Thursday, September 30, 2010


Begging to join the groaning shelves this week:

The Portrait of the Lover (Joan Palevsky Book in Classical Literature)

Maurizio Bettini (1999):

I've wanted to read this since I read this review.
I reckon this would go with it:

Falling in Love with Statues: Artificial Humans from Pygmalion to the Present 

George L. Hersey (2009):
Falling in Love with Statues:
Artificial Humans from Pygmalion to the Present.
Reviewed here.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

{review} todd + goodman

Charles Todd A Test of Wills (1996)
Carol Goodman The Lake of Dead Languages (2002)

A Test of Wills (Inspector Ian Rutledge Mysteries)  The Lake of Dead Languages: A Novel

One yea; one nay.

A Test of Wills has an interesting premise: a Scotland Yard detective with PTSD from service in the First World War who hears in his head the argumentative and malicious voice of a young soldier whom he was forced to execute for refusing to fight in the trenches. We are used to, indeed sometimes bored by, dedicated detectives with a typical series of problems (pick from marital, disciplinary, weight, substances, etc.) but this was a new one for me. The story - the detective sent to investigate the murder of one war hero by another war hero - is well-plotted too, with plenty of suspects to choose from. It took me a long time to guess the murderer and I wouldn't have picked the twist in the tail in a million years. A very satisfying read. I'll definitely read a few more from the series.

Rating: 8/10.
If you liked this... Maisie Dobbs is the WW1-traumatised heroine of the series by Jacqueline Winspear.

I know that I should have liked Carol Goodman's The Lake of Dead Languages simply because I must like anything that promotes the study of ancient world. But unfortunately the murderer was completely obvious within the first 45 pages and that left 355 more pages of figuring out to go down the drain. This book reminded me of Donna Tartt's The Secret History: there was a lot of classical stuff going on (much Latin; ironically, the Latin gave the murderer away at page 44...), and a fair bit of class warfare, but it never really achieved The Secret History's level of suffocating malevolence. On the plus side: interesting setting (girl's school; freezing weather); neat classical allusions; the structure really tried very hard (interweaving of the unreliable past and the present). But I never liked the narrator, although I realise that I was intended to care about her fate. In sum: OK, but it didn't grab me. A coincidence: this is the third book by a Vassar author which I've read lately (with Daddy-Long-Legs and The Group). My tendency is to listen to and follow up these coincidences.

Rating: 5/10
If you liked this... it's got to be its big brother, The Secret History (1992), which came out when I was beginning my MA in classical studies and made the study of the ancient world seem almost sexy.

Monday, September 27, 2010

{review} out of print

June Wright Murder in the Telephone Exchange ('First Novel Library No. 122'; London: Hutchinson & Co. n.d. [1948]).

This is probably the best 20 cents I've ever spent on a secondhand book (esp. as I just saw it here on amazon for US$62). Murder in the Telephone Exchange is  set during a long, hot Australian summer in the Melbourne Telephone Exchange in the late 1940s. The heroine is a telephonist on the 'boards' in the 'trunkroom' (long distance call switchboard) of the Exchange and the narrative is from her point of view and possesses the innocent unreliability of the narrator who cannot, yet, see everything.
I have seen girls, beaded with perspiration from hot apparatus, putting calls through every minute for hours on end during bad bush-fires and crises in Europe and the Pacific, until they collapsed from sheer nervous exhaustion. I know that strained concentration which is needed to complete connections, with half a dozen lines under your tense fingers, that must not make mistakes.
But is the narrator really so innocent? And what is going on in the telephone exchange? Who is listening in? Who is rifling the lockers? Who whacked the prying busybody supervisor over the head with a 'buttinsky'? Who is picking off the telephonists one by one? What's the connection with national security? Will the heroine find love with the freckled basketball-loving Sergeant? Why is everyone called John?

The author worked in an exchange (the book is dedicated to its employees) and the details lend an authentic air to this tale of the 'inside job'. The atmosphere of growing, claustrophobic fear is spot on, especially as the body count grows. It's a first novel (it won a competition with the prize being publication) and suffers from being a bit over-complicated. The dialogue is a tad hysterical:
"You fool, you hopeless little fool," he continued, gripping my arm. "Don't you realize that you may be holding in that silly brain of yours some half-forgotten fact that may make your life a danger to this inhuman creature?"
This isn't a great book, but it does grip the reader and, in its way, it's a lovely piece of Melbourne social history. There's more here on crime fiction in Melbourne and more on June Wright here.

