Saturday, April 30, 2011

{weekend words}

 'Ooh, that looks nice,' she would say. 'Lovely and pink,' she would sometimes add, a weakness for the colour pink being an infallible sign of the defective taste one associates with certain groups and individuals: the British working classes, grand French restaurateurs, Indian street-poster designers and God, whose fatal susceptibility for the colour is so apparent in the most lavishly cinematic instances of his handiwork (sunsets, flamingoes).

{Context: Mrs Willoughby, the murderous narrator's annoying Provençal neighbour, on his blanc-cassis apéritif.}

John Lanchester (1996)

 The Debt to Pleasure: A Novel. John Lanchester (Spanish Edition)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

{review} american gods

Neil Gaiman American Gods [Author's preferred text] (2004)
These are gods who have been forgotten, and now might as well be dead. They can be found only in dry histories. They are gone, all gone, but their names and their images remain with us.

American Gods: The Author's Preferred Text

It's a good idea to be given a reason to read outside your comfort zone. To shake your reading up a bit. I would never have selected American Gods of my own volition, although I have heard good things about Neil Gaiman, as I consider that I'm just not a very 'fantasy' type of reader. However, I am polite and as such I could hardly refuse to read my younger brother's Christmas gift to me - and I can highly recommend the outcome of having good manners. {grin}

Of course, as soon as I began American Gods, I realise that it was right up my mythologically-inclined alley (so to speak). The story of the journey of Shadow across America in the service of the mysterious Mr Wednesday reads like an epic in its 'big' theme of the battle between the Old - European/Norse - Gods (brought to America with her immigrants) and the New Gods who represent (i.e., who are) technology and all its spin-offs. If you like mythology and you like trying to figure out who are/were the mysterious figures who populate this book, then this book is for you. Amongst all of the repositionings of archetypal storylines (in the Jung/Campbell sense) and characters there are also many interesting byways to distract and hold the reader: a small crime story interlude; a spot of erotica; and so on.
'Maybe,' he said. 'Maybe I can get some kind of a happy ending.'
'Not only are there no happy endings,' she told him. 'There aren't even any endings.' 
In sum: um, Homeric road movie? American Gods is a great read. My only caveat is that it is very, very long and I wondered, as I read, how much shorter is used to be before it was republished as the 'author's preferred text'. Actually, I checked: the answer is 12,000 words longer. So, it was always a very large book.

Rating: 8/10.

If you liked this... I've heard good things about Gaiman's The Graveyard Book. Maybe I can get into this fantasy stuff after all.

The Graveyard Book

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


My Porch and Savidge Reads are hosting 
on the 16th of July 2011.

Thomas at My Porch makes the oh-so-true comment that, "her novels are so similar in theme and tone that it is a little hard for me to keep them straight. Perhaps closer readers with better recall can more easily differentiate one from the other, but I really can't." This made me laugh in recognition, as I often think "Have I read this one?" It is almost too hard to tell without re-reading. But there are a couple that I'm pretty sure I haven't read, so these are going on my wishlist for International Anita Brookner Day:

Lewis Percy Incidents in the Rue Laugier 
 Undue Influence The Rules of Engagement: A Novel 
Leaving Home Strangers: A Novel

They are: 
Lewis Percy (1989);
Incidents in the Rue Laugier (1995); 
Undue Influence (1999);  
The Rules of Engagement (2003);  
Leaving Home (2005); 
and Strangers (2009).

On second thoughts, I'm sure I've read Leaving Home
Oh dear...

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

{review} too many murders

Colleen McCullough Too Many Murders (2009)

Too Many Murders Too Many Murders: A Carmine Delmonico Novel

Well, the title sums it up. There are, I think, indeed too many murders in this book. The result is a sort of very smart form of chaos, but still chaos. I really enjoyed McCullough's first book in the Carmine Delmonico series - On, Off (2006) - and I was looking forward to this one. It isn't a bad read, but it is terribly overcomplicated by the task which the author has set herself, and it all seems a little bit forced. Beyond the interesting plot per se - twelve very different murders on one day in a small Connecticut university city in 1967 - we also have crammed in here: a handful of Russian agents; an oddball FBI spy-catcher; Carmine's giantess wife; the lack of anyone with a normal Christian name (when did you last meet a Philomena and a Desdemona together?); a lot of extraneous material taking up space (all interesting, but still space-filling); that old stereotype of the killer gunning for the detective's loved ones; and some of the most wooden dialogue I've encountered. No one talks like this. Surely. Not even in New England. Even the prose is stilted: "Privately he thought she looked stunning in an ice-blue gown she had embroidered herself in the manner of a dress Audrey Hepburn had worn in a film called Sabrina."

