxwell was represented by Tom Radney, a lawyer who not only defended him at trial but who assisted him with his insurance claims. Radney was a well known Democrat, and Cep goes into his biography in some depth too, expanding out to discuss the Wallace era in Alabama – segregation, white supremacy, etc. I found this very interesting, though I found it hard to reconcile the decent young liberal Tom Radney with the one who would assist Maxwell so enthusiastically a decade later. In an even more interesting twist, Radney would later defend Maxwell’s killer and become a friend of Harper Lee as she researched the case. A man of contradictions, and I’m not sure Cep managed to fully explain him.

In the second section of the book, Cep concentrates on Lee’s story, starting with a look at her childhood and student years, and her friendship with Capote. To be truthful, Lee came across to me as eminently unlikeable at this stage, rather arrogant and thinking she was above the common herd (which, of course, she was). Cep then goes into detail on the writing of To Kill a Mockingbird, including a discussion of how the book evolved from what we now know as Go Set a Watchman under the advice and guidance of her agent and publishers. Once the book was finished, there was a long wait until publication and it was during this period that Lee worked with Capote on the research for In Cold Blood. Cep gives her a lot of the credit for it, suggesting that it was she rather than Capote who was able to persuade the townspeople to open up to her.

Truman Capote signing copies of In Cold Blood with Harper Lee in 1966.
Photograph: Steve Schapiro/Corbis

Cep next talks about Lee’s life after Mockingbird. Burdened by success, grieving for her father and always complaining about punitive taxes, her friends and family worried about her mental state, and this would continue for most of her life. She wrote constantly but, never satisfied with her work, then destroyed the manuscripts. She drank to excess, often turning up drunk unexpectedly at friends’ houses. Then, after meeting Capote again and becoming acquainted with Tom Radney, she decided to try her hand at her own true-crime book.

Cep gives a brief but interesting account of the rise of true crime reportage in the US, from early pamphlets to the modern day. She discusses In Cold Blood and its impact in creating the “non-fiction novel”. She highlights the factual inaccuracies in In Cold Blood and reports some of the adverse reaction to it. She suggests that Lee was unpleasantly surprised by Capote’s fictionalising of the story, and that this fed into their growing coolness and separation. So when Lee decided to write her own book, she intended it to be true and based strictly on the facts.

Harper Lee

Cep also highlights Lee’s continuing desire to write a book showing that white segregationists could still be good people but, as now, that view didn’t fit the liberal consensus and would have been unpublishable at the time. (This made me think for the first time that perhaps she actually was happy to see Watchman finally published, and changed my reluctance to read it into eagerness.) Cep then tells of Lee’s research into the Maxwell case and her long and ultimately failed attempt to bring it together into a coherent book.

Casey Cep

The section on the Maxwell case is very good true-crime writing in its own right, but what makes this one stand out from the crowd is the association with Harper Lee. The whole section of analysis of Mockingbird and In Cold Blood is excellent, succinct and insightful. It’s not so much a literary analysis as an examination of the two authors’ creative processes, casting a lot of light on their personalities; all of which would be sure to make this book appeal to admirers of either of those works as well as anyone interested in true crime for its own sake. An excellent book – highly recommended.

NB This book was provided for review by the publisher, Random House Cornerstone.

(If you want to go for total immersion, my suggested reading order would be: first Mockingbird, then In Cold Blood, then this, then Watchman.)

Amazon UK Link
Amazon US Link

Friday Frippery! The Story of a Year in Books 2019…

The Disappearing Duck…

(At the end of 2016 and again in 2017, I created stories – if they could be dignified by that name – using the titles of all the books I’d reviewed in the year… in the order I reviewed them! I missed last year, but couldn’t resist seeing if I could do it again this year. As you will see, I’ve been reading an awful lot of vintage crime…)

The colour of murder is splendidly scarlet, especially when the crime is committed in cold blood. Let me tell you one of the local horror stories which happened just before my childhood’s end

It all began with the shop window murder. So, at that time I was a boarder at the Katharina Code School for Wayward Girls, a spooky old place where it was rumoured there were ghosts in the house. It was situated on the wild coast of the Western Highlands, just to the east of Belting Hall and the seashaken houses of the village. Far indeed from where I used to watch the glorious game at weekends, the Arsenal Stadium. Mystery was soon to creep out of the Highland mist and engulf us all.

My cousin Rachel lived in the nearby village. She was engaged to a zookeeper Tarzan, of the Apes House, who was heir to the Belting inheritance. But old Mr Belting’s lawyer and his gang had a dastardly plot to keep the inheritance for themselves. The plotters crept like spiders out of the dark, spinning false rumours to blacken Tarzan’s name. Soon the lost man was being accused of having broken the window of the local bookshop, killed the owner’s pet duck and stolen some festive stationery – the newspapers luridly referred to it as the Christmas Card Crime. And other stories, even darker, circulated about him and a scantily-clad woman named Jane. But love is blind and Rachel was true. The break-through came when they decided to flee to Europe, hoping that one day Tarzan’s reputation would be restored.

But once the police are involved it’s inevitable that the dead shall be raised from their tomb for a post-mortem. For the local constabulary, investigating the murder of a quacking duck provided a welcome break from their only other case – trying to track down the night tiger that, locals claimed, roamed the shore, leaving strange-looking pawprints on the beach. But enough of the riddle of the sands! We shall leave that mystery for another day.

The murder in the bookshop became more baffling when the police dug up the spot where the duck was rumoured to be buried, and found nothing! Now they had no body and no idea what their suspect looked like, since Tarzan wasn’t one for selfies. The police knew nothing about the man with no face except that during his time in America he had survived even the Dakota winters in only a loincloth, suggesting he had either superhuman endurance or really bad fashion sense.

With malice aforethought, the lawyer Humphry Clinker, the adversary of Tarzan, had arranged to meet his gang at the Friday night theatre show in the nearby spa town to divvy up the proceeds of the burglary. Each gave the sign of the four – their secret signal – then went into the theatre bar. Old Roger Ackroyd, always a bletherer, began to tell the others how to pick up a maid in Statue Square, but little Dorrit Smallbone, deceased, (or at least so the feckless police believed), turned a song of Solomon Burke up loud on the juke box to drown him out.

The fourth man, Dunstan Redmayne, was mostly known for the cruel acts he had carried out against the American heiress who once inexplicably loved him. But she had screamed blue murder and threatened to spearhead the clouds of witnesses against him when she learned of his part in the affair of the fair maid of Perth, a well known communist heroine. Following these critical incidents, Dunstan had trapped the heiress in a disused kiln and left her to die. But a brave young airman found her in time and rescued her, sadly then tumbling down into the kiln himself and breaking his neck. The death of an airman has never been more tragic.

But I digress! The spa town of Wakenhyrst was a poor shadow of its grander English rival, Bath. Tangled up in these tales of the death in captivity of the fair maid, or perhaps we should say the death of a red heroine, we mustn’t lose sight of the secret adversary of Tarzan. The man who made this town a dead land was the lawyer himself – a true criminal mastermind. The expedition of Humphry Clinker into his life of crime began when he defended the killers of the Flower Moon Dance Troupe and learned how much he could earn if he just left his morals behind. He became twisted and this led him to mistrust everyone. “Go set a watchman,” he ordered Dunstan now and Dunstan quickly obeyed. He didn’t want his name to be added to the blotting book where Clinker listed those who had crossed him – case histories showed that Clinker’s enemies did not fare well. Johnnie the Elephant’s journey to prison began when he ignored an order of Clinker’s. (Poor Johnnie – no one who saw his nose ever forgot it.)

Dunstan Redmayne’s bank balance was, as usual, in the red. Redmayne’s last attempt to burgle a house had fallen foul of one of the adventures of Maud West, lady detective, who held him at bay for several hours, shooting three bullets at him every 10 minutes 38 seconds. In this strange world where odd coincidences happen, he was saved by a group of UN Peacemakers who chanced to be passing, but he required a pinch of snuff to calm his nerves after those furious hours!

“The tree of death has deep roots” was always a proverb of the Highlanders, especially the women. Of the moon, they said that when it was full in midsummer one could see spectres converging on the shore from left, right and middle, marching from the caves in the heat of the night straight out until they were twenty thousand leagues under the seas. Mister Pip, the famous Scotland Yard detective, thought the Highlanders were a right superstitious bunch! He looked anxiously at his phone, always victim to the menace of the machine, and as he read the story about the mystery of the missing duck the conviction stole over him that the village policeman, Constable Sanditon, had a surfeit of suspects and very few resources to solve the crime. Sanditon had been helpful to him last winter when the famous spy Nada the Lily had nearly evaded capture by hiding out in the mountains. One good turn deserved another, Pip thought, remembering how the observations of the constable had trapped the spy, who came in from the cold rather gratefully in the end.

The town had three churches and Pip arranged to meet Sanditon outside the middle temple. Murder on the beach was what he feared had happened to the poor little duck – a mercy if it had been quick and painless. He shuddered as he remembered the case of Miss Elliot who had been brutally killed during a robbery at her home. Seven men of less than average stature had given the pearl they stole to the leader of their gang, an albino whose skin was snow white. And other tales came back to him too, all showing the infinite variety in the art of murder. In the mill-race at the edge of the village, the water frothed and churned. Too turbulent for ducks, Pip thought as he passed by.

Pip and Sanditon stopped for a beer at The Jewel in the Crown, and talked of the crimes they’d solved in the past, most of them involving bodies. From the library next door Mrs McGinty the librarian emerged, and locked up with the turn of the key. Pip realised it was late and although he’d napped on the train up, felt a great need for the second sleep. It seemed to him anyway that they needed an extra pair of hands on the case. But who should they get to help – that was the question? Mark Pearl, suggested Sanditon. Pearl was noted for his bravery and strength – while in New York, he had apprehended three bad guys single-handed, and was then seen walking wounded all the way to the last exit to Brooklyn. Sadly he had had a recent tragedy. The mother of Pearl had fallen victim to the hour of peril when the village was experiencing a big freeze – she slipped on the icy pavement outside Mrs McGinty’s. Dead, alas! But Sanditon was sure that Pearl would help them watch the river at night for signs of the duck, putting family matters aside. He phoned Pearl but as he was out, spoke to his wife instead. During the long call Sanditon told her about the mystery of the duck – had it gone missing or was it murder? She said she had never heard of such evil under the sun! Busy Mrs Pearl had to ring off then as her sons and lovers demanded her attention.

Pip asked the barman to put their drinks on the slate, then, payment deferred, made his weary way to his hotel. In the bathroom he gazed at the face in the glass, thinking he looked old and wondering whether he might soon be meeting up with St. Peter. Looking out of his window, he saw that the river was busy despite the hour – as well as the swan, gondolas containing lovesick romantics were punting up and down. He also saw old Mr Tarrant looking curiously around him in the evening light. The curious Mr Tarrant spotted him too and shouted “Hey, Mister Pip! Did I hear you were looking for a duck? One flew over the cuckoo’s nest in the trees there just fifteen minutes ago and landed in the deep waters of the village pond.”

While Pip was still mulling over this piece of hopeful news, a text arrived from Constable Sanditon. “Just received a Christmas card from Roger Ackroyd, signed on behalf of Clinker and the gang. It’s one of the stolen cards!” Suddenly everything was clear! Next day Clinker, Redmayne and Smallbone were arrested and charged with burglary. “Lucky for you” said Pip “that we believe the duck may have escaped so I can’t charge you with the murder.” Of Roger Ackroyd, however, nothing more was heard except a rumour that he had fled to the far north and joined a strange cult led by the notoriously deranged mystic, Enoch Powell.

Pip and Sanditon were congratulated by the Chief Constable, Lord Jim Campbell. Rachel and Tarzan returned to the lovely Belting Hall, leaving a darker domain in the French backstreet where they’d been living under a cloud. However, Rachel never forgets the woman in black who gave them lodgings when they most needed it in the wild harbour of Marseilles, and every year she sends her a bottle of the Christmas eggnog she has specially made. Tarzan and Rachel are so happy together they changed the name of the Hall, and now the school buildings are just east of Eden Place. But in the old deserted wing sometimes things fall apart and strange yodelling noises can be heard. Rachel tries not to listen to the old ghost stories the servants sometimes tell…

Oh yes, the duck! Well, having tasted freedom when it flew out through the broken shop window, it decided never to go back, and now it spends its days dabbling in the village pond. But sometimes, when the moon is full and the tide is out, it walks by night on the beach, leaving strange marks that, to a superstitious villager, might be taken for the pawprints of a tiger…

>>>THE END<<<

FictionFan Awards 2019 – Literary Fiction and Book of the Year 2019

A standing ovation please…

…for this year’s nominees and winners of the annual FictionFan Awards of 2019.

For the benefit of new readers, here’s a quick résumé of the rules…

THE CRITERIA

All nominees must be books I’ve read and reviewed between November 2018 and October 2019 regardless of publication date, but excluding re-reads. The books must have received a 5-star rating.

THE CATEGORIES

The categories tend to change slightly each year to better reflect what I’ve been reading during the year.

This year, there will be Honourable Mentions and a Winner in each of the following categories:

Vintage Crime Fiction

Factual

Modern Crime Fiction/Thriller

Literary Fiction

…and…

Book of the Year 2019

THE PRIZES

For the winners!

I guarantee to read the author’s next book even if I have to buy it myself!

(NB If an author is unlikely to publish another book due to being dead, I will read a book from his/her back catalogue…)

For the runners-up!

Nothing!

THE JUDGES

Me!

* * * * * * * * *

So, without further ado, here are this year’s runners-up and winner in

LITERARY FICTION

Like last year, I’ve been reading so many classics this year it hasn’t left room for an awful lot of modern literary fiction, and I don’t include classics in these awards. However, being forced to be choosier means I’ve thoroughly enjoyed most of the books I have read. I gave eleven books the full five stars, so the choice was not easy. And two of these could really share top spot, but since I’m not the Booker committee I’ll actually make a decision!

HONOURABLE MENTIONS

The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo

In 1930s Malaya, young Ren was the houseboy of Dr McPherson until the doctor’s death. Before he died, the doctor gave Ren two instructions – firstly, that he should go into the employment of another doctor, William Abbott, and secondly, that he should find Dr McPherson’s severed finger and bury it alongside him in his grave. Ren has 49 days to complete this second task; if he fails, Dr McPherson’s soul will remain wandering the earth for ever. Meantime, Ji Lin is working as a dance-hall hostess, and when one of her customers becomes overly amorous he drops something – a preserved and blackened finger in a vial. And suddenly strange things begin to happen around Ji Lin – unexplained deaths and vivid dreams that seem to impinge on her waking life…

While there is on one level a relatively straightforward crime and mystery element to this, it’s shrouded in the folklore of the Chinese inhabitants of colonial Malaya (now Malaysia), especially as regards the mythology surrounding death rituals and the legend of the weretiger. I enjoyed every word of it – the characterisation, the descriptions of the society, the perspective on colonialism, the elements of humour and romance, the folklore, the eerieness and the darkness – great stuff!

Click to see the full review

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Mother of Pearl by Angela Savage

After years of unsuccessful IVF treatment, Meg and Nate have given up their attempt to have a child, leaving Meg especially feeling that a vital part of her remains empty and unfulfilled. Her older sister Anna is home in Australia after spending several years working for various aid agencies in Thailand and Cambodia. At lunch one day, Anna introduces Meg to some friends who have just become parents via commercial surrogacy in Thailand. Suddenly Meg feels the hope she thought she had stifled come to life again. Anna is horrified at first but she comes to recognise Meg’s desperation and agrees to use her knowledge of the language and customs of Thailand to help her sister and brother-in-law navigate their way through the difficult path they have chosen.

