Thursday, November 29, 2012

{misc.} a liebster award


As I wrote last Thursday, I was lucky enough to be tagged for the 7x7 link award by Danielle (A Work in Progress) and for The Liebster Award by Helen (A Gallimaufry). Last week I answered the 7x7 link's tricky questions. Today is the the turn of The Liebster Award: "The Liebster Award is given to web-logs with fewer than 200 followers. You answer the seven questions posed by the person who gave you the award, and then devise a further seven which you give to seven people to whom you in turn award the Liebster."

It's a nice idea, isn't it, and a chance to get to know one's fellow bloggers a little better?

Source: google.com via skiourophile 

Helen has set me these seven questions:

1. Describe your ideal home library/study: I live in a messy Victorian house with a messy family of messy book lovers. A bit like this:


I often dream of living in an empty white box. Like this:


(OK, it has a few books in it.) Or this?


In an ideal world, I would have a room for all my books together: a proper library room. The shelves would stretch to the ceiling. There would be aisles and aisles and aisles. No book would suffer the indignity of being stored in a box in the shed. And, like Helen at A Gallimaufry, I would want a ladder in this room to z-o-o-m along the shelves.

Z-o-o-m...


(Or maybe not.)  

To go with my library, I would require a dedicated room for reading and thinking: a comfortable chair with a colourful crochet cushion; excellent lighting, natural and artificial; wooden boards; white walls; a sprinkling of my favourite art works; a bar cart (gilt [oh the guilt!] with wheels); window boxes of white geraniums in our hot summer, pink cyclamen in autumn/winter, and yellow and white narcissi in spring. At frequent intervals I will be brought cups of Earl Grey tea and, I think, shortbread. Perhaps the occasional tarte au citron. A ginger cat will slumber peacefully on the floor (I'd rotate the ginger cats each day).




2. With which literary character would you spend a week’s holiday in the location of your choice? Oooooh... 
Paris with Zazie
The Austrian Tyrol with Jo
Capri with Axel [disqualified as he's real?]? 
Prince Edward Island with Anne
Melbourne with Phryne
Sydney with Rowly
Greece with Hermes
Rome with Daisy (and plenty of quinine)? 
London with Miss Pettigrew
New York with the girls of The Group & The Best of Everything?

(N.Y. might require more comfortable shoes)

3. Name two new authors whose work you think will last the test of time, and explain your choices. No, sorry, pass. I almost always read authors who have already stood the test of time. Or else I read books where it isn't important to me that they don't stand the test of time.

4. If you could live in a novel, which one would it be and why? One would have to choose carefully. I like having hot water and decent plumbing and reliable refrigeration and the right to vote and own property. I would prefer not to have to fend off vampires or zombies or Hounds of the Baskervilles. I like cities. Ideally I'd live in a really good hotel. The climate shouldn't be too hot. I'm going to need some help here....! 


At Bertram's Hotel? (But I might get murdered.) 
At Hotel du Lac? (But I might die of boredom.) 
Grand Hotel? (But an impoverished aristocrat might steal my baubles.)

 



5. Is there a literature from a particular time and place (medieval Chinese, nineteenth-century Russian for instance) which is a favourite of yours? The ancient (classical) world, which I studied at university, and on which I still do a bit of work.


6. What book have you read in the last year or so which you feel so evangelical about you would press it on everyone you meet? Joanna and Ulysses, by May Sarton. It is a beautiful little book about escape, renewal, Greece, and the importance of having a dream. And it has a donkey in it!


7. If you had to memorise a novel or book of poetry to preserve it à la Fahrenheit 451, which would it be and why? Memorise?! Well that removes my desert island book from the list: the Oxford English Dictionary with all of the volumes shrunk into two and a big magnifying glass.


How about Oedipus Rex by Sophocles (though I feel really bad about abandoning Shakespeare to the flames): an incredibly powerful and timeless story about fate and personal responsibility. I suspect we'll need to remind ourselves about personal responsibility should we find ourselves in a book-burning era.