There is just too much going on here. And, yet, it still has elements - the concept, for example - which make is an OK story, but this may be the years of writing experience brought to it by the author. Disappointing. 

Rating: 6/10.

If you liked this... well, there's another one out now if you're game: Naked Cruelty (2010).

Naked Cruelty: A Carmine Delmonico Novel On, Off

Monday, April 25, 2011

{misc.} anzac day

Today is Anzac Day
Lest We Forget.

c1943. Artist unknown. Information from the Australian War Memorial archive: "2nd Australian Imperial Force; poster appealing for donations of reading matter (books and magazines) for distribution by the ACF to soldiers, depicts soldiers in jungle reading brown paper, bark and cigarette papers." Credit: Australian War Memorial (public domain)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

{weekend words}

Amy Johnson, 1932 (source)
But even in the few seconds between appearing over the Thames estuary and plunging into it there were, suddenly, new reasons to hope. By pure chance there were ships everywhere, some close enough to help if only they spotted her and she could get clear of the parachute. They had certainly spotted her. An entire convoy, numbered CE21, consisting of seventeen merchant ships, two destroyers, four minesweepers, four motor launches and five cross-Channel ferries converted to deploy barrage balloons, was steaming up the estuary. One of the balloon ships, HMS Haslemere, was closest to Johnson. From its bridge a Lieutenant Henry O’Dea actually saw her drop gently into the water at a distance of perhaps half a mile. His captain, Lieutenant Commander Walter Fletcher, ordered the Haslemere to head for her at full speed. Johnson was still alive when it reached her, and was heard to shout the words, ‘Hurry, please hurry’. But she failed to grab hold of any of the lines thrown in her direction. In its dash to pick her up, the Haslemere ran aground in mud beneath the shallow waters of the estuary’s southern edge. Fletcher ordered the engines to slow astern but they took ten precious minutes to work the vessel free. By this time Johnson had drifted towards the ship’s stern and was helpless with cold. As Captain Fletcher pulled off his outer clothes to dive in for her, a wave lifted the Haslemere and pushed Johnson under its propellers. As they fell, they crushed her. ‘She did not come into view again,’ seaman Nicholas Roberts, who was watching from the ship’s bulwark, wrote later in an affidavit. Indeed, her body was never found.
Giles Whittell (2007)

The death of Amy Johnson, long-distance aviatrix and second world war Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) pilot. She plunged into the Thames on the 5th of January 1941 while transporting a plane for the ATA. The circumstances were mysterious.

Spitfire Women of World War II. Giles Whittell

Thursday, April 21, 2011

{review} the messenger of athens

Anne Zouroudi The Messenger of Athens (2007)

The Messenger of Athens: A Novel

I thought that this book - the first in 'The Greek Detective' series by Anne Zouroudi - was excellent. It has everything: a gruesome crime, a grave injustice, a corrupt police-force, an atmospheric Greek island background, a quirky hero and a touch of divine intervention. 

Hermes Diaktoros, literally 'Hermes Messenger' arrives on the Greek island of 'Thiminos' to investigate the death of a young Greek woman who may or may not have committed suicide. The island - dependent as so many are on summer trade and the fishing which can only take place when the weather permits - is a gloomy, dirty, depressing; a very satisfyingly realistic location rather than the idyllic Greek islands of summer tourism. The men of the island are the worst type of misogynists and the women are not much better. The dead woman is suspected to have strayed from the marital bed - the most shaming crime - and no one is interested in raking up what really happened.