Rating: 5/10

If you liked this... maybe some less innocent portraits of Australia: 

Saturday, September 25, 2010

{weekend words}

Prod [Peter Rodd] spent a week at Swinbrook, talking until the family reeled with boredom. No matter what subject was brought up, it seemed he was the world expert. "I know, I know," he would interrupt. "I know, I was an engineer and I..." or "I know, I know, I am a farmer..." The sisters swore he once said, "I know, I know, I am the Pope..."

The Mitford Girls

Friday, September 24, 2010

{misc.} in the library

In The Library perfume:
In The Library is a warm blend of English Novel*, Russian & Moroccan Leather Bindings, Worn Cloth and a hint of Wood Polish.

*The main note in this scent was copied from one of my favorite novels originally published in 1927.  I happened to find a signed first edition in pristine condition many years ago in London.  I was more than a little excited because there were only ever a hundred of these in the first place.  It had a marvelous warm woody slightly sweet smell and I set about immediately to bottle it.
Found via foolish gadgets.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Begging to join the groaning shelves this week:

The Language of Bees: A novel of suspense featuring Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes (A Mary Russell Novel)

Laurie King (2009): 

I can't believe I've got behind on the Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

{review} when will there be good news?

Kate Atkinson When Will There Be Good News? (2008)

When Will There Be Good News?: A Novel
"A coincidence is just an explanation waiting to happen."
Another brilliant Kate Atkinson book. Is it really crime fiction? It's so clever, so literary. I've mentioned before how attracted I am to authors who get to grips with the issue of coincidence in their narratives, in the sense of the way that coincidence is used as a device to achieve, e.g., narrative closure. Atkinson's previous Jackson Brodie novel, One Good Turn was a tour de force in terms of the use of coincidence to drive a narrative, and When Will There Be Good News? likewise does not disappoint. There is a sense, when reading an Atkinson book, that the reader's journey, despite its apparent twists-and-turns, is really a perfect circle: all of the multiple beginnings will connect at the ends; there is a perfection in her construction that makes her books such satisfying reads because they just shouldn't work out like that - but they do.

Atkinson's characters are so interesting too: all flawed and a bit odd and always in the right/wrong place at the wrong/right time. Their timing is always just a bit out. Or is it fate, or luck?
She had made a terrible mistake, hadn't she? She had married the wrong man. No, no, she had married the right man, it was just that she was the wrong woman.
Death is the only (near-) certainty in these books.

Jackson Brodie is woven through the action in this book, but it is the women characters who take centre stage: DCI Louise Monroe (a welcome return), battling her with her new role as a Good Wife; Reggie Chase, a very old sixteen years; Dr ('call me Jo') Hunter, survivor of a terrifying childhood ordeal. What will someone do to survive, to protect their children?

A sub-text of men who endanger children, especially their own children, runs under the narrative as a menacing sub-text. The welfare of the weak becomes secondary to the men's needs (for money; for revenge; and even for no reason at all in the case of the psychopath who destroys Joanna's family) and Brodie himself is not entirely innocent. But it is the women who shine as the Furies, the Maenads, the avenging angels, the conquering queens.

This is a funny book too, though very dry in its humour: "a speeding motorcyclist hurtled past, eager to donate an organ in time for someone's Christmas".
He was going to quote himself to death if he wasn't careful.
The classical themes in this book kept popping up and surprising me: "Reggie's life was like the Ilian plain, littered with the dead". As someone with shelves filled with volumes of the Loeb Classical Library (like the crazy Ms MacDonald but, not, as far as I know, filled with heroin), I'm hoping that Atkinson has inspired all of her readers to go pick up an ancient classic. And, no it's not cheating to read a translation.

Rating: 10/10. I'm starting to worry that it's ages since I've read a lousy book.

If you liked this... I'm ordering the next one, enticingly entitled Started Early, Took My Dog.

Started Early, Took My Dog: A Novel

Monday, September 20, 2010

{review} philip kerr: sero sed serio?