Oedipus. He had cat problems:

Gustave Moreau 'Oedipus and the Sphinx' (1864). 

Now I should pass the Liebster Award on to seven other people, but everyone seems to have done it now on the blogs I read. If you'd like to answer the questions, please do, and let me know how you go! Thank you Helen for tagging me - I really enjoyed doing this.

Monday, November 26, 2012

{review} tinker tailor soldier spy

John Le Carré Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (1974)

   
‘It is sheer vanity to believe that one, fat, middle-aged spy is the only person capable of holding the world together,’ he would tell himself.
I recently watched the 2011 film of this classic spy novel, and it made me want to read the novel again. I thought that the film was beautiful to watch, but was for the most part a triumph of aesthetic vision over source faithfulness. Gary Oldman (dreadful make-up) wasn't a patch on Alec Guinness' grim Smiley in the TV miniseries. But, oh it was so pretty to watch in all its so-coordinated browns and greys. It really glorified a very ugly era in interior design. And Colin Firth was extraordinarily good...

Gratuitous Colin Firth picture (source)

The book has stuck in my mind for a long time. I think I read it sometime in the mid-1980s (and, thus, in my mid-teens). It is for me the spy novel to which I compare all subsequent spy novels: beautifully written, intricately fashioned, and deeply melancholic. Spying as a dirty game has never been so sordidly exposed.
Small, podgy and at best middle-aged, he was by appearance one of London’s meek who do not inherit the earth. His legs were short, his gait anything but agile, his dress costly, ill-fitting and extremely wet.
George Smiley, unwillingly retired from the spy game, is brought back to investigate what he and his former chief had long suspected - that there is a mole in the service of the Russians in the secret service 'Circus'. What follows is a slow and almost unsuspenseful unravelling of the past as Smiley - "a shy man, for all his vanities, and one who expected very little communication" - digs into botched operations, personal failures and treacheries, both small and large, in his personal mission to find which one of his colleagues is the mole established by the legendary Russian spymaster Karla. The action is very quiet, almost dull. It is as far from James Bond action spy thriller as one might get.
His mood was subdued, even a little glum. Like an actor he had a sense of approaching anti-climax before the curtain went up, a sense of great things dwindling to a small, mean end; as death itself seemed small and mean to him after the struggles of his life. He had no sense of conquest that he knew of. His thoughts, as often when he was afraid, concerned people. He had no theories or judgments in particular. He simply wondered how everyone would be affected; and he felt responsible.
If you liked this: I want to read Len Deighton's trilogy (Berlin Game; Mexico Set; London Match) again. They come closest to Le Carré for extraordinarily good writing about the bleak, internalized life of desk-bound spy on a hopeless mole-hunt.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

{misc.} 7x7 link award

I've been a bad person. 

Way, way, way back in April, Danielle of A Work in Progress - one my favourite blogs - was kind enough to tag me in the 7x7 link award. At the time I was writing a conference paper, planning my trip to Europe for said conference, and basically running around like a headless chicken. I put Danielle's post carefully to one side with a star in google reader. Last week I finally managed to pare my stars all the way back to less than 15 items (miracle! I had to tear myself away from Pinterest to do this too: double miracle!), and there it was: that abandoned 7X7 link, silently remonstrating my neglect.  

Coincidentally, the other day Helen at A Gallimaufry (surely the top name for a blog ever?) tagged me for a Liebster Award: "The Liebster Award is given to web-logs with fewer than 200 followers. You answer the seven questions posed by the person who gave you the award, and then devise a further seven which you give to seven people to whom you in turn award the Liebster." 

Only a reckless fool would ignore the coincidence of all these SEVENS. So, today: the 7x7 link award; next Thursday, the Liebster award. And thank you very much, two lovely bloggers, for thinking of me.


The 7x7 rules are: 

1: Tell everyone something about yourself that nobody else knows. Ah, well.,that is easy. *throws back cloak & removes mask* [dramatic pause] My name is Vicki. There! Easy, wasn't it?  