Enter Hermes Diaktoros, the 'fat man': impeccably groomed and besuited, apart from his eccentric choice of white tennis shoes; light on his feet despite his size. I loved how the narrative played with the question of Hermes' identity: is he a policeman, a private detective, someone with a private interest in justice? Or is he a relic from the past, literally Hermes the Messenger of the ancient Greek gods, sent to uncover the truth, to right wrongs and administer justice? I guess it would have been too O.T.T. to have him wear Nikes.

It is a fascinating concept and really well done and I can't wait to read the next one in the series.

Rating: 9/10

If you liked this... it'd have to be something with an all-seeing, all-knowing hero who makes the reader join the dots. In an exotic location. And a narrative which cuts between present and past. 

The Taint of Midas: A Novel Doctor of Thessaly (Mysteries of the Greek Detective)

Monday, April 18, 2011

{review} travels with a donkey in the cévennes

Robert Louis Stevenson Travels with a Donkey in the Cévennes (1879)

Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes
They told me when I started, and I was ready to believe it, that before a few days I should come to love Modestine like a dog. Three days had passed, we had shared some misadventures, and my heart was still as cold as a potato towards my beast of burden. She was pretty enough to look at; but then she had given proof of dead stupidity, redeemed indeed by patience, but aggravated by flashes of sorry and ill-judged light-heartedness. And I own this new discovery seemed another point against her. What the devil was the good of a she-ass if she could not carry a sleeping-bag and a few necessaries? I saw the end of the fable rapidly approaching, when I should have to carry Modestine. AEsop was the man to know the world! I assure you I set out with heavy thoughts upon my short day's march.
Was it W. C. Fields who said you should never work with children or animals? Apt confirmation of the tenet can be found in Robert Louis Stevenson's pioneering narrative of the solo-traveller's outdoor adventures in the Cévennes region of south-central France. This is a very early work by Stevenson, who would one day achieve world-wide fame with Treasure Island et al. Travels with a Donkey in the Cévennes is Stevenson's account of a two week ramble through the region with such innovative equipment as a custom-made sleeping bag (apparently one of the earliest in literature) and, of course, a donkey called Modestine.
Father Adam had a cart, and to draw the cart a diminutive she-ass, not much bigger than a dog, the colour of a mouse, with a kindly eye and a determined under-jaw. There was something neat and high-bred, a quakerish elegance, about the rogue that hit my fancy on the spot. Our first interview was in Monastier market-place. To prove her good temper, one child after another was set upon her back to ride, and one after another went head over heels into the air; until a want of confidence began to reign in youthful bosoms, and the experiment was discontinued from a dearth of subjects.
Buying Modestine to carry his packs and supplies, Stevenson soon finds that he is in possession of a demon in donkey form and before long he is both carrying the beast's burdens and also pushing/pulling her along:
A man, I was told, should walk there in an hour and a half; and I thought it scarce too ambitious to suppose that a man encumbered with a donkey might cover the same distance in four hours.
Modestine's performances are very amusing though they do not dominate Stevenson's account of a region of great natural beauty. A large strand of the narrative is concerned with the historical consequences of the upheavals undergone by the Cévenols during the great turbulence between Protestant and Catholic factions in the previous century. Stevenson - a Protestant Scot - brings great sympathy for the people whose lives had been destroyed by this religious war. 

His descriptions of the people he meets along his two week journey on foot are very lively as are the accounts of the delays to his travel arrangements. Rather like the effect of rail strikes on the modern traveller, Stevenson's four-legged "self-acting bedstead on four castors" frequently throws his travel plans into chaos. Of course, he claims not to have any plans, but there is no doubt that this ambitious young man is filled with purpose:
For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move; to feel the needs and hitches of our life more nearly; to come down off this feather-bed of civilisation, and find the globe granite underfoot and strewn with cutting flints. Alas, as we get up in life, and are more preoccupied with our affairs, even a holiday is a thing that must be worked for. To hold a pack upon a pack-saddle against a gale out of the freezing north is no high industry, but it is one that serves to occupy and compose the mind. And when the present is so exacting, who can annoy himself about the future?
The future is very important for Stevenson: he's undertaking this exotic trip through France in order to turn his experience into a book which would earn him enough money to marry.