Savage brings a balanced impartiality to the moral questions around the issue of paid surrogacy. I’m always afraid when a book is so clearly based around a moral issue that the author will slip into polemics, forcing her view on the reader. Savage avoids this by having her characters have very different opinions on the subject and letting them speak for themselves. An “issues” book where the author trusts the reader to think for herself, very well written, deeply emotional and, in my opinion, a very fine novel indeed.

Click to see the full review

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The Observations by Jane Harris

Fleeing from her hometown of Glasgow in search of a better life, young Bessy Buckley finds herself more or less accidentally taking a job as maid at Castel Haivers, the home of Arabella Reid and her husband James, halfway along the road to Edinburgh. Arabella is young, beautiful and kind, and the affection-starved Bessy is soon devoted to her new mistress. But soon Bessy finds she’s not the first maid to whom Arabella has shown peculiar attention; in particular there was a girl named Nora, who died in circumstances that seem to cast a dark shadow over the household…

This is a take on the Victorian sensation novel complete with touches of Gothic horror, insanity, shocking deaths and so on. But what makes it special is Bessy, our narrator. She’s both feisty and vulnerable, strong but sometimes unsure of herself, devoted to but clear-sighted about the flaws of her mistress. However, it’s Bessy’s voice that is so special – a real tour-de-force from Harris in recreating an entirely credible dialect and slang for that place and time. Bessy is Irish originally, as were so many Glaswegians, and I loved the way Harris managed to give her language an authentic touch of Glasgow-Irish at points. Great characters, lots of humour, nicely spooky at points – a great read!

Click to see the full review

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10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World by Elif Shafak

Tequila Leila’s body is dead, but as her consciousness slowly fades, she finds herself drifting through memories of her life – the childhood that made her the woman she would become, her family, her loves, her friends. And along the way, we are given a picture of the underbelly of Istanbul, of those on the margins finding ways to live in a society that rejects them.

Despite the fact that the main character is dead, this is a wonderfully uplifting, life-affirming story. Time ticks down minute by minute for Leila, each marked by an episode from her life, often triggered by a memory of an aroma or a taste, such as the lemons the women used to make the wax for their legs, or the cardamom coffee that Leila loved. And as we follow Leila through her memories, we learn about the people who have had the greatest impact on her life. Her father, hoping always for a son. Her mother, a second wife married as little more than a child to provide that son that the first wife has failed to give. Her uncle, a man who will disrupt her childhood and change her possible futures irrevocably. And most of all her friends – five people she meets along the way who become bound together closer than any family, through ties of love and mutual support in a world that has made them outsiders. Beautifully written, a wonderful book that moved me to tears and laughter, that angered me and comforted me and, most of all, that made me love these characters with all their quirks and flaws and generosity of spirit. Could so easily have been my winner…

Click to see the full review

FICTIONFAN AWARD WINNER 2019

for

BEST LITERARY FICTION

Night Theatre by Vikram Paralkar

A former surgeon now acts as a general doctor in a small run-down clinic serving a population of rural villagers. Frustrated with the way his life has turned out, the surgeon is in a near perpetual state of disappointment and ill-temper. Then, one night after a long day when he has been giving all the local children their polio vaccinations, he is approached by three very strange patients, each with terrible wounds. They are a husband, wife and young son who were attacked in the street, robbed, stabbed and left to die. Which indeed they did. Now they have been given the chance to return from the afterlife, but before they come alive at dawn the next day, they must have their wounds treated or they will die again…

A beautifully written fable which, while it can be read on one level simply as a unique, interesting and very human story, has layer upon layer of depth, dealing with the big questions of life, death, faith, and the place of medicine in all of these. The whole question of the unknowableness of God’s plan and of the place of faith in determining how to act underlies every decision the characters are forced to make and, in the end, their humanity is all they have to guide them. Paralkar also shows the skills we take for granted in our surgeons – the near miracles we expect them to perform, and our readiness to criticise and blame if they fail. The underlying suggestion seems to be that we’re near to a point of refusing to accept death as inevitable, and what does that do to questions of faith?

Paralkar has achieved the perfect balance of giving a satisfying and thought-provoking story without telling the reader what to think, and as a result this is one that each reader will make unique to herself. One of the most original novels I’ve read in years.

(And yet… it seems to have sunk almost without trace, having garnered only 172 ratings on Goodreads as compared to Elif Shafak’s 5113. Suggesting that a Booker nomination is more influential than an FF Award – surely not! Get out there, people, read it, review it and force it on everyone you know… for my sake! 😉 )

Click to see the full review

* * * * * * * * *

And now…

the nominees for the Book of the Year Award are…

FICTIONFAN BOOK OF THE YEAR 2019

THE WINNER

An extremely difficult choice this year – both Furious Hours and 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World would have been worthy winners too. But this book just edged ahead in the final furlong – its originality, its profound humanity, and the fact that several months after reading it I still often find myself pondering over the questions it raises. One that I will undoubtedly read again – the highest accolade I can give to any book – and I’m looking forward with great anticipation to seeing what Paralkar gives us in the future.

Thanks to all of you who’ve joined me for this year’s awards feature.

I hope you’ve enjoyed it – I’ve enjoyed your company!

 

FictionFan Awards 2019 – Factual

A round of applause…

…for this year’s nominees and winners of the annual FictionFan Awards of 2019.

For the benefit of new readers, here’s a quick résumé of the rules…

THE CRITERIA

All nominees must be books I’ve read and reviewed between November 2018 and October 2019 regardless of publication date, but excluding re-reads. The books must have received a 5-star rating.

THE CATEGORIES

The categories tend to change slightly each year to better reflect what I’ve been reading during the year.

This year, there will be Honourable Mentions and a Winner in each of the following categories:

Vintage Crime Fiction

Factual

Modern Crime Fiction/Thriller

Literary Fiction

…and…

Book of the Year 2019

THE PRIZES

For the winners!

I guarantee to read the author’s next book even if I have to buy it myself!

(NB If an author is unlikely to publish another book due to being dead, I will read a book from his/her back catalogue…)

For the runners-up!

Nothing!

THE JUDGES

Me!

* * * * * * * * *

So, without further ado, here are this year’s runners-up and winner in

FACTUAL

I’ve read fewer factual books than usual this year. I felt I needed a bit of a break from heavyweight history books, so instead I’ve been reading quite a lot of true crime and books on lighter subjects, and have thoroughly enjoyed most of them, giving nine books the full five stars. So yet again the decision has not been easy…

HONOURABLE MENTIONS

Europe: A Natural History by Tim Flannery

Starting roughly 100 million years ago, Flannery sets out to tell the story of Europe – how it formed, the species that have lived, survived or become extinct in it, the rise of humanity, and the possible future impacts of our current galloping climate change. Along the way, he tells us of the many men and women who have contributed to uncovering this history or who have in some way affected it.

There’s so much in this fascinating book that it’s hard to know how to summarise it in a few hundred words. It gives a panoramic view, bringing together and linking all the bits of natural history that are often covered separately, such as the formation of the continent, or current rewilding projects, or the origins of humanity. It’s surprisingly compact, considering its huge scope, and yet never feels superficial or rushed. And Flannery is a master of the art of converting scientific information into language easily understandable by the non-scientist.

Cretaceous Europe

Click to see the full review

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The Hour of Peril by Daniel Stashower

Abraham Lincoln has won the Presidential election and now, in early 1861, is about to undertake the journey from his home in Springfield, Illinois, to Washington for his inauguration. But these are troubled times, and the journey is complicated because of all of the different railroad companies that own parts of the route. One of the company owners hears of a plot to destroy his railroad to prevent Lincoln making it to Washington, and so he calls in the already famous private detective, Allan Pinkerton. But when Pinkerton starts to investigate, he becomes convinced that there is a deeper plot in the planning – to assassinate Lincoln before he is inaugurated. This book tells the story of Lincoln’s journey, the plot against him, and Pinkerton’s attempt to ensure his safe arrival in Washington.

It’s written very much in the style of a true crime book, although it has aspects that fall as much into the category of history. Stashower focuses on three main aspects: a biographical look at Pinkerton and the development of his detective agency; the rising tensions in the still-new nation that would soon break out into full scale civil war; and Lincoln’s journey, and the plot against him. Well written, interesting and informative – thoroughly enjoyable!

The logo that gave rise to the expression, “private eye”.

Click to see the full review

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Seashaken Houses by Tom Nancollas

The author set out to visit seven of the major rock lighthouses that stand as warnings to shipping around Britain’s shore, sometimes getting permission to land and see the interiors, other times examining them from the outside. Along the way, he tells us tales of their construction and history, of the men who built, lived in and maintained them over the years, and of the many shipwrecks they have doubtless averted and of some they didn’t. Nancollas also fills in the historical background, lightly but with enough depth to give a feel for what was going on in Britain and the western world at each point. He talks of Britain’s growing status as a maritime trading nation and tells tales of the shipwrecks and disasters that gave an urgency to finding some reliable way of guiding ships safely through the rocky hazards around the coast.

His style is non-academic, sometimes lyrical, always enthusiastic, and I found myself coming to share his fascination for these incredible feats of engineering and his admiration for those who built and worked on them. A fascinating subject, brought wonderfully to life.

Bell Rock Lighthouse during a storm by John Horsburgh
Illus. in: Robert Stevenson, An Account of the Bell Rock Lighthouse.

Click to see the full review

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American Heiress: The Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst by Jeffrey Toobin

When Patty Hearst was kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA) back in 1974, it was such a huge story that it made headlines for months not only in the US but here in the UK too. Was she a victim or a terrorist? Willing or brainwashed? Heroine or villain? In this book, Jeffrey Toobin sets out to tell the story of the kidnapping and its aftermath, and to answer some of those questions. To do this, he also has to analyse the political and social forces of the time, and the counterculture which, in America, had grown out of the Civil Rights movement and the Vietnam protests.

The whole thing is well written and excellently told, as informative about the wider society of the time as it is about the philosophy and actions of the SLA and the counterculture. While I found it hard to have much sympathy for the spoilt little rich kid Hearst, Toobin maintains considerably more balance in his summing up, and the final section describes the legal consequences for Hearst and her surviving comrades, showing quite clearly that, when it comes to justice, money talks. A great read.

Fear not, Patty – Daddy’s on his way with his chequebook…

Click to see the full review

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FICTIONFAN AWARD WINNER 2019

for

BEST FACTUAL

Furious Hours by Casey Cep

In June, 1977, a man walked into a funeral home in Alabama during a service, accused one of the mourners, Reverend Willie Maxwell, of murder and shot him dead. When the shooter, Robert Burns, was subsequently tried for the murder of Maxwell, everyone wanted a seat in court. Harper Lee got one. Years after helping Truman Capote with the research that lay behind his best-selling In Cold Blood, Lee had decided to write her own true-crime book, and the Maxwell case promised to provide plenty of material. In this book, Cep tells both stories: of Maxwell, the crimes of which he was suspected, his own murder and the trial of his killer; and of Harper Lee and her failed attempt to turn the Maxwell story into a book.

The section on the Maxwell case is very good true-crime writing in its own right, but what makes this one stand out from the crowd is the association with Harper Lee. The whole section on the writing of In Cold Blood and what eventually became To Kill a Mockingbird is excellent, succinct and insightful. It’s not so much a literary analysis as an examination of the two authors’ creative processes, casting a lot of light on their personalities; all of which would be sure to make this book appeal to admirers of either of those works as well as anyone interested in true crime for its own sake.

While any of these books would have been a worthy winner, this one stood out because I had recently read To Kill a Mockingbird and In Cold Blood, and then this inspired me to read Go Set a Watchman at last. Reading all four close together made it a truly immersive experience, with each enhancing the others.

Truman Capote signing copies of In Cold Blood with Harper Lee in 1966.
Photograph: Steve Schapiro/Corbis

Click to see the full review

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Next week: Best Modern Crime Fiction/Thriller

Six in Six 2019

A half-year retrospective…


This fun meme is run by Jo of The Book Jotter. The idea is to look back over the first six months of the reading year, select six categories from the selection Jo provides or create your own categories, and then find six books you’ve read between January and June to fit each category. It’s my second time of joining in, and I loved looking for patterns in my reading, though I found it harder this year – I seem to have been reading lots and lots of various types of crime and not a lot of much else! But I’ve squeezed out Six in Six categories and avoided duplication, and all my choices are books I’d recommend… except one. But I won’t be so mean as to name and shame it, so it can bask temporarily in the glow of inclusion…

Six Vintage Crime

I remain happily steeped in vintage crime this year, thanks largely to the wonderful British Library Crime Classics and my ongoing Murder, Mystery and Mayhem challenge…

The Colour of Murder

The Blotting Book

The Arsenal Stadium Mystery

Death of an Airman

Smallbone Deceased

The Secret Adversary

Six Historical Fiction

There’s other historical fiction dotted around the six categories – I seem to be attracted more to historical than contemporary fiction at the moment, though I haven’t consciously been selecting books on that basis. This is the category that contains the book I didn’t love – but perhaps you would be blind to its faults…

My Cousin Rachel

Love is Blind

Dunstan

Wakenhyrst

The Elephant’s Journey

Three Bullets

Six Crime New Releases

I haven’t read much new crime this year but happily the ones I’ve chosen have turned out well, and I don’t think those two facts are unconnected. Cutting down on impulse picks on NetGalley and doing a bit of research means that the books that are squeezing onto my overstuffed TBR are tending to be of higher quality… or at least more to my taste…

The Katharina Code

The Plotters

The Man With No Face

Cruel Acts

Critical Incidents

Deadland

Six for the Classics Club

I’m still desperately trying to catch up with my Classics Club list, and am thoroughly enjoying it – there’s a reason books become classics! My love affair with Oxford World’s Classics continues, who are feeding my addiction and whose introductions make for better informed reviews – in theory, at least!

Tarzan of the Apes

The Riddle of the Sands

Little Dorrit

The Fair Maid of Perth

Bath Tangle

The Expedition of Humphry Clinker

Six True Crime

After a few years of reading heavyweight history I needed a bit of a break and something lighter to fill the factual slot in my reading schedule. What better than a bit of true crime?

In Cold Blood

The Adversary

American Heiress

Killers of the Flower Moon

The Adventures of Maud West, Lady Detective

Furious Hours

Six Great Fiction

As with contemporary crime, I’ve been far more selective about fiction this year, so I haven’t read much but the quality has been excellent. All of these are great reads.

The Night Tiger

The Dakota Winters

Night Theatre

The Kiln

Go Set a Watchman

10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World

* * * * * * * *

So that’s my six sixes, and they tell me I’ve had a fabulous reading year so far! As usual, I’m late to the party but Jo gives us till the end of July, so if you haven’t already joined in you still have time – it’s a wonderful way to waste spend some time!