2: Link to a post you think fits the following categories: The Most Beautiful Piece, Most Helpful Piece, Most Popular Piece, Most Controversial Piece, Most Surprisingly Successful Piece, Most Underrated Piece, Most Pride-worthy Piece

This is tricky

The Most Popular PieceMost Surprisingly Successful Piece, and Most Helpful Piece can be combined (and if there was a Most Shamefully Crabbed from Google Piece, this could go in too): for 2011's Paris in July (a wonderfully fun event run by BookBath and Thyme for Tea), I cobbled together a few bits and pieces on Apollinaire's Calligrammes. These are lovely little word pictures ('concrete' or 'visual' poems) like this:


I now live in profound depression that so many people (students?) are using my cut-and-paste job for study purposes. It's not scholarship, folks! It's just a bit of fun! Do your own work! For all you know, I mightn't recognize Apollinaire if I fell over him! [etc.]

The Most Beautiful Piece: reviewing is a terribly subjective business, and I am too cynical and too inclined to laugh inappropriately to ever be a Beautiful Writer. However, if I am allowed to suggest my Most Affectionately Written Pieces, we'd have my reviews of Cluny Brown, To War With Whitaker, Daddy-Long-Legs (incidentally, my 2nd most popular post ever), or The Debt to Pleasure

The Most Controversial Piece: controversial for me? There are the reviews in which I DO NOT LIKE I CAPTURE THE CASTLE (*ducks*), struggle to be polite about the narcissistic The Hare with Amber Eyes, and cannot make friends with My Mother's Wedding Dress. These are books that not reviewing would have saved me from controversy. Controversial in subject-matter? How about the one about vibrators

The Most Underrated Piece: my review of A Woman in Berlin is underrated from my own perspective (i.e. I underrated my ability to review it). I had a lot of trouble capturing the tone I needed to coolly assess the truly horrible things that this book described. The review feels a bit emotionally-vacuum-sealed to me. One that I think came off better in tone was my review of Nightwood, Djuna Barnes' intensely puzzling book. This might be an underrated review of an underrated novel. 

The Most Pride-Worthy Piece: there are a couple of pieces I look back on and think that I put a lot of effort into trying to be clear about why this book touched a chord with me. These posts took effort (and are, not uncoincidentally, among my first few posts): The Greengage Summer (and I'm proud to be an early Rumer Godden fan ) and Grand Hotel

3: Pass this on to 7 fellow bloggers. I'm going to cheat here - if you'd like to get some things off your chest by doing the 7 x 7 link, please consider this an invitation (and do let me know!). 

Thank you, Danielle, for making me have a good look back over the past two and a bit years! I know you love books and embroidery, so here is a small, pictorial THANK YOU in embroidered books:



Monday, November 19, 2012

{review} too many cousins?

Louisa May Alcott Eight Cousins, or The Aunt-Hill (1875)
Louisa May Alcott Rose in Bloom (1876)

(I downloaded both of these for free from girlebooks)