Philip Kerr The One From The Other (2006)

The One from the Other: A Bernie Gunther Mystery The One from the Other: A Bernie Gunther Novel (Bernie Gunther Novels)

Philip Kerr's detective novels featuring Bernie Gunther are so far superior to almost any other historical crime fiction that I hesitate even to categorise him within that genre. Kerr has perfectly captured an historical period (Germany in the 1930s and 1940s) and has created a protagonist of such quality that he must surely be the new Philip Marlowe:
The house was about a five-minute drive west of the station. A brass plaque on one of the obelisk-shaped gateposts said it was a villa, but probably only because they were a little shy about using a word like 'palace'. It took me a whole minute to climb the steps to the front door, where a fellow dressed to go cheek-to-cheek with Ginger Rogers was waiting to take my hat and act as my scout across the marble plains that lay ahead. He stayed with me as far as the library, then wheeled around silently and set off for home again before it started to get dark.
I first read Kerr's loose trilogy - March Violets (1989), The Pale Criminal (1990), A German Requiem (1991); published in an omnibus as Berlin Noir (1993) - a few years ago and was disappointed that there were no others in the series. Fortunately, The One From The Other (2006) marked Bernie Gunther's return and has now been joined by A Quiet Flame (2008), If the Dead Rise Not (2009) and Field Grey (forthcoming 2010).

Berlin Noir: March Violets; The Pale Criminal; A German Requiem
A Quiet Flame: A Novel (Bernie Gunther Novels)If the Dead Rise Not: A Bernie Gunther Novel

Kerr has a mastery of the gritty details of the 1930s and 40s. Gunther's world is totally believable. There are so many little details which ring true: colours, smells, uncomfortable sensations, etc.:
He smelled faintly of cologne and hypocrisy.

In the half darkness and close confines of the confessional his voice sounded particularly infernal. He probably laid it on a greased rack and left it to smoke over a hickory-wood fire when he went to bed at night.

...I turned to face a man wearing a neat, grey suit with a wing collar that looked as if it had been tailored by Pythagoras.
Kerr also has the ability to shock the reader, as in his account of Dachau, for instance, or in his introduction of real historical figures into the narrative - Eichmann and Heydrich among others. And his stories are tight. I'm quite interested in 'coincidence' - so many crime novels depend on coincidence to tie up the ends neatly. A cross-over book like William Boyd's Ordinary Thunderstorms, for example, plays with coincidence in an overt manner; it asks us to think about coincidence. Coincidence is also extraordinarily important in The One From The Other, but it is handled so subtlety that it is only towards the close to the book that its significance becomes obvious. Anyway, I mustn't rave on, but these books are extraordinarily well-researched and written. I'm still getting over "preemptive triage" as a euphemism for euthanasia. The sardonic voice of the narrator, the disillusioned detective with a conscience who hides his education under a tough guy façade, is spot-on:
Beneath all this decorative nonsense was an inscription. It read 'Sero sed serio', which was Latin for 'We're richer than you are'.
Amusingly, this is the motto of the Kerr family ("Late, but in earnest") - completely appropriate for someone who leaves a series untouched for fifteen years, then turns in a Meisterwerk.

Until the Final Hour: Hitler's Last Secretary   A Woman in Berlin

I read The One From The Other between two historical accounts of Berlin at the end of World War II - Until the Final Hour: Hitler's Last Secretary by Traudl Junge (with Melissa Müller) and the shocking, anonymous A Woman in Berlin. Kerr's grasp of the period is so good that he segues in between these 'real' histories almost seamlessly:
I beckoned the waiter towards me. He had Hindenburg's moustache, Hitler's blue eyes, and Adenauer's personality. It was like being served by fifty years of German history.
Typo! p.254 (you're for your).

Rating: 10/10.

If you liked this...: I enjoyed the first book in David Downing's WW2 series, Zoo Station (2007). Another more fluffy, but very well written and enjoyable post-war Berlin detective story is M. M. Kaye's Death in Berlin (1955).

Zoo Station  Death in Berlin

Saturday, September 18, 2010

{weekend words}

His imagination resembled the wings of an ostrich. It enabled him to run, though not to soar.
Lord Macaulay [Thomas Babington Macaulay, 1800-1859], On John Dryden (1828).

Ostrich from a Byzantine mosaic
in ancient Theodorias (Libya), AD 539. 
Image source: (an excellent site).

Friday, September 17, 2010

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Begging to join the groaning shelves this week:

Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster

Dana Thomas (2007):
How Luxury Lost Its Luster.