Here’s to the next six months! 😀

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee

Twenty years later…

😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂

Jean Louise Finch is returning from New York to her childhood home in the small town of Maycomb in Alabama, to pay a visit to her family. She is met from the train by Henry – Hank – her childhood friend, then sweetheart. He’s hoping that this time she’ll finally agree to marry him and settle down back in Maycomb. Jean Louise isn’t sure what she wants – she loves Hank and feels a great sense of homecoming as the train pulls through her own country, but she’s also grown to love her life in New York. Seeing her hometown and the people she’s known all her life through the fresh eyes of different experiences makes her re-assess all the certainties that are the foundation of what she believes about herself…

I tried to listen to this when it first came out, but was hampered by my feeling that Lee may have been unfairly manipulated at the end of her life to allow it to be published. I also struggled with Reese Witherspoon’s Southern accent. Which proves that one’s subconscious has more impact than one sometimes thinks – this time around, some years on and now keen to read the book, I found Witherspoon’s narration a first-rate performance, bringing the character of Jean Louise as a young woman and of her younger self as the child Scout completely to life. And suddenly my difficulties with the accent disappeared!

There were two factors that changed my reluctance to read the book into eagerness. Firstly, when the book came out early reviews expressed shock at the portrayal of Atticus as a racist. I had never felt quite as hero-worshipping of Atticus as many people, but this did seem like an odd departure from the Atticus of To Kill a Mockingbird. Since then, however, I have re-read Mockingbird for the first time in many years, and I realised I didn’t feel it really does have the strong anti-racist message it is held to have. Instead, I thought that Atticus was a man defending the rule of law – the fact that in this case he was also defending a black man seemed somewhat incidental. The message was not so much that black people were equal than that all people, however unequal within society, were entitled under the Constitution to equal treatment within the justice system. It’s a subtle difference, but important.

The second factor was my recent read of the excellent Furious Hours by Casey Cep (review to follow), in which she tells the tale of the true crime about which Lee tried and failed to write a book. In her book, Cep goes into some depth on Lee’s writing career, and the difficulties she had in writing another book after the wild success of Mockingbird. Although Cep doesn’t express an opinion on Go Set a Watchman as a literary work, she explains that it was in fact the book Lee wanted to write, and that it was her editor and publisher who persuaded her to write instead about the child Scout and the Maycomb of twenty years earlier. Given the success of Mockingbird, it can clearly be argued that was good advice. However, I found I really wanted to know what it was that Lee had wanted to say.

Gosh, that was a long preamble! In short, now that I was in the right frame of mind for it, I discovered this is a very good book in its own right, and not so far from the characters portrayed in Mockingbird after all.

On set with “Atticus” – Harper Lee and Gregory Peck

The time is just after the Supreme Court decision that led to desegregation of schools in the South, when the NAACP were fighting for equality for blacks and the whites were resisting. Jean Louise is shocked to discover that her father, Atticus, and lover, Hank, are part of that white resistance. As a child, watching her father defend black people and his unfailing courtesy to all people of whatever colour, young Scout unthinkingly assumed he believed in equality. Now with her experience in the North, Jean Louise feels seriously out of step with the attitudes and beliefs of her family and friends, and she finds herself becoming unmoored, feeling that she can no longer admire and love the people who have been the rock on which her life has been built. It’s partly a coming-of-age story, as Jean Louise begins to learn the difference between the ease of loving a golden hero and the difficulty of continuing to love when the gilt peels off, showing the tarnished imperfection beneath.

But it also gives a brutal insight into the attitudes of many white Southerners at this turning point in history. Jean Louise herself is hardly what we would think of today as an enlightened champion of civil rights, and Atticus, though he explains himself eloquently, holds attitudes which are pretty shocking. That’s what literature is all about though – what a refreshing change from the facile liberal virtue-signalling of contemporary literature about race, gender, etc. These characters are true and believable – they are of their time and made from their own history. Lee doesn’t demand that we like them or agree with them (though one suspects she herself agreed with Jean Louise), but she lays out their arguments so that at least we understand them, and she shows them as fundamentally good and well-meaning people, so that it’s impossible to write them off casually as “racist”, “white supremacist”, “Nazi”, and all the other terms we bandy around today whenever anyone says anything we don’t like. Lee shows the resonating impact of the Civil War, still only a couple of generations ago for the older people; the ongoing resentment of the South to being told how to live their lives by those in the distant corridors of federal power; the fear of the white people of the destruction of their way of life. Agree or not, understanding these things is a first essential if we are ever to really move past them.

As a literary work, the book isn’t perfect. There’s a little too much polemical stuff disguised as dialogue, and sometimes Jean Louise’s reactions seem overly dramatic. It’s told in the third person but sometimes drifts into Jean Louise’s thoughts which are then given in first person. This works fine on the page but not quite so well on audio, when it’s difficult to distinguish between when she’s thinking and when she’s speaking. And Lee assumes that her audience will know things like what the Supreme Court decision was about and what the Tenth Amendment says. Google is a boon!

But there’s real excellence here too – the parts where Jean Louise reminisces about her childhood are wonderful, with all the warmth and humour of Mockingbird. Maycomb again becomes a character in its own right, though a more modern and somewhat faster, more anxious place than it used to be. The characterisation shows all the same insight and brilliance – despite their often shocking views, I grew to care about them all.

Harper Lee

I must admit I got progressively angrier at the editors who chose to drive the young début novelist in a different direction rather than helping her to polish this into the literary perfection it deserves. I can’t help wondering, if Lee had been given more encouragement to write about the things she thought important rather than those that her publisher thought (rightly) would sell, would she have had so much difficulty producing other books? Would she have become a major voice helping us to understand the troubled psyche of the South? We’ll never know, but if I could go back in time, I’d whisper to her – have faith in yourself, Nelle, and write what you think the world needs to read…

Despite its flaws, then, highly recommended. Leave your hero-worship of Atticus behind and accept him as an imperfect man from a different era – I bet you’ll still find something in him to admire…

Audible UK Link
Audible US Link

TBR Thursday 198…

Episode 198

Yet again, the TBR has dropped – down 1 to 221! I wish this was because I was racing through the books, but in reality it’s because I’ve been abandoning books right, left and centre. It’s a brutal way to get it down, but effective…

Here are a few more that will be rolling off the pile soon…

Factual

Courtesy of Picador via NetGalley. The story of a real female amateur detective operating in the time of Golden Age mystery fiction is irresistible…

The Blurb says: Maud West ran her detective agency in London for more than thirty years, having started sleuthing on behalf of society’s finest in 1905. Her exploits grabbed headlines throughout the world but, beneath the public persona, she was forced to hide vital aspects of her own identity in order to thrive in a class-obsessed and male-dominated world. And – as Susannah Stapleton reveals – she was a most unreliable witness to her own life.

Who was Maud? And what was the reality of being a female private detective in the Golden Age of Crime?

Interweaving tales from Maud West’s own ‘casebook’ with social history and extensive original research, Stapleton investigates the stories Maud West told about herself in a quest to uncover the truth.

With walk-on parts by Dr Crippen and Dorothy L. Sayers, Parisian gangsters and Continental blackmailers, The Adventures of Maud West, Lady Detective is both a portrait of a woman ahead of her time and a deliciously salacious glimpse into the underbelly of ‘good society’ during the first half of the twentieth century.

* * * * *

Fiction

Courtesy of Viking via NetGalley. I know nothing about this one but have heard good things about the author, and the blurb makes it sound wonderfully weird and weirdly wonderful. Plus it’s set in Istanbul, so hopefully will make for an interesting detour on my Around the World challenge…

The Blurb says: “In the first minute following her death, Tequila Leila’s consciousness began to ebb, slowly and steadily, like a tide receding from the shore. Her brain cells, having run out of blood, were now completely deprived of oxygen. But they did not shut down. Not right away…”

For Leila, each minute after her death brings a sensuous memory: the taste of spiced goat stew, sacrificed by her father to celebrate the long-awaited birth of a son; the sight of bubbling vats of lemon and sugar which the women use to wax their legs while the men attend mosque; the scent of cardamom coffee that Leila shares with a handsome student in the brothel where she works. Each memory, too, recalls the friends she made at each key moment in her life – friends who are now desperately trying to find her. . . 

* * * * *

Thriller

Courtesy of Orion via NetGalley. RJ Ellory is one of those authors who is great when he’s on form, but sometimes he’s not. Hopefully this “what if?” thriller will be one of the great ones…

The Blurb says: IT WAS THE SHOT HEARD AROUND THE WORLD
On 22nd November 1963, John F. Kennedy’s presidential motorcade rode through Dealey Plaza. He and his wife Jackie greeted the crowds on a glorious Friday afternoon in Dallas, Texas.

BUT WHAT IF IT MISSED?
Mitch Newman is a photojournalist based out of Washington, D.C. His phone never rings. When it does, a voice he hasn’t heard in years will tell him his former fiancée Jean has taken her own life.

WHEN THE TRUTH IS BIGGER THAN ALL THE LIES
Jean was an investigative reporter working the case of a lifetime. Somewhere in the shreds of her investigation is the truth behind her murder.

WHO WOULD BELIEVE IT?

For Mitch, piecing together the clues will become a dangerous obsession: one that will lead him to the dark heart of his country – and into the crossfire of a conspiracy…

* * * * *

Fiction on Audio

I tried to listen to this when it came out and abandoned it, partly because Reese Witherspoon’s accent is so Southern I was struggling to catch some of the words, but mainly because I was uneasy about the publication of the book – I still feel Harper Lee was taken advantage of at the end of her life. However, having recently re-read To Kill a Mockingbird and just finished the fascinating Furious Hours by Casey Cep (review to follow), about the true crime novel Lee tried and failed to write, I find I’m ready to approach this one now, more as an interesting insight on Lee herself, perhaps, than with a real anticipation of it being a great novel. If Reese is too much for me, I have a paper copy to fall back on…

The Blurb says: Originally written in the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman was the novel Harper Lee first submitted to her publishers before To Kill a Mockingbird. Assumed to have been lost, the manuscript was discovered in late 2014.

Go Set a Watchman features many of the characters from To Kill a Mockingbird some twenty years later. Returning home to Maycomb to visit her father, Jean Louise Finch—Scout—struggles with issues both personal and political, involving Atticus, society, and the small Alabama town that shaped her.

Exploring how the characters from To Kill a Mockingbird are adjusting to the turbulent events transforming mid-1950s America, Go Set a Watchman casts a fascinating new light on Harper Lee’s enduring classic. Moving, funny and compelling, it stands as a magnificent novel in its own right.

* * * * *

NB All blurbs and covers taken from Goodreads.

* * * * *

So…what do you think? Do any of these tempt you?

Crime and Thriller Fiction listed by Title

A

The A26 by Pascal Garnier  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂
The ABC Murders by Agatha Christie read by Hugh Fraser  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
A Caribbean Mystery by Agatha Christie read by Joan Hickson  😀 😀 😀 😀
A Case for Paul Temple – BBC Audio dramatisation by Francis Durbridge  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

The Accident on the A35 (Insp. Gorski 2) by Graeme Macrae Burnet  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
A Clubbable Woman (Dalziel and Pascoe 1) by Reginald Hill  😀 😀 😀 😀
A Dangerous Crossing by Rachel Rhys  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
A Dark and Broken Heart by RJ Ellory  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
A Dark and Twisted Tide by Sharon Bolton (Lacey Flint 4)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
A Dark Redemption (Carrigan and Miller 1) by Stav Sherez  😀 😀 😀 😀
A Darker Domain (Karen Pirie 2) by Val McDermid  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

The Adventure of the Dancing Men by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Adventures of Maud West, Lady Detective by Susannah Stapleton  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes Arthur Conan Doyle/Derek Jacobi  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

The Adversary by Emmanuel Carrère  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
A Dying Fall (Ruth Galloway 5) by Elly Griffiths  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
A Fairy in the Flat/A Pot of Tea (Tommy & Tuppence)/Agatha Christie  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Affair at the Bungalow (Miss Marple short) by Agatha Christie  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
After the Fire (Maeve Kerrigan 6) by Jane Casey  😀 😀 😀 😀

Agatha Raisin and the Love from Hell by MC Beaton/Penelope Keith  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
A Good Way to Go by Peter Helton  😀 😀 😀 😀
A Killing Kindness (Dalziel and Pascoe 6) by Reginald Hill  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
All That’s Dead (Logan McRae 12) by Stuart MacBride  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂
A Matter of Motive (Patricia Stanley 1) by Margot Kinberg  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂

American Heiress: The Kidnapping of Patty Hearst by Jeffrey Toobin  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Ambitious Card (Eli Marks 1) by John Gaspard  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
A Murder is Announced by Agatha Christie  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Amok by Sebastian Fitzek (Audible Studios Dramatisation)  😀 😀 😀 🙂
A Mystery of the Underground by John Oxenham  😀 😀 😀 😀
An Advancement of Learning (Dalziel and Pascoe 2) by Reginald Hill  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂
An April Shroud (Dalziel and Pascoe 4) by Reginald Hill  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie read by Hugh Fraser  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
A Necessary Evil (Sam Wyndham 2) by Abir Mukherjee  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂
The Annals of Sherlock Holmes by Paul D Gilbert  😦 😦
A Pleasure and a Calling by Phil Hogan  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Appointment with Death (Poirot) by Agatha Christie  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
A Rising Man (Sam Wyndham 1) by Abir Mukherjee  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Arsenal Stadium Mystery by Leonard Gribble  😀 😀 😀 😀
Arson Plus (The Continental Op)  😀 😀 😀 😀

A Season for the Dead (Nic Costa 1) by David Hewson 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
A Study in Scarlet 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
A Surprise for Christmas edited by Martin Edwards  😀 😀 😀 😀
The Asylum by Johan Theorin 😀 😀 😀 😀
At the Villa Rose by AEW Mason  😀 😀 😀 😀
A Time to Kill by John Grisham  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
A Very British Murder by Lucy Worsley  😀 😀 😀 😀
A Voice Like Velvet by Donald Henderson  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

B

Bad Blood (Intercrime 2) by Arne Dahl  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Bats in the Belfry by ECR Lorac  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Beat Goes On: The Complete Rebus Stories by Ian Rankin  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Beautiful Dead by Belinda Bauer  🙂 🙂 🙂
Before You Die (DI Lorraine Fisher 2) by Samantha Hayes  😦 😦
The Beggar Bride by Gillian White  😀 😀 😀 😀
Behind the Night Bazaar (Jayne Keeney 1) by Angela Savage  😀 😀 😀 😀
The Belting Inheritance by Julian Symons  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Bet Your Life (Jess Tennant 2) by Jane Casey  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Bitter Fruits (DI Erica Martin 1) by Alic Clark-Platts  😀 😀 😀 😀
Bitter Orange by Claire Fuller  🙂 🙂 🙂
Bitter Water (Douglas Brodie 2) by Gordon Ferris  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Black Cabinet by Patricia Wentworth  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Blackhouse (Lewis Trilogy 1) by Peter May  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Black River Road by Debra Komar  😀 😀 😀 😀
Black Widow (Jack Parlabane 7) by Chris Brookmyre  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂
Blessed Are Those Who Thirst (Hanne Wilhelmsen 2) by Anne Holt  😀 😀 😀 🙂
The Blinded Man (Intercrime 1) by Arne Dahl  😀 😀 😀 😀
The Blood Card (Stephens and Mephisto 3) by Elly Griffiths  😀 😀 😀 😀
The Blotting Book by EF Benson  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke  😀 😀 😀 😀
Blue Murder (Flaxborough Chronicles 10) by Colin Watson  😀 😀 😀 😀
Bodies from the Library 2 edited by Tony Medawar  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Bodies from the Library 3 edited by Tony Medawar  🙂 🙂 🙂
The Body in the Dumb River by George Bellairs  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Bones and Silence (Dalziel and Pascoe 11) by Reginald Hill  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Bones of Paris (Harris Stuyvesant 2) by Laurie R King  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Bravo of London (Max Carrados) by Ernest Bramah  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂
Broomsticks Over Flaxborough (Flaxborough 7) by Colin Watson  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Broken Ground (Karen Pirie 5) by Val McDermid  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Broken Promise by Linwood Barclay  😐 😐
The Bullet Catch (Eli Marks 2) by John Gaspard  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Bump in the Night (Flaxborough Chronicles 2) by Colin Watson  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Burning (Maeve Kerrigan 1) by Jane Casey  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
By Its Cover (Commissario Brunetti 23) by Donna Leon  😀 😀 😀 😀