"Well, now, there is one very excellent, necessary, and womanly accomplishment that no girl should be without, for it is a help to rich and poor, and the comfort of families depends upon it. This fine talent is neglected nowadays, and considered old-fashioned, which is a sad mistake, and one that I don't mean to make in bringing up my girl. It should be a part of every girl's education, and I know of a most accomplished lady who will teach you in the best and pleasantest manner."
"Oh, what is it?" cried Rose eagerly, charmed to be met in this helpful and cordial way.
"Housekeeping!" answered Dr. Alec.
"Is that an accomplishment?" asked Rose, while her face fell, for she had indulged in all sorts of vague, delightful dreams.
"Yes; it is one of the most beautiful as well as useful of all the arts a woman can learn. Not so romantic, perhaps, as singing, painting, writing, or teaching, even; but one that makes many happy and comfortable, and home the sweetest place in the world. Yes, you may open your big eyes; but it is a fact that I had rather see you a good housekeeper than the greatest belle in the city. It need not interfere with any talent you may possess, but it is a necessary part of your training, and I hope that you will set about it at once, now that you are well and strong."
In general, I do like old sentimental, morally improving young adult books with a touch of romance. I sometimes suspect that one gets more from them as an adult, too. Yet, for me, these two classics of nineteenth century American fiction did not jell. I felt, as I was reading, that I had passed too far beyond youthful innocence to believe in the characters' intensely black-and-white morality. The tactile relationship of Rose with her guardian and uncle Alec also seemed a little icky. Although I understand that different times have different customs - and also factor in the sentimentalization of children and infantilization of women - I started to get quite cross with myself for not being able to suspend judgement and for being so horribly cynical. It crossed a line for me - something which, of course, certainly says more about me than about Eight Cousins. 
Diving into one of the trunks that stood in a corner, he brought up, after a brisk rummage, a silken cushion, prettily embroidered, and a quaint cup of dark carved wood. "This will do for a start," he said, as he plumped up the cushion and dusted the cup. "It won't do to begin too energetically, or Rose will be frightened. I must beguile her gently and pleasantly along till I've won her confidence, and then she will be ready for anything."
Eight Cousins is the story of 13 year old orphan and heiress Rose Campbell, who comes to live with her guardian Uncle Alec (a doctor) in a town (Boston?) with - as the title (and subtitle The Aunt-Hill) suggests - a large number of aunts and cousins. Rose is a sickly specimen and Uncle Alec experiments on her with all his ideas of how young girls ought to be turned into healthy women. No tight undies, simple clothes, lots of running around, no coffee (she is to milk the cow for her morning milk), and definitely no racy French novels.   
"Upon my word, Rosy, I begin to feel like the man who bought an elephant, and then didn't know what to do with him. I thought I had got a pet and plaything for years to come; but here you are growing up like a bean-stalk, and I shall find I've got a strong-minded little woman on my hands before I can turn round. There's predicament for a man and an uncle!"
I finally found something to agree with, however:
"If you dear little girls would only learn what real beauty is, and not pinch and starve and bleach yourselves out so, you'd save an immense deal of time and money and pain. A happy soul in a healthy body makes the best sort of beauty for man or woman. Do you understand that, my dear?"
Rose gets into tiny bits of strife (I prefer L. M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables for properly excellent and amusing strife), all of which teach her to become a more giving (i.e. sacrificing) person (in the sick-room, for instance). She is "rather fond of telling instructive tales". The message of sacrifice (women's sacrifice) is blunt (the talented singer - and former kitchen-maid Phebe - will sacrifice her career for love).
But Uncle Alec lifted up the bent head and, looking into the eyes that met his frankly, though either held a tear, he said, with the energy that always made his words remembered: "My little girl, I would face a dozen storms far worse than this to keep your soul as stainless as snow, for it is the small temptations which undermine integrity unless we watch and pray and never think them too trivial to be resisted." Some people would consider Dr. Alec an overcareful man, but Rose felt that he was right, and when she said her prayers that night, added a meek petition to be kept from yielding to three of the small temptations which beset a rich, pretty, and romantic girl extravagance, coquetry, and novel reading.

Rose in Bloom has a different feel from Eight Cousins. This may be because Eight Cousins was published serially, but also perhaps because it is more overtly romantic in tenor. Rose returns home after a few years abroad with Uncle Alec. She is now turning twenty-one and is a good catch for a young man in search of a fortune. Her uncle has put the kibosh on her studying medicine, as he "thought it wouldn't do to have so many M.D.'s in one family" (hmmm...). Again, the morality is spectacularly strait-laced (one naughty suitor is killed off for liking a drink or two) as we follow Rose as she tries to make herself into a philanthropist (learning she should not expect gratitude for "saving Magdalens and teaching convicts") and attempts to find a mate who embodies moral perfection, can write poetry, and looks like her uncle. (Consanguinity is not a problem...)
"Dear love! I will. But I have no fear, except that you will fly too high for me to follow, because I have no wings."
"You shall live the poetry, and I will write it, so my little gift will celebrate your greater one."