I'm addicted to Paris Breakfasts 
with Carol Gillott's beautiful 
watercolours of Paris pâtisseries. 
and that's good enough for me.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

{review} death's bright angel

Janet Neel Death's Bright Angel (1988)

Death's Bright Angel

This is a book which I have re-read a couple of times over the years since it is really a cut above the general crime thriller - the writing is excellent, the large cast of interesting characters is handled deftly, the romantic bits are not over the top and it has a tasty plot. I have read a couple of the sequels (A Timely Death; Death Among the Dons), but they don't pack the punch of no.1 in the Francesca Wilson/John McLeish series. 

The brutal murder of a business-man in London leads Detective Inspector McLeish and his charming side-kick Det. Sgt. Davidson to a Yorkshire textile manufacturer in financial difficulties (a completely believable 1980s scenario indeed). Coincidentally, Francesca Wilson is part of government team advising Britex Fabrics but she also has family problems which bring the Inspector into her life in London... 

The heroine is ultra-intelligent, striking-looking (not beautiful, but her legs are excellent!) and reluctant to give up her hard-won independence. Francesca has almost single-handedly brought up four brothers. The family quirk lies in their astonishing musical ability: all are prodigiously talented and one is a cross-over pop-star tenor. They add a lot of background interest to the book, as does the recurring musical theme (oh, pun) of wonderful music (the Messiah; lots of Bach) and the gorgeous The Lost Chord (from whence 'Death's Bright Angel'). A very good time-waster.

BTW, I like the neoclassical-inspired cover of my copy better than the current ones:

Rating: 7/10.

If you liked this...: coppers with memorable side-kicks who fall for independent women they encounter in the course of their work - I think probably Ngaio Marsh's Inspector Alleyn is the way to go.

Monday, September 13, 2010

{review} the pankhursts

Martin Pugh The Pankhursts (2001)

The Pankhursts

It has just taken me two years to finish The Pankhursts, which is something of a record for me. My slowness was not due to the book's quality, by any means: it is a very fine book and it is an important re-dressing of the more 'mythic' aspects of the Pankhursts which tended to dominate earlier hagiographic biographies. As Pugh writes of the Pankhursts in the 1930s, "...Emmeline's death had raised the stakes by transforming votes for women into history, thereby making the interested parties keenly aware of the need to defend their reputations and their ideas."

Emmeline Pankhurst (source)

This book is pretty hard-core - a political history with a social bent, rather than my favourite (lazier) type of social history with a bit of politics. I would recommend this as a 'heavy', get your teeth into the topic, type of read. (I was also troubled by the extremely small print of this Penguin edition, but that's just me.) I found the first two-thirds hard going - lots of acronyms and politics and unfamiliar places; the final third - their post-suffragette afterlife - was easier (more social) - although I suspect for the author it was quite tricky to construct a meaningful narrative once he was forced to quadfurcate his focus. The results are very rewarding. 

Christabel Pankhurst (source)

It is difficult to balance multiple equally interesting but increasingly diversified protagonists, of course. Sylvia, for instance, could have a book to herself - she was such an interesting and divisive character. It was Adela who interested me the most, probably because she emigrated to Australia (indeed, she was exiled here by her family). None of the Pankhursts emerge from Pugh's accounting as anything nearly as white-washed as popular history would suggest: one thinks, e.g., of the frequency with which their personal and professional finances became confused. On a personal level, indeed, one begins to wonder how they persuaded anyone to support them, given their ability to fall out, often spectacularly, with those who did not agree totally with them. Moreover, the speed with which they dropped the suffragette movement after (some) women achieved the vote is quite peculiar. They also remained quite critical of what the women who could vote had achieved with this independence (this is still a relevant issue given the recent electoral turn-out in the UK where, unlike Australia, voting is not compulsory). All of the Pankhursts made a number of odd choices in their later lives - this part of the book was particularly interesting and I would have liked more time spent on each women individually. But that's other books, I'm sure. 