C

The Cabin (Cold Case Quartet 2) by Jørn Lier Horst  😐 😐
Calico Joe by John Grisham  🙂 🙂 😐
Capital Crimes: London Mysteries by Martin Edwards (editor)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Case Histories (Jackson Brodie 1) by Kate Atkinson  😐 😐
The Case of the Dotty Dowager by Cathy Ace  😀 😀 😀 🙂
The Case of Miss Elliott by Baroness Orczy  😀 😀 😀 🙂
The Case of Oscar Brodski by R Austin Freeman  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂
The Case of the Late Pig by Margery Allingham  😀 😀 😀 😀
The Case of the Weird Sisters by Charlotte Armstrong  😦 😦
The Cask by Freeman Wills Crofts  😦
Cast Iron (Enzo Files 6) by Peter May  😀 😀 😀 😀
Castle Skull by John Dickson Carr  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂
The Caves of Steel (Elijah Bailey 1) by Isaac Asimov  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Cécile is Dead (Maigret 20) by Georges Simenon  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Chalk Girl (Mallory 10) by Carol O’Connell  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
Checkmate to Murder (Inspector MacDonald 25) by ECR Lorac  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂
The Cheltenham Square Murder by John Bude  🙂 🙂 🙂 😐
The Chessmen (Lewis Trilogy 3) by Peter May  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Chianti Flask by Marie Belloc Lowndes  😀 😀 😀 😀
The Child by Sebastian Fitzek (Audible Studios Dramatisation)  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
Child’s Play (Dalziel and Pascoe 9) by Reginald Hill  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Chill Factor by Richard Falkirk  😀 😀 😀 😀
The Christmas Card Crime and Other Stories by Martin Edwards (ed.)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Christmas Egg by Mary Kelly  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Clocks (Poirot) by Agatha Christie read by Hugh Fraser  😀 😀 😀 🙂
Close to the Bone (Logan McRae 8) by Stuart MacBride  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
Close Your Eyes (Joe O’Loughlin) by Michael Robotham  😀 😀 😀 😀
Clouds of Witness (Lord Peter Wimsey 2) by Dorothy L Sayers  😐 😐
Coffin Road by Peter May  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Cold, Cold Ground (Sean Duffy 1) by Adrian McKinty  🙂 🙂 🙂
The Collini Case by Ferdinand von Schirach  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Colour of Murder by Julian Symons  😀 😀 😀 😀
Conan Doyle for the Defence by Margalit Fox  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Confessions by Kanae Minato  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Conjure-Man Dies by Rudolph Fisher  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Continental Crimes by Martin Edwards (editor)  😀 😀 😀 🙂
Conviction by Denise Mina  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂
Cop Hater (87th Precinct 1) by Ed McBain  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Copycat by Gillian White  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Corpse in the Waxworks by John Dickson Carr  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Crime at Black Dudley by Margery Allingham/David Thorpe  😀 😀 😀 😀
Crime at Diana’s Pool by Victor L Whitechurch  🙂 🙂 🙂
The Crime Fiction Handbook by Peter Messent  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
Crime of Privilege by Walter Walker  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Crimson Rose (Kit Marlowe 5) by MJ Trow  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Crimson Snow: Winter Mysteries by Martin Edwards (editor)  😀 😀 😀 😀
Critical Incidents (Robin Lyons 1) by Lucie Whitehouse
Crossed Skis by Carol Carnac  😀 😀 😀 😀
The Crow Trap (Vera Stanhope 1) by Ann Cleeves  🙂 🙂 🙂
Cruel Acts (Maeve Kerrigan 8) by Jane Casey  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith  😀 😀 😀 😀
The Curious Habits of Doctor Adams by Jane Robins  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Curious Mr Tarrant by C. Daly King  😐 😐
The Cutting Place (Maeve Kerrigan 9) by Jane Casey  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

D

The Dain Curse (The Continental Op) by Dashiell Hammett  😀 😀 😀 😀
Daisy in Chains by Sharon Bolton  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Danger in Cat World by Nina Post  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
Dare Me by Megan Abbott  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Dark Fire (Matthew Shardlake 2) by CJ Sansom  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Darkness at Pemberley by TH White  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Dead of Winter (John Madden 3) by Rennie Airth  😀 😀 😀 😀
Dead Scared (Lacey Flint 2) by Sharon Bolton  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Dead Shall Be Raised by George Bellairs  😀 😀 😀 😀
The Dead Witness edited by Michael Sims  😀 😀 😀 🙂
Dead Woman Walking by Sharon Bolton  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Deadheads (Dalziel and Pascoe 7) by Reginald Hill  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂
Deadland (DS Alex Cupidi 2) by William Shaw  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Death at the President’s Lodging (Inspector Appleby 1) by Michael Innes  😦
Death at Wentwater Court (Daisy Dalrymple 1) by Carola Dunn  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
Death Has Deep Roots (Inspector Hazlerigg 5) by Michael Gilbert  😀 😀 😀 😀
Death in Fancy Dress by Anthony Gilbert  🙂 🙂 🙂

Death in a Scarlet Gown (Murray of Letho 1) by Lexie Conyngham  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
Death In Captivity by Michael Gilbert  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Death in White Pyjamas by John Bude  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Death Knows No Calendar by John Bude  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Death Makes a Prophet by John Bude  🙂 🙂 🙂
Death of an Airman by Christopher St. John Sprigg 😀 😀 😀 😀
Death of a Red Heroine (Inspector Chen 1) by Qiu Xiaolong 😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂
The Death of Mrs Westaway by Ruth Ware 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Death of the Demon (Hanne Wilhelmsen 3) by Anne Holt 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Death of Kings (John Madden 5) by Rennie Airth 😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂
Death on Dartmoor (Dan Hellier 2) by Bernie Steadman  😀 😀 😀 😀
Death on the Riviera by John Bude  😀 😀 😀 😀

Deep Waters edited by Martin Edwards  😀 😀 😀 😀
The Defence by Steve Cavanagh  😀 😀 😀 😀
The Devil and the River by RJ Ellory  🙂 🙂 🙂
Different Class by Joanne Harris  😀 😀 😀 🙂
The Dinner by Herman Koch  😀 😀 😀 😀
The Disappearance of Adèle Bedeau by Graeme Macrae Burnet 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Disappearance of Mr Davenheim (Poirot) by Agatha Christie  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Disappearing Act by Catherine Steadman  😀 😀 😀 😀
Dissolution (Matthew Shardlake 1) by CJ Sansom  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Division Bell Mystery by Ellen Wilkinson  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂
Dominion by CJ Sansom  😀 😀 😀 😀
Domino Island by Desmond Bagley  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Downfall (Joel Williams 4) by Margot Kinberg  😀 😀 😀 😀
The Dry (Aaron Falk 1) by Jane Harper read by Stephen Shanahan  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Dry Bones (Enzo Files 1) by Peter May  😀 😀 😀 😀
The Dungeon House by Martin Edwards  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂
Dying for Christmas by Tammy Cohen  😀 😀 😀 😀

E

The Earthquake Bird by Susanna Jones  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Echoes from the Dead (Öland Quartet 1) by Johan Theorin  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂
Echoes of Sherlock Holmes ed. Laurie R King and Leslie S Klinger  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂
Eleven Days (Carrigan and Miller 2) by Stav Sherez  😀 😀 😀 😀
The End of Everything by Megan Abbott  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The End of the Web by George Sims  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Entry Island by Peter May  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Even Dogs in the Wild (Rebus 20) by Ian Rankin  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Even the Dead (Quirke 7) by Benjamin Black  🙂 🙂 😐
Evil Under the Sun by Agatha Christie  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Excellent Intentions by Richard Hull  😀 😀 🙂
Execution (Giordano Bruno 6) by SJ Parris
The Execution of Noa P. Singleton by Elizabeth L Silver  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Exit Lines (Dalziel and Pascoe 8) by Reginald Hill  😀 😀 😀 😀
Exposure by Helen Dunmore  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Eye of Osiris by R Austin Freeman  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

F

The Facts of Life and Death by Belinda Bauer 😀 😀 😀 😀
Fallen Land by Patrick Flanery  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Falling Freely, As If In A Dream by Leif GW Persson  😀 😀 😀 🙂
Falling in Love (Commissario Brunetti 24) by Donna Leon  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
False Witness by Karin Slaughter 😦
Family Matters by Anthony Rolls  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂
The Fantastic Horror of the Cat in the Bag by Dorothy L Sayers  😀 😀 😀 🙂
Fatal Inheritance by Rachel Rhys  😀 😀 😀 🙂
Fear is the Rider by Kenneth Cook  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Fell Murder by ECR Lorac  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂
Fellowship with Demons (Murray of Letho 5) by Lexie Conyngham  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Fever by Megan Abbott  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂
The Final Twist (Colter Shaw 3) by Jeffery Deaver  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂
Fire In the Thatch by ECR Lorac  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
First One Missing by Tammy Cohen  🙂 🙂 😐
The Follower by Koethi Zan  🙂 🙂 😐
Force of Nature (Aaron Falk 2) by Jane Harper  🙂 🙂 🙂
Foreign Bodies edited by Martin Edwards  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Forty Acres by Dwayne Alexander Smith  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

The Four Just Men by Edgar Wallace  😀 😀 😀 😀
The Franchise Affair by Josephine Tey  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Free Fall (John Ceepak Mysteries 8) by Chris Grabenstein  😀 😀 😀 😀
Furious Hours by Casey Cep  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

G

Gallowglass (Douglas Brodie 4) by Gordon Ferris  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Ghost Fields (Ruth Galloway 7) by Elly Griffiths  🙂 🙂 😐
The Ghost Marriage (China Thrillers) by Peter May  😀 😀 😀 😀
The Girl Who Wasn’t There by Ferdinand von Schirach  😐 😐
Give Me Your Hand by Megan Abbott  😀 😀 😀 😀
The Golden Age of Murder by Martin Edwards  😀 😀 😀 😀
The Golden Sabre by Jon Cleary  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Goodbye Man (Colter Shaw 2) by Jeffery Deaver  😀 😀 😀 😀
The Grand Cru Heist (The Winemaker Detective Series 2) by Alaux & Balen  😀 😀 😀 😀
Green for Danger by Christianna Brand  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Guesthouse by Abbie Frost  😀 😀 😀 😀
The Guest List by Lucy Foley  🙂 🙂 🙂

H

The Hammer of God by GK Chesterton  😀 😀 😀 😀
The Hampstead Murder by Christopher Bush  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Hanging Judge by Michael Ponsor  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂
Hardcastle’s Quartet by Graham Ison  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
Her by Harriet Lane 😐 😐 😐
Here Be Dragons: A Short Story (Lacey Flint) by Sharon Bolton  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly  🙂 🙂 😐
He Who Dies Last by Christoph Spielberg  🙂 🙂 🙂
Himself by Jess Kidd  😀 😀 😀 🙂
His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂
The Honjin Murders by Seishi Yokomizo  😀 😀 😀 😀
The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle/Derek Jacobi 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Hour of Peril by Daniel Stashower  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz  😀 😀 😀 😀
How to Fall (Jess Tennant 1) by Jane Casey  😀 😀 😀 😀
Humber Boy B by Ruth Dugdall  😀 😀 😀 😀

I

I Am No One by Patrick Flanery  😀 😀 😀 😀
The Ice by Laline Paull  🙂 🙂
The Ice Princess (Patrik Hedström 1) by Camilla Läckberg  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Ice Shroud by Gordon Ell  😀 😀 😀 😀
Identical by Scott Turow  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
If Snow Hadn’t Fallen (Lacey Flint Novella) by Sharon Bolton  😀 😀 😀 😀
I Hear the Sirens in the Street (Sean Duffy 2) by Adrian McKinty  🙂 🙂 🙂 😐
I’ll Keep You Safe by Peter May  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote  😀 😀 😀 😀
Indelible (A Chris Honeysett Mystery) by Peter Helton  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂
The Innocence of Father Brown by GK Chesterton  😦
In the Blood by Lisa Unger  🙂 🙂 🙂 😐
In the Heat of the Night by John Ball  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
In the Woods (Dublin Murder Squad 1) by Tana French  😀 😀 😀 🙂
Inspector French and the Crime at Guildford by Freeman Wills Crofts 😀 😀 😀 🙂
Inspector French: Sudden Death by Freeman Wills Crofts  😀 😀 😀 🙂
The Invisible Assistant (An Eli Marks Short Story) by John Gaspard  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Invisible Code (Bryant & May 10) by Christopher Fowler  🙂 🙂 🙂 😐
The Invisible Man from Salem (Leo Junker 1) by Christoffer Carlsson  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
I, the Jury by Mickey Spillane  😀 😀 😀 😀
It Walks By Night by John Dickson Carr  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

J

Jack of Spades by Joyce Carol Oates  😐 😐
Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye  😦
The Janus Stone (Ruth Galloway 2) by Elly Griffiths  😀 😀 😀 😀
Judas Child by Carol O’Connell  😀 😀 😀

K

The Katharina Code (William Wisting 12) by Jørn Lier Horst  😀 😀 😀 😀
The Kill (Maeve Kerrigan 5) by Jane Casey  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Killer and the Slain by Hugh Walpole  😦
Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann  😀 😀 😀 😀
The Killing Kind by Jane Casey  🙂 🙂 🙂
King Solomon’s Mines by H Rider Haggard  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Knock, Murderer, Knock by Harriet Rutland  😀 😀 😀 😀
Knowledge of Sins Past (Murray of Letho 2) by Lexie Conyngham  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

L

Laidlaw (Laidlaw Trilogy 1) by William McIlvanney  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Lamentation (Matthew Shardlake 6) by CJ Sansom  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Land of Dreams (Minnesota Trilogy 1) by Vidar Sundstøl  😦 😦
The Last Clinic by Gary Gusick  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
The Last Girl (Maeve Kerrigan 3) by Jane Casey  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

The Last National Service Man (Dalziel and Pascoe) by Reginald Hill 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Last Refuge by Craig Robertson 🙂 🙂 🙂
The Last Winter of Dani Lancing by PD Viner  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
Left for Dead (A Maeve Kerrigan Prequel) by Jane Casey  😀 😀 😀 😀

The Legacy (Children’s House 1) by Yrsa Sigurdardóttir  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂
The Less Dead by Denise Mina  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂
Let the Dead Speak (Maeve Kerrigan 7) by Jane Casey  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Lewis Man (Lewis Trilogy 2) by Peter May  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Life I Left Behind by Colette McBeth  😐 😐
Life or Death by Michael Robotham  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Like This, For Ever (Lacey Flint 3) by Sharon Bolton  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Linking Rings (Eli Marks 4) by John Gaspard  😀 😀 😀 🙂
The Listening Walls by Margaret Millar  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Litigators by John Grisham  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Little Black Lies by Sharon Bolton 🙂 🙂 😐
Little Lies by Liane Moriarty  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Lodger by Marie Belloc Lowndes  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Lonelyheart 4122 (Flaxborough Chronicles 4) by Colin Watson  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Long Arm of the Law edited by Martin Edwards  😀 😀 😀
The Long Call (Two Rivers 1) by Ann Cleeves  😦
The Long Drop by Denise Mina  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler  😐 😐
The Long Shadow (Annika Bengtzon 8) by Liza Marklund  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
Lost (Joe O’Loughlin 2) by Michael Robotham  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Lost Gallows by John Dickson Carr  😀 😀 😀 😀
The Lost Man by Jane Harper  🙂 🙂 🙂
The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

