Welcome to FictionFan’s Book Reviews!

I’ve been reviewing books for several years now and have got into the habit of reviewing everything I read. I do it mainly for my own pleasure, to remind me of what I liked (or didn’t) about a book, but I hope other people might find them interesting too.

My tastes tend to fluctuate over time, though there’s always a basic core mix of quality fiction, crime and factual. Currently I’m reading a lot of classics, including getting to know the classic literature of my own country, Scotland, better. In contemporary fiction, I look for books that tell me something about the world, often with a political edge.

I’ve fallen in love with all the great vintage crime that several publishers are doing  such a great job of bringing back to general notice, and am probably reading more of that at the moment than contemporary crime, although I do still read a fair amount of it too. I enjoy good historical crime – that is, where the setting is well researched and the characters’ attitudes are true to their time.

My factual reading tends to be a mix of heavyweight history, political memoirs, popular science and true crime, with some quirkier books thrown in from time to time.

In the winter months I read a lot of vintage horror, especially of the late 19th/early 20th century period, and am slowly developing a taste for weird fiction. Vintage sci-fi is another interest, particularly of the early to mid-20th century.

I cross-post my reviews to Amazon UK and Goodreads. (The Amazon links given on reviews on the blog are intended merely to be helpful. I am not an affiliate and make no money from this blog.) I am a member of NetGalley and enjoy the wide range of titles they offer. And they give me badges…

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I don’t participate in blog tours or any other form of advertising. I do take review copies from publishers from time to time and always state this when I review the books. As always, my reviews reflect my honest opinion. I regret that I won’t accept requests for reviews.

Please browse the site and I’d love to hear what you think of the blog, the reviews or the books, so all comments will be gladly received.

161 thoughts on “About

  1. Hmmmm….something weird has happened…I’ve been wondering if all is ok with you as you’ve been very quiet for ages….or so I thought…for some reason my “follow” of you got undone. I have no idea why…makes me worry about who else is “quiet” at the moment but actually a glitch in the follows. So, sorry that I’ve missed your posts – I’ll be catching up again. I should be following you again.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi there. I can’t find any contact details for you so am posting my request here. I am writing a review of Emilie Conway’s concert set “You Won’t Forget Me”, her tribute to Maeve Brennan. The best photograph I have been able to find for Ms Brennan is the one used in your piece about her from 1st August 2014. I would love to use that in my own piece and wonder if you know from whom I need to obtain permission for such use. Please reply to me at flparker1941@gmail.com.
    I intend to publish my review later today at my WP site: https://flparker.com


    • Thank you! Haha – it was only after I’d set up my blog that I discovered how creative and inventive everyone else is with their blog names. Oh well! 😉


  3. […] Fiction Fan wrote about her cats being named after Tommy and Tuppence (an Agatha Christie detective duo), and Dora shared an anecdote about her mom introducing her to the great Dame Christie: “My mother was originally the one who read everything she’s written (or at least tried), she talked about them a lot and she has I think more than 60 of her books, so naturally when I was old enough to finally read them (12 maybe) I don’t even know which one of us was more excited!” […]

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love the photograph of your cat! It drew me to you from Neeru’s blog. I am also a fan of Scotland. One tip: people often misuse “crime” as a synonym for mystery…. but it is only one kind. My favourite is non-crime mysteries; actual mystery-solving adventures! I don’t think anyone means to exclude it when they say they read “crime”, instead of mystery as a whole. Great examples of those who have authored pure mysteries are: Robin Sloan, Chris Grabenstein, Simone St. James, Augusta Huiell Seaman, Lyn Hamilton, Kate Morton. Sincerely, Carolyn.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you – she looks so sweet, but looks can be deceptive… 😉 Ha, yes, I tend to use crime and mystery interchangeably or to see mystery as a sub-genre of crime rather than the other way round. Probably, I think, because I read so much contemporary crime for years where often there isn’t a huge mystery element, not of the traditional clues/red herrings kind anyway. But now that I’m reading more vintage crime again they most definitely are more mystery than crime.

      Thanks for popping in and welcome to the blog! 😀


  5. Eek, mystery is surely the umbrella that comes first: solving a question. Solving crimes is one possibility but it is the mystery genre either way. I love old authors and books too and am a physical book person, as my cats would tell you. But the more they are about any mission or goal besides crimes, the better. Thank you for finding my blog as well. Readership matters to writers!


    • Haha, I guess it’s a matter of what kind of crime/mystery novel you read most of. I mostly read paper books, but I love my Kindle too and have recently been getting into audiobooks though I still have to work quite hard at keeping my concentration for them. I hope you’ll feel like blogging again at some point – it’s such a great way of making connections with people who share a love for books! 😀


      • I read mysteries all the time. Sometimes there is a crime in those mysteries. That is the best way one can clarify it.

        I do indeed blog. I do not jot things down weekly like some folks “just because” but save it for articles that come to mind. I have replied at my account just now more thoroughly, three other reasons have made my articles more sporadic than usual.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Love the blog! Because of your notes on the Wind in the Willows, I was able to find a version that was *not* vilely eviscerated (really, what was the logic?!) so I could read it to her as it *should* be read, so, thank you!

    I made an unpleasant (to me) discovery a few months ago, and I was curious if you would take a look at it. It *is* a children’s book, but a classic — Emil and the Detectives, by Erich Kastner. I read it as a child, and even then, granted, the language was dated, but all the names remained in the original German and it *felt* like the era in which it was set. I proceeded to buy the Kindle version (again, wanting to read it to my daughter) only to discover, to my horror, that they had translated all the names, many of which are fine in German but in English, translate to things like ‘Mr. Tableleg.’ (No kidding.) They even messed up the name of Emil’s cousin Pony – instead of Pony Hutchen, she’s ‘Pony the Hat’. ARRRGH!

    But, I have to admit, I *hate* abridgments, updates, and changes, and I don’t know if the modernization and translation would have made it more appealing to others.

    If you get a chance and can take a look at it, I’d love a second opinion here. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for popping in and commenting. I haven’t read Emil and the Detectives before, so I had a look at the “look inside” feature of the Kindle version. In the one I found, they do seem to be calling the characters by their original names – Pony Hutchen, etc – but for some obscure reason they seem to have changed the money into British currency. I assume it was German currency in the original, and that seems a very odd change. It’s as if they underestimate children’s ability to cope with unfamiliar words and concepts, but that always makes me wonder how they expect children to learn. It was by coming across unfamiliar things and either asking an adult or looking them up in a dictionary or encyclopaedia that we used to expand our understanding of the world. Like you, I don’t know why they do it. I don’t imagine for one moment that today’s children are any less capable of processing new information than children of earlier generations.


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