What the Pankhursts excelled at was creating their own myths, and Pugh really has a lot to get stuck into here, and teases this out very well:
...the Weekly Dispatch invited [Christabel] to write five articles in April. The first of these promised much: 'Confessions of Christabel: Why I Never Married: First of a Candid Series'. However, she revealed little in the article except a growing tendency to pretentiousness. Claiming to have followed an instinct to keep herself free for her life's work, she declared: 'For its sake I have had to remove not only all ideas of marriage, but many other things less important, such as social pleasures and various intellectual and artistic interests.' She was consciously helping to create the myth of a great political leader's sacrifice for the cause. Christabel did, however, come closer to admitting she had never been strongly tempted by marriage when she wrote: 'I am afraid that such a sum-total of human perfection as I should have required in a husband has seldom, if ever, existed.'
Another example - on Christabel's sudden embracing of Adventism: "Adventism offered means of restoring her sense of purpose and personal worth. In some ways it resembled the suffrage cause with its air of moral superiority, its sense of inevitability and its faith in a great leader."

Why read this book? No one should take their right to vote for granted.

Rating: 7/10.

If you liked this...: I'm wondering about fictional representations of the women, but so far I can only think of Christabel in The Ape Who Guards the Balance by Elizabeth Peters (one of her 'Amelia Peabody' series):
She was younger than I had expected -- in her early twenties, as I later learned -- and not unattractive. Firm lips and a direct gaze gave distinction to her rounded face and dark hair. As we shook hands, with the conventional murmurs of greeting, I wondered how Ramses had got acquainted with her -- and when. She had been smiling and rolling her eyes at him in a manner that suggested this was not their first meeting. Ramses has an unfortunate habit of being attractive to women, especially strong-minded women.
... Miss Christabel gave me a look of freezing disapproval. "He is Mrs. Markham's brother, and a sturdy defender of the cause. If you had deigned to attend our earlier meetings, Mrs. Emerson, you would be aware of these facts."
She did not give me time to reply that I had not been invited to attend their earlier meetings, but marched off with her nose in the air. I had heard the young lady praised for her wit and sense of humor. The latter appeared to be in abeyance at the moment.
 The Ape Who Guards the Balance: An Amelia Peabody Novel of Suspense (Amelia Peabody Mysteries) 

{READ IN 2018}

  • 30.
  • 29.
  • 28.
  • 27.
  • 26. The Grave's a Fine & Private Place - Alan Bradley
  • 25. This is What Happened - Mick Herron
  • 24. London Rules - Mick Herron
  • 23. The Third Eye - Ethel Lina White
  • 22. Thrice the Brindled Cat Hath Mewed - Alan Bradley
  • 21. As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust - Alan Bradley
  • 20. The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches - Alan Bradley
  • 19. Speaking from Among the Bones - Alan Bradley
  • 18. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine - Gail Honeyman
  • 17. Miss Ranskill Comes Home - Barbara Euphan Todd
  • 16. The Long Arm of the Law - Martin Edwards (ed.)
  • 15. Nobody Walks - Mick Herron
  • 14. The Talented Mr Ripley - Patricia Highsmith
  • 13. Portrait of a Murderer - Anthony Gilbert
  • 12. Murder is a Waiting Game - Anthony Gilbert
  • 11. Tenant for the Tomb - Anthony Gilbert
  • 10. Death Wears a Mask - Anthony Gilbert
  • 9. Night Encounter - Anthony Gilbert
  • 8. The Visitor - Anthony Gilbert
  • 7. The Looking Glass Murder - Anthony Gilbert
  • 6. The Voice - Anthony Gilbert
  • 5. The Fingerprint - Anthony Gilbert
  • 4. Ring for a Noose - Anthony Gilbert
  • 3. No Dust in the Attic - Anthony Gilbert
  • 2. Uncertain Death - Anthony Gilbert
  • 1. She Shall Died - Anthony Gilbert