M

The Magnificent Spilsbury by Jane Robins  😀 😀 😀 🙂
Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Maigret and the Ghost (Maigret 62) by Georges Simenon  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Maigret and the Reluctant Witnesses (Maigret 53) by Georges Simenon  😀 😀 😀 😀
Maigret and the Tall Woman (Maigret 38) by Georges Simenon  😀 😀 😀 😀
Maigret’s Revolver (Maigret 40) by Georges Simenon  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂
Maigret Takes a Room (Maigret 37) by Georges Simenon  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Malice Aforethought by Francis Iles  🙂 🙂 🙂
The Malice of Waves (Cal McGill 3) by Mark Douglas-Home  😀 😀 😀 😀
The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

The Man from London by Georges Simenon  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂
The Man Who Didn’t Fly by Margot Bennett  😀 😀 😀 😀
The Man With No Face by Peter May  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Martian by Andy Weir  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Measure of Malice edited by Martin Edwards  😀 😀 😀 😀
The Messenger of Athens by Anne Zouroudi  😦
The Methods of Sergeant Cluff by Gil North  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Midas Murders (Pieter Van In 2) by Pieter Aspe 😦
The Middle Temple Murder by JS Fletcher  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂
Midnight in Peking by Paul French  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Miraculous Mysteries by Martin Edwards (editor)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side by Agatha Christie  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂
The Miser’s Dream (Eli Marks 3) by John Gaspard  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Miss Blaine’s Prefect and the Golden Samovar by Olga Wojtas 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Mistletoe Murder and Other Stories by PD James  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂
Money Tree by Gordon Ferris  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂
The Monogram Murders (Hercule Poirot 1) by Sophie Hannah  😦
Moon in a Dead Eye by Pascal Garnier  😀 😀 😀 🙂
Moriarty by Anthony Horowitz  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Morse’s Greatest Mystery by Colin Dexter  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Mother Loves Me by Abby Davies  😀 😀 😀 😀
The Moving Finger by Agatha Christie/Joan Hickson  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Moving Toyshop (Gervase Fen 3) by Edmund Crispin  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Mrs Hudson and the Malabar Rose (Mrs Hudson 2) by Martin Davies  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Mrs Maybrick (Crime Archive Series) by Victoria Blake  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Mrs McGinty’s Dead by Agatha Christie/Hugh Fraser  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Mugger (87th Precinct 2) by Ed McBain  🙂 🙂 🙂
Murder at the Manor by Martin Edwards (editor)  😀 😀 😀 🙂
Murder at the Maples (Flora Lively 1) by Joanne Phillips  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
The Murder at the Vicarage (Miss Marple) by Agatha Christie  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Murder by Matchlight by ECR Lorac  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Murdered Banker by Augusto De Angelis  😀 😀 😀 🙂
Murder in the Bookshop by Carolyn Wells  🙂 🙂 🙂
Murder in the Mill-Race by ECR Lorac  😀 😀 😀 😀
Murder Is No Joke by Rex Stout  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Murder of a Lady: A Scottish Mystery by Anthony Wynne  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Murder of a Quack by George Bellairs  😀 😀 😀 😀
The Murder of my Aunt by Richard Hull  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie read by Hugh Fraser  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie read by David Suchet  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Murder, She Said: The Quotable Miss Marple by Agatha Christie  😀 😀 😀
Murder, She Wrote: Design for Murder by Donald Bain 😀 😀 😀 😀
Murder’s A Swine by Nap Lombard  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂
My Second Death by Lydia Cooper  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂
The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂
The Mystery of Briony Lodge by David Bagchi  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Mystery of Cloomber by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Mystery of Horne’s Copse by Anthony Berkeley  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Mystery of the Yellow Room by Gaston Leroux  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Mystery on Southampton Water by Freeman Wills Crofts  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

N

The Never Game (Colter Shaw 1) by Jeffery Deaver  😀 😀 😀 😀
The Never List by Koethi Zan  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The New World by Andrew Motion  😀 😀 😀 😀
Nightblind (Dark Iceland 5) by Ragnar Jónasson  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Night Ferry by Michael Robotham  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Nightmare Thief by Meg Gardiner  🙂 🙂 🙂
Nightwoods by Charles Frazier  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Now You See Me (Lacey Flint 1) by Sharon Bolton  😀 😀 😀 😀
Now You See Them (Stephens and Mephisto 5) by Elly Griffiths  😀 😀 😀 🙂

O

The Old Buzzard Had It Coming by Donis Casey  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂
The Old Religion by Martyn Waites  🙂 🙂 🙂
Oliver Twisted (Ivy Meadows 3) by Cindy Brown  😀 😀 😀 😀

One for Our Baby by John Sandrolini 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
One Good Turn (Jackson Brodie 2) by Kate Atkinson  😦
One, Two, Buckle My Shoe (Poirot) by Agatha Christie  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂
Open Wounds (Davie McCall 4) by Douglas Skelton  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Original Skin (Aector McAvoy 2) by David Mark  😦
The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Outcast Dead (Ruth Galloway 6) by Elly Griffiths  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Out of Bounds (Karen Pirie 4) by Val McDermid  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

OxCrimes (introduction to anthology) by Ian Rankin  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

P

The Pact by Sharon Bolton  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Papers of Tony Veitch (Laidlaw Trilogy 2) by William McIlvanney  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Parade by Shuichi Yoshaida  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂
Past Tense (Joel Williams 3) by Margot Kinberg  😀 😀 😀 😀
Payment Deferred by CS Forester  🙂 🙂 🙂
Penance by Kanae Minato  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Peril at End House (Poirot) by Agatha Christie  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Pietr the Latvian (Maigret 1) by Georges Simenon  🙂 🙂 🙂
Pilgrim Soul (Douglas Brodie 3) by Gordon Ferris  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Plotters by Un-Su Kim  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂
The Poisoned Chocolates Case by Anthony Berkeley  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Poisoned Rock (Sullivan and Broderick 2) by Robert Daws  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Port of London Murders by Josephine Bell  😀 😀 😀 😀
Portrait of a Murderer by Anne Meredith  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M Cain  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
The Progress of a Crime by Julian Symons  🙂 🙂 🙂
Psycho by Robert Bloch  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Purity of Vengeance (Department Q 4) by Jussi Adler-Olsen  🙂 🙂 🙂 😐
The Purloined Letter by Edgar Allan Poe  😦 😦

Q

Quick Curtain by Alan Melville  😦 😦

R

Rather Be the Devil (Rebus 21) by Ian Rankin  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Raven Black (Shetland 1) by Ann Cleeves  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂
Razor Edge by Anthony Berkeley  😀 😀 🙂

The Reckoning (John Madden 4) by Rennie Airth  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂
The Reckoning (Maeve Kerrigan 2) by Jane Casey  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Red Redmaynes by Eden Phillpotts  😀 😀 😀 😀
Redemption (Department Q 3) by Jussi Adler-Olsen  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Redemption of Alexander Seaton by Shona MacLean  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Red House Mystery by AA Milne  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Resorting to Murder: Holiday Mysteries by Martin Edwards (editor) 😀 😀 😀 🙂
The Return of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle  😀 😀 😀 😀
Revelation (Matthew Shardlake 4) by CJ Sansom  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Riddle of the Sands by Erskine Childers  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂
The River at Night by Erica Ferencik  😀 😀 😀 🙂
The Rock (Sullivan and Broderick 1) by Robert Daws  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Rubbernecker by Belinda Bauer  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Ruling Passion (Dalziel and Pascoe 3) by Reginald Hill  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂
Runaway by Peter May 😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂

S

Saints of the Shadow Bible (Rebus 19) by Ian Rankin  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Sans Pareil Mystery byKaren Charlton  🙂 😐
The Savage Hour by Elaine Proctor  😀 😀 😀 😀
Scarweather by Anthony Rolls  😀 😀 😀 🙂
The Secret Adversary (Tommy and Tuppence 1) by Agatha Christie  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Secret of High Eldersham by Miles Burton  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Secrets of Strangers by Charity Norman  😀 😀 😀 😀
See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt  😦
Serena by Ron Rash  😦 😦
Sergeant Cluff Stands Firm by Gil North  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Second Life by SJ Watson  🙂 🙂 😐

Secret Diary of PorterGirl by Lucy Brazier  😀 😀 😀 😀
The Secret Poisoner by Linda Stratmann  😀 😀 😀 🙂
The Seeker by SG MacLean  🙂 🙂
Settling Scores edited by Martin Edwards  😀 😀 😀 😀
The Seventh Link by Margaret Mayhew  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
The 7th Woman (Paris Homicide 1) by Frédérique Molay  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
Shallow Waters (DI Hannah Robbins 1) by Rebecca Bradley  😀 😀 😀 🙂

The Shapeshifters by Stefan Spjut  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Sherlock Holmes: The Dark Mysteries by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Sherlock Holmes: The Definitive Collection read by Stephen Fry  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Sherlock Holmes Further Collection/Sir Arthur Conan Doyle/BBC Audio  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
She Who Was No More by Boileau-Narcejac  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂
The Shop Window Murders by Vernon Loder  😀 😀 🙂
The Shut Eye by Belinda Bauer 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Sign of the Four by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Silence by Susan Allott  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Silent Kill (Maeve Kerrigan 8.5) by Jane Casey  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Silent Witnesses: A History of Forensic Science by Nigel McCrery  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Silver: Return to Treasure Island by Andrew Motion 😀 😀 😀 😀
Sinister Dexter (PorterGirl 3) by Lucy Brazier  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Siren by Annemarie Neary  🙂 🙂 😐
Six Problems for Don Isidro Parodi by Jorge Luis Borges  😦
Six Years by Harlan Coben  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

The Skeleton Road by Val McDermid  😀 😀 😀 😀
The Sleeper by Gillian White  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
Smallbone Deceased (Inspector Hazlerigg 4) by Michael Gilbert  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Smith by Leon Garfield  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Smoke and Ashes (Sam Wyndham 3) by Abir Mukherjee  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Smoke and Mirrors (Stephens and Mephisto 2) by Elly Griffiths  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Snap by Belinda Bauer  🙂 🙂 🙂
Snowblind (Dark Iceland 1) by Ragnar Jónasson  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂
Some Must Watch by Ethel Lina White  🙂 🙂 😐
Somebody at the Door by Raymond Postgate  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Someone to Watch Over Me by Yrsa Sigurdardóttir  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Son by Jo Nesbo  🙂 🙂 🙂
Sovereign (Matthew Shardlake 3) by CJ Sansom  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Spiteful Shadow by Peter Tremayne  😀 😀 😀 😀
The Spoilt Kill by Mary Kelly  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Spy Who Came In from the Cold by John le Carré  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂
The Square of Revenge (Pieter Van In) by Pieter Aspe  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
The Stealer of Marble by Edgar Wallace  😀 😀 😀 😀
The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books by Martin Edwards  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Story Keeper by Anna Mazzola  😀 😀 😀 😀
Strange Loyalties (Laidlaw Trilogy 3) by William McIlvanney  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Stranger (Patrik Hedström and Erica Falck 4) Camilla Läckberg  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Stranger by Harlan Coben  😀 😀 😀 😀
The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Stranger You Know (Maeve Kerrigan 4) by Jane Casey  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith  😀 😀 😀 😀
The Strangling on the Stage (Fethering Mysteries) by Simon Brett  😦 😦
Summer House with Swimming Pool by Herman Koch  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Surfeit of Suspects by George Bellairs  😀 😀 😀 🙂
The Survivors by Jane Harper  😀 😀 😀 😀
The Suspect (Joe O’Loughlin 1) by Michael Robotham  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
The Sussex Downs Murder (Inspector Meredith) by John Bude  😀 😀 😀 🙂
Sweet William by Iain Maitland  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Sword by Bogdan Teodorescu  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Sycamore Row by John Grisham  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂
Sydney Chambers and the Shadow of Death by James Runcie  😀 😀 😀 😀

T

The Taggart Assignment by Vincent Starrett  😀 😀 😀 😀
Taken by Lisa Stone  😀 😀 😀 😀
Tangerine by Christine Mangan  😦
The Tender Herb (Murray of Letho 6) by Lexie Conyngham  😀 😀 😀 😀
Ten Years Beyond Baker Street by Cay Van Ash  😀 😀 😀 😀
Testament of a Witch (John Mackenzie 2) by Douglas Watt  😀 😀 😀 😀
Testimony by Scott Turow  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
That Dark Remembered Day by Tom Vowler  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Thirteen Guests by J Jefferson Farjeon 😀 😀 😀 🙂
The Thirteen Problems by Agatha Christie read by Joan Hickson  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂
The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan  😀 😀 😀 😀
Three Bullets by RJ Ellory  😀 😀 😀 🙂
The Ties that Bind by Erin Kelly  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Till Death Do Us Part (Gideon Fell 15) by John Dickson Carr  😀 😀 😀 😀
Time of Death (Tom Thorne 13) by Mark Billingham  🙂 🙂 😐
Tombland (Matthew Shardlake 7) by CJ Sansom  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Traitor’s Storm (Kit Marlowe 6) by MJ Trow  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
Treachery in Bordeaux (Winemaker Detective Series 1) by Alaux & Balen  😀 😀 😀 😀

Trent’s Last Case by EC Bentley  😀 😀 😀 😀
The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware  🙂 🙂 🙂
Twisted by Steve Cavanagh  😀 😀 😀 😀
Two-Way Murder by ECR Lorac  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

U

Under a Silent Moon by Elizabeth Haynes 😀 😀 😀 😀
Under World (Dalziel and Pascoe 10) by Reginald Hill  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂
The Undesired by Yrsa Sigurdardóttir  😀 😀 😀 🙂
Unhallowed Ground by Gillian White  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
Unplayable Lie (Josh Griffin 1) by Caleigh O’Shea  😀 😀 😀 😀
Until You’re Mine (DI Lorraine Fisher 1) by Samantha Hayes  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

V

The Valley of Fear by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Vanishing Box (Stephens and Mephisto 4) by Elly Griffiths  😀 😀 😀 😀
The Vanishing Lord (PorterGirl 2) by Lucy Brazier  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂
Verdict of Twelve by Raymond Postgate  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Vertigo by Boileau-Narcejac  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Villain by Shuichi Yoshida  😀 😀 😀 😀
The Villa of Mysteries (Nic Costa 2) by David Hewson 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
The Voices Beyond (Öland Quartet 4) by Johan Theorin  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

W

Want You Dead (Roy Grace 10) by Peter James  🙂 🙂 🙂
Watching You (Joe O’Loughlin 6) by Michael Robotham  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Weekend at Thrackley  🙂 🙂 😐
The Weight of Blood by Laura McHugh  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
Westwind by Ian Rankin  🙂 🙂 😐
What Lies Within by Tom Vowler  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Wheel Spins by Ethel Lina White  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Where the Dead Men Go (Conway Trilogy 2) by Liam McIlvanney  😀 😀 😀 😀
While the Light Lasts by Agatha Christie  🙂 🙂 🙂
White Bodies by Jane Robins  😀 😀 😀 😀
The White Cottage Mystery by Margery Allingham  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
Wicked Autumn (Max Tudor 1) by GM Malliet  🙂 🙂 🙂
The Wicked Boy by Kate Summerscale  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Widow  😀 😀 🙂

