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August 2019



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The Good, the Bad and the Indifferent

Three crime fiction novels. Starting with the bad: A Little Learning by J M Gregson.
I only managed one chapter of this Inspector Peach Mystery. On the first page we have: Lust was usually in the air at that heady hour on a Friday night: as the crashing rhythms of the music ceased, activated hormones began to throb even more insistently than the regular beat of the rock groups. On the very same page: They were three boys and one girl; they regarded themselves as ‘mates’… What planet is this author on? He’s writing about students in 2002!

Agatha Raisin and the Potted Gardener by M C Beaton was the one I found so-so. Not terrible at all, quite entertaining in a silly way but for cosy crime, I’d certainly pick Simon Brett or Hazel Holt over M C Beaton.

It took me a while to get into Andrea Camilleri's The Terracotta Dog, probably because it’s not the first book in the series; the names, the places were all strange and confusing at first and the story seemed episodic rather than gripping. Then I established the location – Sicily – firmly in my head and began to like Inspector Montalban with his love of literature and good food (Sicilian food sounds wonderful) and his battles with the mafiosi, corrupt officials and incompetents all around him. It was nearly half way through the book before the really interesting event took place and after that: phew! I sat down yesterday evening at nine o’clock and didn’t move until I’d finished it. It’s such a treat to find a book that stops you wanting to do anything else but read it and I’m grateful to ramblingfancy for lending it to me. More!


Not sure if you read Random Jottings but she did a post on Montalbano a few days ago (and had a similar reaction — indifference at first, love later).

Oh, thank you! I'd given up on Random Jottings because the posts were so rare. So no, I hadn't seen it.
Edit: I've just found that my link to Random Jottings was broken and there were in fact lots of posts. How annoying; must remedy.

Edited at 2009-01-23 08:16 pm (UTC)

Terracotta dog

Sorry to hear thatyou gave up on Random Jottings because the posts were so rare! This is Random Jottings here and I post nearly every day...wonder if it was anothr blog you were thinking of.

Re: Terracotta dog

Hello! No, it was you, but the link on my favourites bar was faulty in some way and as I've already commented above, I'm now seeing what a lot I've missed. I love your blog and we like a lot of the same authors.


Re: Terracotta dog

Well do keep visiting and I have just spotted that pic above this comment. Surely it is an Ardizzone illustration? In which case we like the same illustrators too.

Have just finished reading the patience of the spider, another Montalbano - I am going to b e running out soon

Re: Terracotta dog

Yes, it is an Ardizzone illustration. I don't know where it comes from originally; I took it from Margery Fisher's Intent on Reading. I was brought up on Little Tim!
Oh super! Really glad you enjoyed it! I finished one on the train back from London today so will have more to lend. I went to Liberty's and found stitch markers (and a few other things ahem!).
I'll certainly see if the library has any.
Liberty's? Anyone would be tempted there!