"No you shall have all the fame, and I'll be content to be known only as the poet's wife."
"And I'll be proud to own that my best inspiration comes from the beneficent life of a sweet and noble woman."
"Oh, [redacted]! We'll work together and try to make the world better by the music and the love we leave behind us when we go."
In sum... My criticism of the Rose books has been shallow, I know. I wish I'd read these as a teen. A lot of stuff would have passed happily over my head, and I suspect I would have retained the same fondness that I have for Anne of Green Gables. I don't remember feeling this uncomfortable about Little Women, although the sacrificial elements did annoy the hell out of me. 

Incidentally... I have no aunts, uncles or cousins. None.

If you liked this...  anything by L. M. Montgomery. (I adored The Blue Castle {REVIEW}). Also, while reading Rose in Bloom, I thought that I was sadly lacking any Thoreau street cred. Good Thoreau advice: "Read the best books first, or you may not have a chance to read them at all."

Monday, November 12, 2012

{review} lace

Shirley Conran Lace (1982)

    
Lili’s eyes did not glisten. They glared. They projected rage and fury. For a moment the star stood silent as she surveyed the four older women: Kate in her mulberry suit by the door; Pagan in pink, sprawled across the apricot cushions; Maxine poised, porcelain cup in one hand, the saucer held on her blue silk lap; Judy in brown velvet, on the edge of the sofa with shoulders hunched, hands under her chin, elbows on her knees, scowling right back at Lili. Then Lili spoke. “All right,” she said, “which one of you bitches is my mother?”
I didn't read Lace as a teenager, although - thanks to the public library - I did devour my fair share of bonkbusters by Judith Krantz (the unforgettable Princess Daisy, for instance; and if you haven't read Clive James' review of this in the LRB, you MUST MUST MUST!). 

When Lace was reissued I thought that this was my chance to recover a bit of my lost prurient teenaged years. And, in that sense, the reissue of Lace as an e-book is perfect, for no one can tell what you are reading. 

Yet, I don't think one should be too ashamed of adding it to one's reading list. As Desperate Reader has written in her fine review, Lace remains an important and relevant book for women. The dangers, prejudices and active discrimination that these women faced from the 1950s to 1980s still remain relevant, and Lace is a book that celebrates what women can achieve despite the odds. It also celebrates the power of female friendship and the value of female independence.

To bring you up to speed, five women dominate Lace. Four of them meet at finishing school in Switzerland: Maxine, who will become a French countess and chateau-restorer and fan of having couturier clothing torn from her elegant, nip-and-tucked body; Pagan ("wonderful mahogany hair"; Jean Muir leg o'mutton sleeves), impoverished aristocrat, "perplexed, hopeless drunkard", and charity fund-raiser; Kate, timid unlikely war correspondent who can make a single biscuit last two hours and drives a "silver Karmann Ghia"; Judy, poor country gal transformed into top New York PR queen with a fancy for purple Courrèges pantsuits (who really should have been a lesbian). The fifth woman, Lili, superstar actress, ex-porn star, wearer of Diorissimo and a sucker for/of buttered asparagus tips, is, as the most famous line of Lace suggests, the long-lost daughter of one of these women. The book does that jumping back and forward thing so characteristic of 70s/80s' bonkbuster 700 page epics, as we try to figure out who bore Lili and who the father might have been. 

Let me simply offer some choice passages to demonstrate what you've been missing. 

On sex:
Then he collapsed on top of her and Kate felt a stickiness trickling over her collarbone and down her neck. She knew what it was and she didn't dare move in case some of the stuff got in the wrong place. She was terrified.
*
Softly, insistently, Pierre again pulled her hand downward and clasped it over his flesh. Maxine decided to pretend that it wasn't her hand. She was terrified of doing something wrong, of hurting him. Did you bend it forward? Did you rotate it? Could it snap off?
*
…he was the Nijinsky of cunnilingus…
[this is the same bloke who likes to jazz up sexual shenanigans with a goldfish up the cooter.] 