The Winter Foundlings (Alice Quentin 3) by Kate Rhodes  🙂 🙂 😐
Witness the Night by Kishwar Desai  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂
Wolf (Jack Caffrey 7) by Mo Hayder  😦 😦
The Woman in Blue (Ruth Galloway 8) by Elly Griffiths  🙂 🙂 🙂
The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz  🙂 🙂 🙂

X

Y

You by Zoran Drvenkar  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
You Have to Tell by J Sanclemente  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Z

The Zig Zag Girl (Stephens and Mephisto 1) by Elly Griffiths  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

0-9

4.50 from Paddington by Agatha Christie  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The 12:30 from Croydon by Freeman Wills Crofts  😀 😀 😀 😀 :

Crime and Thriller Fiction listed by Author

Abbott, Megan

The End of Everything  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Dare Me  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

The Fever  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂

Give Me Your Hand  😀 😀 😀 😀
You Will Know Me  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Ace, Cathy

The Case of the Dotty Dowager  😀 😀 😀 🙂

Adler-Olsen, Jussi

Redemption (Department Q 3)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Purity of Vengeance (Department Q 4)  🙂 🙂 🙂 😐

Airth, Rennie

The Dead of Winter (John Madden 3) 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Reckoning (John Madden 4)  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂
The Death of Kings (John Madden 5)  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂

Alaux, Jean-Pierre and Balen, Noël

Treachery in Bordeaux (The Winemaker Detective Series 1)  😀 😀 😀 😀
The Grand Cru Heist (The Winemaker Detective Series 2)  😀 😀 😀 😀

Allingham, Margery

The Case of the Late Pig  😀 😀 😀 😀
The Crime at Black Dudley (Albert Campion 1)  😀 😀 😀 😀
The White Cottage Mystery  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Allott, Susan

The Silence  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Armstrong, Charlotte

The Case of the Weird Sisters  😦 😦

Asimov, Isaac

The Caves of Steel (Elijah Bailey 1)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Aspe, Pieter

The Square of Revenge (Pieter Van In)  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
The Midas Murders (Pieter Van In 2) 😦

Atkinson, Kate

Case Histories (Jackson Brodie 1)  😐 😐
One Good Turn (Jackson Brodie 2)  😦

Bagchi, David

The Mystery of Briony Lodge  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Bagley, Desmond

Domino Island  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Bain, Donald

Murder, She Wrote: Design for Murder  😀 😀 😀 😀

Ball, John

In the Heat of the Night  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Bauer, Belinda

The Beautiful Dead  🙂 🙂 🙂
The Facts of Life and Death
😀 😀 😀 😀
Rubbernecker  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Shut Eye 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Snap  🙂 🙂 🙂

Barclay, Linwood

Broken Promise  😐 😐

Barton, Fiona

The Widow  😀 😀 🙂

Beaton, MC

Agatha Raisin and the Love from Hell read by Penelope Keith  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Bell, Josephine

The Port of London Murders  😀 😀 😀 😀

Bellairs, George

The Body in the Dumb River  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Dead Shall be Raised  😀 😀 😀 😀

The Murder of a Quack  😀 😀 😀 😀
Surfeit of Suspects  😀 😀 😀 🙂

Bennett, Margot

The Man Who Didn’t Fly  😀 😀 😀 😀

Benson, EF

The Blotting Book  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Bentley, EC

Trent’s Last Case  😀 😀 😀 😀

Berkeley, Anthony

The Mystery of Horne’s Copse  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Poisoned Chocolates Case  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Razor Edge  😀 😀 🙂

Billingham, Mark

Time of Death (Tom Thorne 13)  🙂 🙂 😐

Black, Benjamin

Even the Dead (Quirke 7)  🙂 🙂 😐

Blake, Victoria

Mrs Maybrick (Crime Archive Series)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Bloch, Robert

Psycho  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Boileau-Narcejac

She Who Was No More  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂
Vertigo  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Bolton, Sharon (previously SJ)

Now You See Me (Lacey Flint 1)  😀 😀 😀 😀
Dead Scared (Lacey Flint 2)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

If Snow Hadn’t Fallen (Lacey Flint Novella)
  😀 😀 😀 😀
Like This, For Ever (Lacey Flint 3)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

A Dark and Twisted Tide (Lacey Flint 4)
  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Here Be Dragons: A Short Story (Lacey Flint)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Daisy in Chains  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Dead Woman Walking  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Little Black Lies 🙂 🙂 😐
The Pact  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Borges, Jorge Luis

Six Problems for Don Isidro Parodi  😦

Bradley, Rebecca

Shallow Waters (DI Hannah Robbins 1)  😀 😀 😀 🙂

Bramah, Ernest

The Bravo of London (Max Carrados)  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂

Brand, Christianna

Green for Danger  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Brazier, Lucy

Secret Diary of PorterGirl (PorterGirl 1)  😀 😀 😀 😀
The Vanishing Lord (PorterGirl 2)  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂
Sinister Dexter (PorterGirl 3)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Brett, Simon

The Strangling on the Stage (Fethering Mysteries)  😦 😦

Brookmyre, Chris

Black Widow (Jack Parlabane 7)  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂

Brown, Cindy

Oliver Twisted (Ivy Meadows 3)  😀 😀 😀 😀

Buchan, John

The Thirty-Nine Steps  😀 😀 😀 😀

Bude, John

The Cheltenham Square Murder  🙂 🙂 🙂 😐
Death in White Pyjamas  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Death Knows No Calendar  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Death Makes a Prophet  🙂 🙂 🙂
Death on the Riviera  😀 😀 😀 😀

The Sussex Downs Muder  😀 😀 😀 🙂

Burnet, Graeme Macrae

The Disappearance of Adèle Bedeau (Inspector Gorski 1)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Accident on the A35 (Inspector Gorski 2)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
His Bloody Project  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂

Burton, Miles

The Secret of High Eldersham  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Bush, Christopher

The Hampstead Murder  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Cain, James M

The Postman Always Rings Twice  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Capote, Truman

In Cold Blood  😀 😀 😀 😀

Carlsson, Christoffer

The Invisible Man from Salem (Leo Junker 1)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Carnac, Carol

Crossed Skis  😀 😀 😀 😀

Carr, John Dickson

Castle Skull  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂
The Corpse in the Waxworks  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
It Walks By Night  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Lost Gallows  😀 😀 😀 😀
Till Death Do Us Part (Gideon Fell 15)  😀 😀 😀 😀

Carrère, Emmanuel

The Adversary  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Casey, Donis

The Old Buzzard Had It Coming  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂

Casey, Jane

Left for Dead (A Maeve Kerrigan Prequel)  😀 😀 😀 😀
The Burning (Maeve Kerrigan 1)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Reckoning (Maeve Kerrigan 2)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

The Last Girl (Maeve Kerrigan 3)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

The Stranger You Know (Maeve Kerrigan 4)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

The Kill (Maeve Kerrigan 5)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

After the Fire (Maeve Kerrigan 6)  😀 😀 😀 😀
Let the Dead Speak (Maeve Kerrigan 7)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Cruel Acts (Maeve Kerrigan 8)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Silent Kill (Maeve Kerrigan 8.5)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Cutting Place (Maeve Kerrigan 9)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
How to Fall (Jess Tennant 1)  😀 😀 😀 😀
Bet Your Life (Jess Tennant 2)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

The Killing Kind (standalone thriller)  🙂 🙂 🙂

Catton, Eleanor

The Luminaries  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Cavanagh, Steve

The Defence  😀 😀 😀 😀
Twisted  😀 😀 😀 😀

Cep, Casey

Furious Hours  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Chandler, Raymond

The Long Goodbye  😐 😐

Charlton, Karen

The Sans Pareil Mystery  🙂 😐

Chesterton, GK

The Hammer of God  😀 😀 😀 😀
The Innocence of Father Brown 😦

Childers, Erskine

The Riddle of the Sands  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂

Christie, Agatha

4.50 from Paddington  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
A Caribbean Mystery (Miss Marple) read by Joan Hickson  😀 😀 😀 😀
A Murder is Announced  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The ABC Murders read by Hugh Fraser  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Affair at the Bungalow (Miss Marple short story)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
A Fairy in the Flat/A Pot of Tea (Tommy & Tuppence short stories)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
And Then There Were None read by Hugh Fraser  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Appointment with Death (Poirot) read by Hugh Fraser  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Clocks (Poirot) read by Hugh Fraser  😀 😀 😀 🙂
The Disappearance of Mr Davenheim (Poirot short story)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Evil Under the Sun (Poirot)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side read by Joan Hickson  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂
The Moving Finger read by Joan Hickson  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Mrs McGinty’s Dead read by Hugh Fraser  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Murder at the Vicarage (Miss Marple) read by Joan Hickson  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Murder on the Orient Express read by David Suchet  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Murder, She Said: The Quotable Miss Marple  😀 😀 😀
The Mysterious Affair at Styles (Poirot)  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂
One, Two, Buckle My Shoe (Poirot) read by Hugh Fraser  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂
Peril at End House (Poirot) read by Hugh Fraser  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Secret Adversary (Tommy and Tuppence 1)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Thirteen Problems (Miss Marple) read by Joan Hickson  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂
While the Light Lasts  🙂 🙂 🙂

Clark-Platts, Alice

Bitter Fruits (DI Erica Martin 1)  😀 😀 😀 😀

Cleary, Jon

The Golden Sabre  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Cleeves, Ann

The Crow Trap (Vera Stanhope 1)  🙂 🙂 🙂
The Long Call (Two Rivers 1)  😦

Raven Black (Shetland 1)  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂

Coben, Harlan

The Stranger  😀 😀 😀 😀
Six Years  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Cohen, Tammy

Dying for Christmas  😀 😀 😀 😀
First One Missing  🙂 🙂 😐

Conan Doyle, Sir Arthur

A Study in Scarlet 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Hound of the Baskervilles read by Derek Jacobi 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Sign of the Four  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

The Valley of Fear read by Stephen Fry  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes read by Derek Jacobi  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Return of Sherlock Holmes read by Derek Jacobi  😀 😀 😀 😀
Sherlock Holmes: The Dark Mysteries  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Sherlock Holmes: The Definitive Collection read by Stephen Fry  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Sherlock Holmes: Further Collection – BBC Audio  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Adventure of the Dancing Men  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

The Mystery of Cloomber  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Conyngham, Lexie

Death in a Scarlet Gown (Murray of Letho 1)  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
Knowledge of Sins Past (Murray of Letho 2)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Fellowship with Demons (Murray of Letho 5)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

The Tender Herb (Murray of Letho 6)  😀 😀 😀 😀

Cook, Kenneth

Fear is the Rider  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Cooper, Lydia

My Second Death  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂

Crispin, Edmund

The Moving Toyshop (Gervase Fen 3)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Crofts, Freeman Wills

The 12:30 from Croydon  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂
The Cask  😦
Inspector French and the Crime at Guildford  😀 😀 😀 🙂
Inspector French and the Mystery on Southampton Water  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Inspector French: Sudden Death  😀 😀 😀 🙂

Dahl, Arne

The Blinded Man (Intercrime 1)  😀 😀 😀 😀
Bad Blood (Intercrime 2)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Davies, Abby

Mother Loves Me  😀 😀 😀 😀

Davies, Martin

Mrs Hudson and the Malabar Rose (Mrs Hudson 2)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Daws, Robert

The Rock (Sullivan and Broderick 1)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Poisoned Rock (Sullivan and Broderick 2)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

De Angelis, Augusto

The Murdered Banker  😀 😀 😀 🙂

Deaver, Jeffery

The Never Game (Colter Shaw 1)  😀 😀 😀 😀
The Goodbye Man (Colter Shaw 2)  😀 😀 😀 😀
The Final Twist (Colter Shaw 3)  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂

Desai, Kishwar

Witness the Night  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂

Dexter, Colin

Morse’s Greatest Mystery  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Douglas-Home, Mark

The Malice of Waves (Cal McGill 3)  😀 😀 😀 😀

Drvenkar, Zoran

You  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Dugdall, Ruth

Humber Boy B  😀 😀 😀 😀

Dunmore, Helen

Exposure 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Dunn, Carola

Death at Wentwater Court (Daisy Dalrymple 1)  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Durbridge, Francis

A Case for Paul Temple – BBC Audio dramatisation  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Edwards, Martin

A Surprise for Christmas (editor)  😀 😀 😀 😀
Capital Crimes: London Mysteries (editor)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Continental Crimes (editor)  😀 😀 😀 🙂
The Christmas Card Crime and Other Stories (editor)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Crimson Snow: Winter Mysteries (editor)  😀 😀 😀 😀
Deep Waters (editor)  😀 😀 😀 😀
Foreign Bodies (editor)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Golden Age of Murder  😀 😀 😀 😀
The Long Arm of the Law (editor)  😀 😀 😀
The Measure of Malice (editor)  😀 😀 😀 😀
Miraculous Mysteries (editor)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Murder at the Manor (editor)  😀 😀 😀 🙂
Resorting to Murder: Holiday Mysteries (editor) 😀 😀 😀 🙂
Settling Scores (editor)  😀 😀 😀 😀
The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

The Dungeon House  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂

Ell, Gordon

The Ice Shroud  😀 😀 😀 😀

Ellory, RJ

A Dark and Broken Heart  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Devil and the River  🙂 🙂 🙂

Three Bullets  😀 😀 😀 🙂

Falkirk, Richard

The Chill Factor  😀 😀 😀 😀

Farjeon, J Jefferson

Thirteen Guests  😀 😀 😀 🙂

Faye, Lyndsay

Jane Steele  😦

Ferencik, Erica

The River at Night  😀 😀 😀 🙂

Ferris, Gordon

Bitter Water (Douglas Brodie 2)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Pilgrim Soul (Douglas Brodie 3)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Gallowglass (Douglas Brodie 4)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Money Tree  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂

Fisher, Rudolph

The Conjure-Man Dies  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Fitzek, Sebastian

The Child (Audible Studios Dramatisation)  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
Amok (Audible Studios Dramatisation)  😀 😀 😀 🙂

Flanery, Patrick

I Am No One  😀 😀 😀 😀
Fallen Land  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Fletcher, JS

The Middle Temple Murder  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂

Foley, Lucy

The Guest List  🙂 🙂 🙂

Forester, CS

Payment Deferred  🙂 🙂 🙂

Fowler, Christopher

The Invisible Code (Bryant & May 10)  🙂 🙂 🙂 😐

Fox, Margalit

Conan Doyle for the Defence  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Frazier, Charles

Nightwoods  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Freeman R Austin

The Case of Oscar Brodski  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂
The Eye of Osiris  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

French, Paul

Midnight in Peking  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

French, Tana

In the Woods (Dublin Murder Squad 1)  😀 😀 😀 🙂

Frost, Abbie

The Guesthouse  😀 😀 😀 😀

Fuller, Claire

Bitter Orange  🙂 🙂 🙂

Galbraith, Robert

The Cuckoo’s Calling  😀 😀 😀 😀

Gardiner, Meg

The Nightmare Thief 🙂 🙂 🙂

Garfield, Leon

Smith  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Garnier, Pascal

The A26  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂
Moon in a Dead Eye  😀 😀 😀 🙂