{READ IN 2017}

  • 134. Third Crime Lucky - Anthony Gilbert
  • 133. Death Takes a Wife - Anthony Gilbert
  • 132. Death Against the Clock - Anthony Gilbert
  • 131. Give Death a Name - Anthony Gilbert
  • 130. Riddle of a Lady - Anthony Gilbert
  • 129. And Death Came Too - Anthony Gilbert
  • 128. Snake in the Grass - Anthony Gilbert
  • 127. Footsteps Behind Me - Anthony Gilbert
  • 126. Miss Pinnegar Disappears - Anthony Gilbert
  • 125. Lady-Killer - Anthony Gilbert
  • 124. A Nice Cup of Tea - Anthony Gilbert
  • 123. Die in the Dark - Anthony Gilbert
  • 122. Death in the Wrong Room - Anthony Gilbert
  • 121. The Spinster's Secret - Anthony Gilbert
  • 120. Lift up the Lid - Anthony Gilbert
  • 119. Don't Open the Door - Anthony Gilbert
  • 118. The Black Stage - Anthony Gilbert
  • 117. A Spy for Mr Crook - Anthony Gilbert
  • 116. The Scarlet Button - Anthony Gilbert
  • 115. He Came by Night - Anthony Gilbert
  • 114. Something Nasty in the Woodshed - Anthony Gilbert
  • 113. Death in the Blackout - Anthony Gilbert
  • 112. The Woman in Red - Anthony Gilbert
  • 111. The Vanishing Corpse - Anthony Gilbert
  • 110. London Crimes - Martin Edwards (ed.)
  • 109. The Midnight Line - Anthony Gilbert
  • 108. The Clock in the Hatbox - Anthony Gilbert
  • 107. Dear Dead Woman - Anthony Gilbert
  • 106. The Bell of Death - Anthony Gilbert
  • 105. Treason in my Breast - Anthony Gilbert
  • 104. Murder has no Tongue - Anthony Gilbert
  • 103. The Man who Wasn't There - Anthony Gilbert
  • 102. Murder by Experts - Anthony Gilbert
  • 101. The Perfect Murder Case - Christopher Bush
  • 100. The Plumley Inheritance - Christopher Bush
  • 99. Spy - Bernard Newman
  • 98. Cargo of Eagles - Margery Allingham & Philip Youngman Carter
  • 97. The Mind Readers - Margery Allingham
  • 96. The China Governess - Margery Allingham
  • 95. Hide My Eyes - Margery Allingham
  • 94. The Beckoning Lady - Margery Allingham
  • 93. The Tiger in the Smoke - Margery Allingham
  • 92. More Work for the Undertaker - Margery Allingham
  • 91. Coroner's Pidgin - Margery Allingham
  • 90. Traitor's Purse - Margery Allingham
  • 89. The Fashion in Shrouds - Margery Allingham
  • 88. The Case of the Late Pig - Margery Allingham
  • 87. Dancers in Mourning - Margery Allingham
  • 86. Flowers for the Judge - Margery Allingham
  • 85. Death of a Ghost - Margery Allingham
  • 84. Sweet Danger - Margery Allingham
  • 83. Police at the Funeral - Margery Allingham
  • 82. Look to the Lady - Margery Allingham
  • 81. Mystery Mile - Margery Allingham
  • 80. The Crime at Black Dudley - Margery Allingham
  • 79. The White Cottage Mystery - Margery Allingham
  • 78. Murder Underground - Mavis Doriel Hay
  • 77. No Man's Land - David Baldacci
  • 76. The Escape - David Baldacci
  • 75. The Forgotten - David Baldacci
  • 74. Zero Day - David Baldacci
  • JULY
  • 73. Pilgrim's Rest - Patricia Wentworth
  • 72. The Case is Closed - Patricia Wentworth
  • 71. The Watersplash - Patricia Wentworth
  • 70. Lonesome Road - Patricia Wentworth
  • 69. The Listening Eye - Patricia Wentworth
  • 68. Through the Wall - Patricia Wentworth
  • 67. Out of the Past - Patricia Wentworth
  • 66. Mistress - Amanda Quick
  • 65. The Black Widow - Daniel Silva
  • 64. The Narrow - Michael Connelly
  • 63. The Poet - Michael Connelly
  • 62. The Visitor - Lee Child
  • 61. No Middle Name: The Complete Collected Jack Reacher Stories - Lee Child
  • JUNE
  • 60. The Queen's Accomplice - Susan Elia MacNeal
  • 59. Mrs Roosevelt's Confidante - Susan Elia MacNeal
  • 58. The PM's Secret Agent - Susan Elia MacNeal
  • 57. His Majesty's Hope - Susan Elia MacNeal
  • 56. Princess Elizabeth's Spy - Susan Elia MacNeal
  • 55. Mr Churchill's Secretary - Susan Elia MacNeal
  • 54. A Lesson in Secrets - Jacqueline Winspear
  • 53. Hit & Run - Lawrence Block
  • 52. Hit Parade - Lawrence Block
  • 51. Hit List - Lawrence Block
  • 50. Six Were Present - E. R. Punshon
  • 49. Triple Quest - E. R. Punshon
  • MAY
  • 48. Dark is the Clue - E. R. Punshon
  • 47. Brought to Light - E. R. Punshon
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
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