Someone kindly lent me The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley and I fairly galloped through it; could hardly put it down. England, 1950, an ancestral country house with five eccentric inhabitants: father, Colonel de Luce, obsessed with philately and with sad memories of the past; Daffy, a fanatical reader; Feely, a brilliant pianist and the youngest daughter, our heroine Flavia. Oh dear, Flavia. She is as weird and clever as her sisters but her obsession is with chemistry. Precociously knowledgeable and resourceful, with excellent powers of deduction, at eleven she is too young to realise when she is putting herself in danger. When a body is found in the garden and her father arrested, Flavia tracks down the true killer but at great risk.
The fifth eccentric occupant of the house? Dogger, the gardener, ex-POW and devoted to the family. His name is perhaps the only thing in the book which will jar on a British reader as for a whole generation and more ‘Dogger’ is of course the subject of Shirley Hughes’ book for children. This novel won the 2007 CWA Dagger Award and is the first in a series. I’m looking forward to the next book.
Thimble Summer, Elizabeth Enright
The House in the Holly Bush, Jo Hatcher
New Forest Discoveries, Stephen Mogridge
A Civil Contract, Georgette Heyer
Old Boyfriends, Debbie Macomber
Thin Blue Smoke, Doug Worgul
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, Alan Bradley
The Clue in the Castle, Joyce Bevins Webb
Dragon Castle, Elinor Lyon
Bridget Jones’ Diary, Helen Fielding, re-read
Bridget Jones The Edge of Reason ditto
Madresfield, Jane Mulvagh
Village School, Miss Read
Village Diary, Miss Read
Storm in the Village, Miss Read. After this I moved on to Over the Gate, the next in the Fairacre series but I didn’t like it so much: too episodic. So instead I read Thrush Green. I will never like this series as much as the other and still favour the first three books over all the rest.
Currently reading The Real Elizabeth Taylor by Nicola Beauman.