Travels with a Donkey in the Cévennes is filled with delightful descriptions: Stevenson's pleasure in sleeping outdoors under the stars, "where God keeps an open house"; in judging the figures of pretty barmaids ("...her figure was unworthy of her face. Hers was a case for stays; but that may perhaps grow better as she gets up in years); and in hugely romanticising what appears to have been a very ugly religious war. But the donkey was the heroine as far as I was concerned; a sentiment with which Stevenson must concur:
It was not until I was fairly seated by the driver, and rattling through a rocky valley with dwarf olives, that I became aware of my bereavement. I had lost Modestine. Up to that moment I had thought I hated her; but now she was gone, 'And oh! The difference to me!' For twelve days we had been fast companions; we had travelled upwards of a hundred and twenty miles, crossed several respectable ridges, and jogged along with our six legs by many a rocky and many a boggy by-road. After the first day, although sometimes I was hurt and distant in manner, I still kept my patience; and as for her, poor soul! she had come to regard me as a god. She loved to eat out of my hand. She was patient, elegant in form, the colour of an ideal mouse, and inimitably small. Her faults were those of her race and sex; her virtues were her own. Farewell, and if for ever - Father Adam wept when he sold her to me; after I had sold her in my turn, I was tempted to follow his example; and being alone with a stage-driver and four or five agreeable young men, I did not hesitate to yield to my emotion.
Rating: 8/10

If you liked this... I read this book because of a mention of it in Rosy Thornton's The Tapestry of Love {REVIEW} which is also set in the Cévennes. Stevenson mentions the infamous "child-eating beast of Gevaudan, the Napoleon Bonaparte of wolves", which reminded me of Fred Vargas' wonderful Seeking Whom He May Devour {REVIEW}.

The Tapestry of Love Seeking Whom He May Devour: Chief Inspector Adamsberg Investigates (Chief Inspector Adamsberg Mysteries)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

{weekend words}

But some objects do seem to retain the pulse of their making. This pulse intrigues me. There is a breath of hesitancy before touching or not touching, a strange moment. If I choose to pick up this small white cup with its single chip near the handle, will it figure in my life? A simple object, this cup that is more ivory than white, too small for morning coffee, not quite balanced, could become part of my life of handled things. It could fall away into the territory of personal story-telling; the sensuous, sinuous intertwining of things with memories. A favoured, favourite thing. Or I could put it away. Or I could pass it on.
Edmund de Waal (2010)

The Hare with Amber Eyes: A Hidden Inheritance

Thursday, April 14, 2011

{review} india black

Carol K. Carr India Black (2010)

India Black

It is amazing what a woman can do if only she ignores what men tell her she can’t. If I do say so myself (and I seldom refrain from doing so), I’m a deuced fine shot, and if anyone feels inclined to meddle with me, he can expect some hot lead for his hubris.
This was a recommendation from adventures of an intrepid reader. And what a wonderful, escapist read it turned out to be. It's 1876. India Black, brothel madam ('Abbess' in the argot) and "deuced fine shot" becomes unwittingly involved in the fight to protect vital English military secrets from the Russians. This book has everything: 'real' historical figures, heaving bosoms, a lesbian romp, pistols sewn into undies, a whore with a heart of gold, and clients who like to dress up as Queen Victoria for kicks. There's a nice developing romantic story-line at play too in her fellow agent French, "a companion who made the Sphinx seem loquacious". In sum: a thoroughly enjoyable and highly unlikely romp. I'm hanging out desperately for the next one in the series. Pure escapism. Apparently this is the author's debut novel. Remarkable.
The stop at the Black Bull was the first of many that night. French would spring from the brougham and hurry into the King’s Bollocks or the Blind Wanker or wherever we happened to be, bellowing for the landlord and demanding food, drink, horses and information about any Russians who happened to be in the vicinity.
Rating: 9/10. (How did the body get from the floor to the bed, copy-editor?)

If you liked this... it was a great blend of Sarah Waters' Fingersmith, Y. S. Lee's The Agency {REVIEW} with a dash of Amanda Quick's The Paid Companion. And, of course, there's the next one: India Black and the Widow of Windsor (forthcoming).

India Black and the Widow of Windsor Fingersmith

The Agency 1: A Spy in the House The Paid Companion

{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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