Gaspard, John

The Ambitious Card (Eli Marks 1)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Bullet Catch (Eli Marks 2)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

The Invisible Assistant (An Eli Marks Short Story)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Miser’s Dream (Eli Marks 3)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Linking Rings (Eli Marks 4)  😀 😀 😀 🙂

Gilbert, Anthony

Death in Fancy Dress  🙂 🙂 🙂

Gilbert, Michael

Death In Captivity  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Smallbone Deceased (Inspector Hazlerigg 4)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Death Has Deep Roots (Inspector Hazlerigg 5)  😀 😀 😀 😀

Gilbert, Paul D

The Annals of Sherlock Holmes  😦 😦

Grabenstein, Chris

Free Fall (John Ceepak Mysteries 8)  😀 😀 😀 😀

Grann, David

Killers of the Flower Moon  😀 😀 😀 😀

Gribble, Leonard

The Arsenal Stadium Mystery  😀 😀 😀 😀

Griffiths, Elly

The Janus Stone (Ruth Galloway 2)  😀 😀 😀 😀
A Dying Fall (Ruth Galloway 5)  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
The Outcast Dead (Ruth Galloway 6)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

The Ghost Fields (Ruth Galloway 7)  🙂 🙂 😐

The Woman in Blue (Ruth Galloway 8)  🙂 🙂 🙂
The Zig Zag Girl (Stephens and Mephisto 1)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Smoke and Mirrors (Stephens and Mephisto 2)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Blood Card (Stephens and Mephisto 3)  😀 😀 😀 😀
The Vanishing Box (Stephens and Mephisto 4)  😀 😀 😀 😀
Now You See Them (Stephens and Mephisto 5)  😀 😀 😀 🙂
The Stranger Diaries  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Grisham, John

A Time to Kill  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Sycamore Row  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂
Calico Joe  🙂 🙂 😐
The Litigators  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Gusick, Gary

The Last Clinic  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Haggard, H Rider

King Solomon’s Mines  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Hammett, Dashiell

Arson Plus (The Continental Op)  😀 😀 😀 😀
The Dain Curse (The Continental Op)  😀 😀 😀 😀
The Maltese Falcon (Sam Spade)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Hannah, Sophie

The Monogram Murders (Hercule Poirot 1)  😦

Harper, Jane

The Dry (Aaron Falk 1) read by Stephen Shanahan  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Force of Nature (Aaron Falk 2) 🙂 🙂 🙂
The Lost Man  🙂 🙂 🙂
The Survivors  😀 😀 😀 😀

Harris, Joanne

Different Class  😀 😀 😀 🙂

Hayder, Mo

Wolf (Jack Caffrey 7)  😦 😦

Hayes, Samantha

Until You’re Mine (DI Lorraine Fisher 1)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Before You Die (DI Lorraine Fisher 2)  😦 😦

Haynes, Elizabeth

Under a Silent Moon 😀 😀 😀 😀

Helton, Peter

Indelible (A Chris Honeysett Mystery)  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂
A Good Way to Go  😀 😀 😀 😀

Henderson, Donald

A Voice Like Velvet  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Hewson, David

A Season for the Dead (Nic Costa 1) 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
The Villa of Mysteries (Nic Costa 2)  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Highsmith, Patricia

Strangers on a Train  😀 😀 😀 😀

Hill, Reginald

A Clubbable Woman (Dalziel and Pascoe 1)  😀 😀 😀 😀
An Advancement of Learning (Dalziel and Pascoe 2)
  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂
Ruling Passion (Dalziel and Pascoe 3)  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂
An April Shroud (Dalziel and Pascoe 4)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
A Pinch of Snuff (Dalziel and Pascoe 5)  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂
A Killing Kindness (Dalziel and Pascoe 6)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Deadheads (Dalziel and Pascoe 7)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Exit Lines (Dalziel and Pascoe 8)  😀 😀 😀 😀
Child’s Play (Dalziel and Pascoe 9)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Under World (Dalziel and Pascoe 10)  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂
Bones and Silence (Dalziel and Pascoe 11  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

The Last National Service Man (Dalziel and Pascoe short story) 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Hogan, Phil

A Pleasure and a Calling  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Holt, Anne

Blessed Are Those Who Thirst (Hanne Wilhelmsen 2)  😀 😀 😀 🙂
Death of the Demon (Hanne Wilhelmsen 3)  😀 😀 😀 😀

Horowitz, Anthony

The House of Silk 😀 😀 😀 😀
Magpie Murders  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Moriarty  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Word is Murder  🙂 🙂 🙂

Horst, Jørn Lier

The Cabin (Cold Case Quartet 2)  😐 😐
The Katharina Code (William Wisting 12)  😀 😀 😀 😀

Hull, Richard

Excellent Intentions  😀 😀 🙂
The Murder of My Aunt  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Iles, Francis

Malice Aforethought  🙂 🙂 🙂

Innes, Michael

Death at the President’s Lodging (Inspector Appleby 1)  😦

Ison, Graham

Hardcastle’s Quartet  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

James, PD

The Mistletoe Murders and Other Stories  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂

James, Peter

Want You Dead (Roy Grace 10)  🙂 🙂 🙂

Jónasson, Ragnar

Snowblind (Dark Iceland 1)  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂
Nightblind (Dark Iceland 5) 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Jones, Susanna

The Earthquake Bird  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Kelly, Erin

He Said/She Said  🙂 🙂 😐
The Ties that Bind  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Kelly, Mary

The Christmas Egg  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Spoilt Kill  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Kidd, Jess

Himself  😀 😀 😀 🙂

Kim, Un-Su

The Plotters  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂

Kinberg, Margot

A Matter of Motive (Patricia Stanley 1)  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂
Downfall (Joel Williams 4)  😀 😀 😀 😀
Past Tense (Joel Williams 3)  😀 😀 😀 😀

King, C. Daly

The Curious Mr Tarrant  😐 😐

King, Laurie R

The Bones of Paris (Harris Stuyvesant 2)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

King, Laurie R and Klinger, Leslie S, eds.

Echoes of Sherlock Holmes  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂

Koch, Herman

The Dinner  😀 😀 😀 😀
Summer House with Swimming Pool  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Komar, Debra

Black River Road  😀 😀 😀 😀

Läckberg, Camilla

The Ice Princess (Patrik Hedström and Erica Falck 1)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Stranger
(Patrik Hedström and Erica Falck 4)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Lane, Harriet

Her 😐 😐 😐

le Carré, John

The Spy Who Came In from the Cold  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂

Leon, Donna

By Its Cover (Commissario Brunetti 23)  😀 😀 😀 😀
Falling in Love (Commissario Brunetti 24)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Leroux, Gaston

The Mystery of the Yellow Room  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Locke, Attica

Bluebird, Bluebird  😀 😀 😀 😀

Loder, Vernon

The Shop Window Murders  😀 😀 🙂

Lombard, Nap

Murder’s A Swine  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂

Lorac, ECR

Bats in the Belfry  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Checkmate to Murder  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂
Fell Murder  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂
Fire in the Thatch  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Murder by Matchlight  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Murder in the Mill-Race  😀 😀 😀 😀
Two-Way Murder  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Lowndes, Marie Belloc

The Chianti Flask  😀 😀 😀 😀
The Lodger  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

McBain, Ed

Cop Hater (87th Precinct 1)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Mugger (87th Precinct 2)  🙂 🙂 🙂

McBeth, Colette

The Life I Left Behind  😐 😐

MacBride, Stuart

All That’s Dead (Logan McRae 12)  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂
Close to the Bone (Logan McRae 8)  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

McCrery, Nigel

Silent Witnesses: A History of Forensic Science  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

McDermid, Val

A Darker Domain (Karen Pirie 2)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Broken Ground (Karen Pirie 5)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Out of Bounds (Karen Pirie 4)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Skeleton Road (Karen Pirie 3)  😀 😀 😀 😀

McHugh, Laura

The Weight of Blood  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

McIlvanney, Liam

Where the Dead Men Go (Conway Trilogy 2)  😀 😀 😀 😀

McIlvanney, William

Laidlaw (Laidlaw Trilogy 1)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Papers of Tony Veitch (Laidlaw Trilogy 2)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Strange Loyalties (Laidlaw Trilogy 3)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

McKinty, Adrian

The Cold, Cold Ground (Sean Duffy 1)  🙂 🙂 🙂
I Hear the Sirens in the Street (Sean Duffy 2)  🙂 🙂 🙂 😐

MacLean, Shona (previously SG)

The Redemption of Alexander Seaton  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Seeker  🙂 🙂

Maitland, Iain

Sweet William  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Malliet, GM

Wicked Autumn (Max Tudor 1)  🙂 🙂 🙂

Mangan, Christine

Tangerine  😦

Mark, David

Original Skin (Aector McAvoy 2)  😦

Marklund, Liza

The Long Shadow (Annika Bengtzon 8)  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Mason, AEW

At the Villa Rose  😀 😀 😀 😀

May, Peter

The Blackhouse (Lewis Trilogy 1)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Lewis Man (Lewis Trilogy 2)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

The Chessmen (Lewis Trilogy 3)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Dry Bones (Enzo Files 1)  😀 😀 😀 😀

Cast Iron (Enzo Files 6)  😀 😀 😀 😀
The Ghost Marriage (China Thrillers)  😀 😀 😀 😀
Coffin Road 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Entry Island  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
I’ll Keep You Safe  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Man With No Face  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Runaway 😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂

Mayhew, Margaret

The Seventh Link  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Mazzola, Anna

The Story Keeper  😀 😀 😀 😀

Medawar, Tony

Bodies from the Library 2 (editor)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Bodies from the Library 3 (editor)  🙂 🙂 🙂

Melville, Alan

Quick Curtain  😦 😦
Weekend at Thrackley  🙂 🙂 😐

Meredith, Anne

Portrait of a Murderer  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Messent, Peter

The Crime Fiction Handbook  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Millar, Margaret

The Listening Walls  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Milne, AA

The Red House Mystery  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Mina, Denise

Conviction  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂
The Less Dead  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂

The Long Drop  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Minato, Kanae

Confessions  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Penance  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Molay, Frédérique

The 7th Woman (Paris Homicide 1)  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Moriarty, Liane

Little Lies  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Motion, Andrew

Silver: Return to Treasure Island 😀 😀 😀 😀
The New World  😀 😀 😀 😀

Mukherjee, Abir

A Rising Man (Sam Wyndham 1)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
A Necessary Evil (Sam Wyndham 2) 😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂
Smoke and Ashes (Sam Wyndham 3)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Neary, Annemarie

Siren  🙂 🙂 😐

Nesbo, Jo

The Son  🙂 🙂 🙂

Norman, Charity

The Secrets of Strangers  😀 😀 😀 😀

North, Gil

The Methods of Sergeant Cluff  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Sergeant Cluff Stands Firm
  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Oates, Joyce Carol

Jack of Spades  😐 😐

O’Connell, Carol

The Chalk Girl (Mallory 10)  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
Judas Child  😀 😀 😀

Orczy, Baroness

The Case of Miss Elliot  😀 😀 😀 🙂

O’Shea, Caleigh

Unplayable Lie  😀 😀 😀 😀

Oxenham, John

A Mystery of the Underground  😀 😀 😀 😀

Parris, SJ

Execution (Giordano Bruno 6)  😐 😐

Paull, Laline

The Ice  🙂 🙂

Persson, Leif GW

Falling Freely, As If In A Dream  😀 😀 😀 🙂

Phillips, Joanne

Murder at the Maples (Flora Lively 1)  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Phillpotts, Eden

The Red Redmaynes  😀 😀 😀 😀

Poe, Edgar Allan

The Purloined Letter  😦 😦

Ponsor, Michael

The Hanging Judge  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂

Post, Nina

Danger in Cat World  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Postgate, Raymond

Somebody at the Door  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Verdict of Twelve  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Proctor, Elaine

The Savage Hour  😀 😀 😀 😀

Qiu, Xiaolong

Death of a Red Heroine (Inspector Chen 1)  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂

Rankin, Ian

Saints of the Shadow Bible (Rebus 19)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Even Dogs in the Wild (Rebus 20)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Rather Be the Devil (Rebus 21)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Beat Goes On: The Complete Rebus Stories  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
OxCrimes (introduction to anthology)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Westwind  🙂 🙂 😐

Rash, Ron

Serena  😦 😦

Rhodes, Kate

The Winter Foundlings (Alice Quentin 3)  🙂 🙂 😐

Rhys, Rachel

A Dangerous Crossing  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Fatal Inheritance  😀 😀 😀 🙂

Rindell, Suzanne

The Other Typist  😀 😀 😀 😀

Robertson, Craig

The Last Refuge 🙂 🙂 🙂

Robins, Jane

The Curious Habits of Doctor Adams: A 1950s Murder Mystery  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Magnificent Spilsbury and the Case of the Brides in the Bath  😀 😀 😀 🙂
White Bodies  😀 😀 😀 😀

Robotham, Michael

The Suspect (Joe O’Loughlin 1)  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
Lost (Joe O’Loughlin 2)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

The Night Ferry
  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Watching You (Joe O’Loughlin 6)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Close Your Eyes (Joe O’Loughlin)  😀 😀 😀 😀
Life or Death  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Rolls, Anthony

Family Matters  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂
Scarweather  😀 😀 😀 🙂

Runcie, James

Sydney Chambers and the Shadow of Death  😀 😀 😀 😀

Rutland, Harriet

Knock, Murderer, Knock  😀 😀 😀 😀

Sanclemente, J

You Have to Tell  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Sandrolini, John

One for Our Baby 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Sansom, CJ

Dissolution (Matthew Shardlake 1)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Dark Fire (Matthew Shardlake 2)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Sovereign (Matthew Shardlake 3)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Revelation (Matthew Shardlake 4)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Lamentation (Matthew Shardlake 6)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Tombland (Matthew Shardlake 7)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Dominion  😀 😀 😀 😀

Savage, Angela

Behind the Night Bazaar (Jayne Keeney 1)  😀 😀 😀 😀

Sayers, Dorothy L

Clouds of Witness (Lord Peter Wimsey 2)  😐 😐
The Fantastic Horror of the Cat in the Bag  😀 😀 😀 🙂

Schmidt, Sarah

See What I Have Done  😦

Shaw, William

Deadland (DS Alex Cupidi 2)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Sherez, Stav

A Dark Redemption (Carrigan and Miller 1)  😀 😀 😀 😀
Eleven Days (Carrigan and Miller 2)  😀 😀 😀 😀

Sigurdardóttir, Yrsa

The Legacy (Children’s House 1)  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂
Someone to Watch Over Me  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

The Undesired  😀 😀 😀 🙂

Silver, Elizabeth L

The Execution of Noa P. Singleton  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Simenon, Georges

Pietr the Latvian (Maigret 1) 🙂 🙂 🙂
Cécile is Dead (Maigret 20)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Maigret Takes a Room (Maigret 37)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Maigret and the Tall Woman (Maigret 38)  😀 😀 😀 😀
Maigret’s Revolver (Maigret 40)  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂
Maigret and the Reluctant Witnesses (Maigret 53)  😀 😀 😀 😀
Maigret and the Ghost (Maigret 62)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Man from London  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂

Sims, George

The End of the Web  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Sims, Michael

The Dead Witness  😀 😀 😀 🙂

Skelton, Douglas

Open Wounds (Davie McCall 4)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Slaughter, Karin

False Witness 😦

Smith, Dwayne Alexander

Forty Acres  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Spielberg, Cristoph