On fashion:
“That V neck doesn’t plunge as low as the one in the show,” Maxine criticised. “No, Monsieur Dior kindly agreed to a high neck. Before six-thirty and after forty-five one should never show an inch of skin.”
*
Maxine needed a great deal of underwear for a very private reason.

The perils of alcohol:
Serge stormed into Senequier, drank a bottle of brandy, then drove wildly to Cap Camerat where he strangled the white cockatoo.

Interior décor:
Opposite the window was a fifty-foot run of floor-to-ceiling bookshelves lacquered Chinese red. Not all the shelves contained books; Kate's collection of antique snuff boxes stood on one; another held a small collection of terra-cotta ancient Greek votive statuettes and other shelves held small, charming objects—a seventeenth-century bronze of a man wrestling with a bull by Garnier, a tiny yellow Meissen patch-box that had once belonged to Madame de Pompadour.

General good advice:
Judy said, “Real protection isn’t a man—it’s money! That’s what gives you the power to do good, the power to be bad, the power to stay or to leave.”

So, Lace - go on… Yes, it's pretty awful. Also sordid. Ridiculous. Funny for many wrong reasons. Addictive. 

Where do I go from here…? I've also never read any Jilly Cooper. And I think I need a monogrammed crocodile jewellery case and a set of sables.

Monday, November 5, 2012

{review} death walks in eastrepps

Francis Beeding Death Walks in Eastrepps (1931)

"'ORRIBLE DOUBLE MURDER IN EASTREPPS THIS EVENING! ... 'ORRIBLE MURDER! ..."
Trains, like morals, were proper in the Golden Age:
Eldridge closed the despatch-case with a snap and, rising briskly, walked down the corridor to his solitary table in the dining-car. Mulligatawny soup, poached turbot, roast leg of lamb - the usual railway dinner... Not so bad. He ate it steadily, and even had a second slice of lamb, for he was hungry. During the meal, as was his custom, he read from a book propped up against the cruet.
Death Walks in Eastrepps - subtitled "An Inspector Wilkins Mystery" - is a Golden Age classic. It has all the hallmarks of the period that I enjoy: trains, lonely roads, spinsters, widows, rose gardens, golf courses, cliffs, dodgy businessmen, missing embezzlers, blackmail, screaming maids, loopy aristocrats, Colonels who never forget to say goodnight to their cats, bad weather, niblicks, use of the word "complexion", and murder after murder after murder. 

It is thoroughly good fun and all quite unlikely. As a mystery is has an element of cheating that I won't give away, but which reminds me somewhat of a rather famous early Agatha Christie that has also been considered by many to cheat. 

'Francis Beeding' is the pseudonym of a pair of prolific writers, John Leslie Palmer and Hilary Aidan St. George Saunders. Alfred Hitchcock's wonderfully weird film Spellbound (1945) - "will he KISS me or KILL me?" - is based on a Beeding novel, The House of Dr. Edwardes (1927), so I'll have to track that down.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

{misc.} retro cook off

Not bookish in the normal sense, 
but on Friday I used South Australian cookbooks 
to prepare my contribution to a Retro Cook Off.

My dinner party is here if anyone likes looking at 
foodstuffs that probably should never 
have seen the light of day again! 
Salmon Meringue Tart, for instance...