He Who Dies Last  🙂 🙂 🙂

Spillane, Mickey

I, the Jury  😀 😀 😀 😀

Spjut, Stefan

The Shapeshifters  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Sprigg, Christopher St. John

Death of an Airman  😀 😀 😀 😀

Stapleton, Susannah

The Adventures of Maud West, Lady Detective by Susannah Stapleton  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Stashower, Daniel

The Hour of Peril  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Starrett, Vincent

The Taggart Assignment  😀 😀 😀 😀

Steadman, Bernie

Death on Dartmoor (Dan Hellier 2)  😀 😀 😀 😀

Steadman, Catherine

The Disappearing Act  😀 😀 😀 😀

Stone, Lisa

Taken  😀 😀 😀 😀

Stout, Rex

Murder Is No Joke  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Stratmann, Linda

The Secret Poisoner  😀 😀 😀 🙂

Summerscale, Kate

The Wicked Boy  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Sundstøl, Vidar

The Land of Dreams (Minnesota Trilogy 1)  😦 😦

Symons, Julian

The Belting Inheritance  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Colour of Murder  😀 😀 😀 😀
The Progress of a Crime  🙂 🙂 🙂

Teodorescu, Bogdan

Sword  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Tey, Josephine

The Franchise Affair  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Theorin, Johan

Echoes from the Dead (Öland Quartet 1)  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂
The Voices Beyond (Öland Quartet 4)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Asylum 😀 😀 😀 😀

Toobin, Jeffrey

American Heiress: The Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Tremayne, Peter

The Spiteful Shadow  😀 😀 😀 😀

Trow, MJ

Crimson Rose (Kit Marlowe 5)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Traitor’s Storm (Kit Marlowe 6) 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Turow, Scott

Identical  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Testimony  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Unger, Lisa

In the Blood  🙂 🙂 🙂 😐

Van Ash, Cay

Ten Years Beyond Baker Street  😀 😀 😀 😀

Viner, PD

The Last Winter of Dani Lancing  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

von Schirach, Ferdinand

The Collini Case  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Girl Who Wasn’t There  😐 😐

Vowler, Tom

What Lies Within  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
That Dark Remembered Day  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Waites, Martyn

The Old Religion  🙂 🙂 🙂

Walker, Walter

Crime of Privilege  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Wallace, Edgar

The Four Just Men  😀 😀 😀 😀
The Stealer of Marble  😀 😀 😀 😀

Walpole, Hugh

The Killer and the Slain  😦

Ware, Ruth

The Death of Mrs Westaway  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
The Turn of the Key  🙂 🙂 🙂

Watson, Colin

Blue Murder (Flaxborough Chronicles 10)  😀 😀 😀 😀
Broomsticks Over Flaxborough (Flaxborough Chronicles 7)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Bump in the Night (Flaxborough Chronicles 2)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Lonelyheart 4122 (Flaxborough Chronicles 4)  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Watson, SJ

Second Life  🙂 🙂 😐

Watt, Douglas

Testament of a Witch (John Mackenzie 2)  😀 😀 😀 😀

Weir, Andy

The Martian  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Wells, Carolyn

Murder in the Bookshop  🙂 🙂 🙂

Wentworth, Patricia

The Black Cabinet  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

White, Ethel Lina

Some Must Watch  🙂 🙂 😐
The Wheel Spins  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

White, Gillian

Unhallowed Ground 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
Copycat 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

The Beggar Bride  😀 😀 😀 😀

The Sleeper  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

White, TH

Darkness at Pemberley  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Whitechurch, Victor L

Crime at Diana’s Pool  🙂 🙂 🙂

Whitehouse, Lucie

Critical Incidents (Robin Lyons 1)  😀 😀 😀 😀

Wilkinson, Ellen

The Division Bell Mystery  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂

Wojtas, Olga

Miss Blaine’s Prefect and the Golden Samovar 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Worsley, Lucy

A Very British Murder  😀 😀 😀 😀

Wynne, Anthony

Murder of a Lady: A Scottish Mystery  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Yokomizo, Seishi

The Honjin Murders  😀 😀 😀 😀

Yoshida, Shuichi

Villain  😀 😀 😀 😀
Parade  😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂

Zan, Koethi

The Follower  🙂 🙂 😐
The Never List  😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Zouroudi, Anne

The Messenger of Athens  😦

TBR Thursday 284…

Episode 284

I seem to have read about a zillion books in the last couple of weeks, so that even although half a zillion more have arrived, the overall result is that the TBR has plummeted by an amazing 5 to 197! And now that I’m starting my fast and furious 20 Books of Summer who knows how far it will drop??

freefall gif homer

Here are a few more that should fall off the edge soon…

NB Before I begin, an update on the Review-Along for The Silver Darlings: Rose has now received her copy and we’ve tentatively agreed a new review date of Monday 14th June, if that suits our fellow readers Christine and Alyson. Let me know if it doesn’t – otherwise brush off your notes!

Winner of the People’s Choice Poll

The Black Cabinet by Patricia Wentworth

The Black CabinetThere was never much doubt about the winner this month, People – The Black Cabinet shot into the lead in the first couple of hours and never looked back. The other three were all so far behind I can only describe them as also-rans. A good choice – it sounds like it should be fun, and it’s short! Hurrah! My faith in You, The People, is restored… 😉

The Blurb says: The lowly assistant to a London dressmaker, Chloe Dane yearns for a new life. She has bittersweet memories of being a carefree child playing hide-and-seek at Danesborough, her family’s magnificent country estate. Decades later, the ancestral mansion has been restored to its former glory—and Chloe is shocked to discover that she is the sole heir.

Danesborough is not the sun-filled, evergreen place she remembers. The trees are bare and the house is shrouded in mist. But the enormous gold-and-black lacquered Chinese cabinet in the drawing room is exactly the same. Chloe’s childhood imagination created an entire story out of the intricate carvings on the cabinet: a flowing river filled with boats and fishermen and one frightening man she called Mr. Dark.

But now, as Chloe begins to uncover Mitchell Dane’s true motives for bequeathing her the centuries-old manse, she has a very real reason to be afraid: The truth about what’s hidden in the black cabinet will soon threaten her life.

* * * * *

Fiction

Highway Blue by Ailsa McFarlane

Highway BlueCourtesy of Harvill Secker via NetGalley. Another in my bid to read more new releases, picked purely on the basis of the blurb. The early reviews are distinctly mixed… 

The Blurb says: Anne Marie is adrift San Padua, living a precarious life of shift-work and shared apartments. Her husband Cal left her on their first anniversary and two years later, she can’t move on.

When he shows up suddenly on her doorstep, clearly in some kind of trouble, she reluctantly agrees to a drink. But later that night a gun goes off in an alley near the shore and the young couple flee together, crammed into a beat up car with their broken past. Their ill-at-ease odyssey takes them across a shimmering American landscape and through the darker seams of the country, towards a city that may or may not represent salvation.

Highway Blue is a story of being lost and found; of love, in all its forms; and of how the pursuit of love is, in its turn, a kind of redemption.

* * * * *

Science Fiction

Yesterday’s Tomorrows: The Story of Science Fiction in 100 Books by Mike Ashley

Yesterday's TomorrowsCourtesy of the British Library. I’m terrified of this one! It’s similar to Martin Edwards’ The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books, which led to a new challenge and pushed my poor TBR rocketing into space. And now they’ve done the same for science fiction! Will I be able to resist yet another challenge?? I can only hope all the books sounds awful! It doesn’t say it in the blurb, but I believe the book’s focus is specifically on British science fiction (though that mention of Asimov has me wondering…)

The Blurb says: From the enrapturing tales of H. G. Wells to the punishing dystopian visions of 1984 and beyond, the evolution of science fiction from the 1890s to the 1960s is a fascinating journey to undertake. Setting out this span of years as what we can now recognize as the ‘classic’ period of the genre, Mike Ashley takes us on a tour of the stars, utopian and post-apocalyptic futures, worlds of AI run amok and techno-thriller masterpieces asking piercing questions of the present. This book does not claim to be definitive; what it does offer is an accessible view of the impressive spectrum of imaginative writing which the genre’s classic period has to offer. Towering science fiction greats such as Asimov and Aldiss run alongside the, perhaps unexpected, likes of C. S. Lewis and J. B. Priestley and celebrate a side of science fiction beyond the stereotypes of space opera and bug-eyed monsters; the side of science fiction which proves why it must continue to be written and read, so long as any of us remain in uncertain times.

* * * * *

Fiction

Shadows Over the Spanish Sun by Caroline Montague

Shadows Over the Spanish SunCourtesy of Orion via NetGalley. Another new release that caught my eye due to its Spanish Civil War connection. I have a feeling it might be going to be more romance than historical fiction, but we’ll see…

The Blurb says: Spain, 1936. Leonardo’s only connection to his past is the half medallion he wears around his neck – a painful reminder of his origins, and of the man he must fight to become. As the shadow of war falls over his beloved country, Leonardo is drawn into a desperate, forbidden love affair. But risking everything for love is a dangerous gamble, where one mistake could destroy everything…

2019. When Mia Ferris discovers that her beloved grandfather has fallen from his horse and is in need of care, she immediately flies to Spain – leaving behind her new fiancé, and her own complicated feelings. But when she discovers a photograph of an unknown woman and a bundle of old letters in her grandfather’s room, Mia must untangle a terrible history that changes everything she thought she knew.

A sweeping novel of passionate love, betrayal and redemption, set against the turmoil and tragedy of the Spanish Civil War.

* * * * *

Thriller

The Killing Kind by Jane Casey

The Killing KindCourtesy of HarperCollins via NetGalley. I love Casey’s Maeve Kerrigan series, but I’m excited to see her do a standalone thriller for a change. Early reviews are glowing…

The Blurb says: He tells you you’re special…
As a barrister, Ingrid Lewis is used to dealing with tricky clients, but no one has ever come close to John Webster. After Ingrid defended Webster against a stalking charge, he then turned on her – following her, ruining her relationship, even destroying her home.

He tells you he wants to protect you…
Now, Ingrid believes she has finally escaped his clutches. But when one of her colleagues is run down on a busy London road, Ingrid is sure she was the intended victim. And then Webster shows up at her door…

But can you believe him?
Webster claims Ingrid is in danger – and that only he can protect her. Stalker or saviour? Murderer or protector? The clock is ticking for Ingrid to decide. Because the killer is ready to strike again.

* * * * *

NB All blurbs and covers taken from Goodreads or Amazon UK.

* * * * *

So…what do you think? Are you tempted?

TBR Thursday 195…

Episode 195

On the surface, a little rise of 1 in the TBR to 231 doesn’t sound too bad, really, does it? But the underlying problem – aka the postman – means that sackfuls of books could be arriving over the next week! This happens every time I do a quarterly round-up – I get so smug about how well I’m doing, I go temporarily mad. At least, I’m hoping it’s temporarily…

Here are a few more I shall take with me to my padded cell…

True Crime

Courtesy of Random House Cornerstone via NetGalley. I know nothing about this crime, nor was I aware of Harper Lee’s ambition to write a true crime novel. But the blurb makes it sound a fascinating story…

The Blurb says: The stunning story of an Alabama serial killer and the true-crime book that Harper Lee worked on obsessively in the years after To Kill a Mockingbird.

Reverend Willie Maxwell was a rural preacher accused of murdering five of his family members for insurance money in the 1970s. With the help of a savvy lawyer, he escaped justice for years until a relative shot him dead at the funeral of his last victim. Despite hundreds of witnesses, Maxwell’s murderer was acquitted–thanks to the same attorney who had previously defended the Reverend.

Sitting in the audience during the vigilante’s trial was Harper Lee, who had travelled from New York City to her native Alabama with the idea of writing her own In Cold Blood, the true-crime classic she had helped her friend Truman Capote research seventeen years earlier. Lee spent a year in town reporting, and many more working on her own version of the case.

Now Casey Cep brings this story to life, from the shocking murders to the courtroom drama to the racial politics of the Deep South. At the same time, she offers a deeply moving portrait of one of the country’s most beloved writers and her struggle with fame, success, and the mystery of artistic creativity.

* * * * *

Vintage Crime

Courtesy of the British Library. The BL have issued three of Michael Gilbert’s books in the last couple of months, and this is the second of them. I thoroughly enjoyed Smallbone Deceased, so have high hopes for this one. The setting sounds very different to anything I’ve come across before in vintage crime. And even by the BL’s always fab standards, isn’t this the most gorgeous cover?

The Blurb says: A man is found dead in an escape tunnel beneath an Italian prisoner-of-war camp. Did he die in an accidental collapse – or was this murder? Captain Henry ‘Cuckoo’ Goyles, master tunneller and amateur detective, takes up the case.

This classic locked-room mystery with a closed circle of suspects is woven together with a thrilling story of escape from the camp, as the Second World War nears its endgame and the British prisoners prepare to flee into the Italian countryside.

* * * * *

Fantasy

Courtesy of Hodder & Stoughton via NetGalley. Fantasy? Me?? I can’t for the life of me work out why I requested this one! Probably brainwashed by the drip-drip-drip of glowing reviews I’ve read for Guy Gavriel Kay’s previous books. Well, the Renaissance Italy-style setting appeals, so we’ll see…

The Blurb says: In a chamber overlooking the night-time waterways of a maritime city, a man looks back on his youth and the people who shaped his life. Danio Cerra’s intelligence won him entry to a renowned school, though he was only the son of a tailor. He took service at the court of a ruling count – and soon learned why that man was known as The Beast.

Danio’s fate changed the moment he recognized Adria Ripoli as she entered the count’s chambers one night – intending to kill. Born to power, Adria had chosen a life of danger – and freedom – instead.

Other vivid figures share the story: a healer determined to defy her expected lot; a charming, frivolous son of immense wealth; a religious leader more decadent than devout; and, affecting these lives and many more, two mercenary commanders, whose rivalry puts a world in the balance.

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Fiction on Audio

This won the Saltire Society Literary Award for Scottish Book of the Year in 2010 – generally considered the most prestigious of Scottish literary awards. And since then, it’s gained something of a reputation as a modern classic, possibly because it caught the navel-gazing zeitgeist of Scotland in the run-up to the independence referendum. The audiobook is over 33 hours long, so at my glacial speed with audiobooks, I’m expecting to be listening to this for the next few months! 

The Blurb says: Michael Pendreich is curating an exhibition of photographs by his late, celebrated father Angus for the National Gallery of Photography in Edinburgh. The show will cover fifty years of Scottish life but, as he arranges the images and writes his catalogue essay, what story is Michael really trying to tell: his father’s, his own or that of Scotland itself? And what of the stories of the individuals captured by Angus Pendreich’s lens over all those decades? The homeless wanderer collecting pebbles; the Second World War veteran and the Asian shopkeeper, fighting to make better lives for their families; the Conservative MP with a secret passion, and his drop-out sister, vengeful against class privilege; the alcoholic intelligence officer betrayed on all sides, not least by his own inadequacy; the activists fighting for Scottish Home Rule – all have their own tales to tell. Tracing the intertwined lives of an unforgettable cast of characters, James Robertson’s new novel is a searching journey into the heart of a country of high hopes and unfulfilled dreams, private compromises and hidden agendas. Brilliantly blending the personal and the political, And The Land Stay Still sweeps away the dust and grime of the postwar years to reveal a rich mosaic of 20th-century Scottish life.

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NB All blurbs and covers taken from Goodreads, Amazon UK, Audible UK or NetGalley.

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So…what do you think? Do any of these tempt you?