{READ IN 2017}

  • 48.
  • MAY
  • 47.
  • 46. Strange Ending - E. R. Punshon
  • 45. The Attending Truth - E. R. Punshon
  • 44. The Golden Dagger - E. R. Punshon
  • 43. The Secret Search - E. R. Punshon
  • 42. Spook Street - Mick Herron
  • 41. Real Tigers - Mick Herron
  • 40. Dead Lions - Mick Herron
  • 39. Slow Horses - Mick Herron
  • APRIL
  • 38. Everybody Always Tells - E. R. Punshon
  • 37. So Many Doors - E. R. Punshon
  • 36. The Girl with All the Gifts - M. R. Carey
  • 35. A Scream in Soho - John G. Brandon
  • 34. A Murder is Arranged - Basil Thomson
  • 33. The Milliner's Hat Mystery - Basil Thomson
  • 32. Who Killed Stella Pomeroy? - Basil Thomson
  • 31. The Dartmoor Enigma - Basil Thomson
  • 30. The Case of the Dead Diplomat - Basil Thomson
  • 29. The Case of Naomi Clynes - Basil Thomson
  • 28. Richardson Scores Again - Basil Thomson
  • 27. A Deadly Thaw - Sarah Ward
  • MARCH
  • 26. The Spy Paramount - E. Phillips Oppenheim
  • 25. The Great Impersonation - E. Phillips Oppenheim
  • 24. Ragdoll - Daniel Cole
  • 23. The Case of Sir Adam Braid - Molly Thynne
  • 22. The Ministry of Fear - Graham Greene
  • 21. The Draycott Murder Mystery - Molly Thynne
  • 20. The Murder on the Enriqueta - Molly Thynne
  • 19. The Nowhere Man - Gregg Hurwitz
  • 18. He Dies and Makes No Sign - Molly Thynne
  • FEBRUARY
  • 17. Death in the Dentist's Chair - Molly Thynne
  • 16. The Crime at the 'Noah's Ark' - Molly Thynne
  • 15. Harriet the Spy - Louise Fitzhugh
  • 14. Night School - Lee Child
  • 13. The Dancing Bear - Frances Faviell
  • 12. The Reluctant Cannibals - Ian Flitcroft
  • 11. Fear Stalks the Village - Ethel Lina White
  • 10. The Plot - Irving Wallace
  • JANUARY
  • 9. Understood Betsy - Dorothy Canfield Fisher
  • 8. Give the Devil his Due - Sulari Gentill
  • 7. A Murder Unmentioned - Sulari Gentill
  • 6. Dead Until Dark - Charlaine Harris
  • 5. Gentlemen Formerly Dressed - Sulari Gentill
  • 4. While She Sleeps - Ethel Lina White
  • 3. A Chelsea Concerto - Frances Faviell
  • 2. Kipps: The Story of a Simple Soul - H. G. Wells
  • 1. Heft - Liz Moore

{READ IN 2016}

  • (K = Kindle; rr = re-read)
  • DECEMBER
  • 92. Richardson's First Case - Basil Thomson [K]
  • 91. The Alington Inheritance - Patricia Wentworth [K; rr]
  • 90. Orphan X - Gregg Hurwitz [K]
  • 89. The House of Godwinsson [Bobby Owen 24] - E. R. Punshon [K]
  • 88. Music Tells All [Bobby Owen 24] - E. R. Punshon [K]
  • 87. Helen Passes By [Bobby Owen 23] - E. R. Punshon [K]
  • NOVEMBER
  • 86. It Might Lead Anywhere [Bobby Owen 22] - E. R. Punshon [K]
  • 85. There's a Reason for Everything [Bobby Owen 21] - E. R. Punshon [K]
  • 84. Secrets Can't Be Kept [Bobby Owen 20] - E. R. Punshon [K]
  • OCTOBER
  • 83. Night's Cloak [Bobby Owen 19] - E. R. Punshon [K]
  • 82. The Conqueror Inn [Bobby Owen 18] - E. R. Punshon [K]
  • 81. The Diabolic Candelabra [Bobby Owen 17] - E. R. Punshon [K]
  • 80. The Dark Garden [Bobby Owen 16] - E. R. Punshon [K]
  • SEPTEMBER
  • 79. Picture Miss Seeton - Heron Carvic [K]
  • 78. Down Under (Benbow Smith 4) - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 77. Walk with Care (Benbow Smith 3) - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 76. Danger Calling (Benbow Smith 2) - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 75. Fool Errant (Benbow Smith 1) - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 74. The Annam Jewel - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 73. Mr Zero - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 72. Will o' the Wisp - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 71. Red Shadow - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 70. Pursuit of a Parcel (Lamb 3) - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 69. Who Pays the Piper (Lamb 2) - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 68. The Blind Side (Lamb 1) - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 67. Outrageous Fortune - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 66. The Amazing Chance - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 65. Red Stefan - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • AUGUST
  • 64. The Coldstone - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 63. Anne Belinda - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 62. The Black Cabinet - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 61. Hue & Cry - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 60. The Skin Collector - Jeffery Deaver [K]
  • 59. The Kill Room - Jeffery Deaver [K]
  • 58. Nothing Venture - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 57. Kingdom Lost - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 56. Beggar's Choice - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 55. Hole and Corner - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 54. Touch and Go - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 53. The Red Lacquer Case - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 52. Run! - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 51. Fear by Night - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • JULY
  • 50. The Dower House Mystery - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 49. The Astonishing Adventure of Jane Smith - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 48. Weekend with Death - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 47. Blindfold - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 46. Silence in Court - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 45. Acts of the Assassins - Richard Beard [K]
  • JUNE
  • 44. Hack - Kieran Crowley [K]
  • 43. The Portable Veblen - Elizabeth McKenzie [K]
  • 42. The Spirit Murder Mystery - Robin Forsythe [K]
  • MAY
  • 41. The Ginger Cat Mystery - Robin Forsythe [K]
  • 40. The Pleasure Cruise Mystery - Robin Forsythe [K]
  • 39. The Polo Ground Murder - Robin Forsythe [K]
  • APRIL
  • 38. The Outsider - Jason Dean [K]
  • 37. The Hunter's Oath - Jason Dean [K]
  • 36. Missing or Murdered - Robin Forsythe [K]
  • 35. The Beetle - Richard Marsh [K]
  • MARCH
  • 34. A Curious Beginning (Veronica Speedwell 1) - Deanna Raybourn [K]
  • 33. The Chimera Vector - Nathan M. Farrugia [K]
  • 32. An Infamous Army - Georgette Heyer [K]
  • 31. Mr Bazalgette's Agent - Leonard Merrick
  • 30. Don't Tell - Karen Rose [K]
  • 29. Say Goodbye - Lisa Gardner [K]
  • 28. Gone - Lisa Gardner [K]
  • 27. The Killing Hour - Lisa Gardner [K]
  • 26. The Next Accident - Lisa Gardner [K]
  • 25. The Third Victim - Lisa Gardner [K]
  • FEBRUARY
  • 24. The Perfect Husband - Lisa Gardner [K]
  • 23. Find Her - Lisa Gardner [K]
  • 22. Fear Nothing - Lisa Gardner [K]
  • 21. Catch Me - Lisa Gardner [K]
  • 20. Love You More - Lisa Gardner [K]
  • 19. Live to Tell - Lisa Gardner [K]
  • 18. The Neighbour - Lisa Gardner [K]
  • 17. Hide - Lisa Gardner [K]
  • 16. Alone - Lisa Gardner [K]
  • 15. The Humans - Matt Haig [K]
  • 14. Utopian Man - Lisa Lang
  • 13. Love Insurance - Earl Derr Biggers [K]
  • JANUARY
  • 12. The Ignition Effect - Viv Ronnebeck [K]
  • 11. My Brilliant Career - Miles Franklin [K]
  • 10. Dangerous & Unseemly - K. B. Owen [K]
  • 9. In Bitter Chill - Sarah Ward [K[
  • 8. Half a Crown - Jo Walton [K]
  • 7. Ha'penny - Jo Walton [K]
  • 6. Hilda Wade: A Woman with Tenacity of Purpose - Grant Allen [K]
  • 5. The Case of William Smith - Patricia Wentworth [K; rr]
  • 4. Blue Murder - Harriet Rutland [K]
  • 3. Bleeding Hooks - Harriet Rutland [K]
  • 2. Knock, Murderer, Knock! - Harriet Rutland [K]
  • 1. Ten Star Clues [Bobby Owen 15] - E. R. Punshon [K]