February 27th, 2011

bookbag

Books borrowed and new(ish)



Yet again ramblingfancy has introduced me to a detective series which I’m going to enjoy. Telling Tales is part of the Vera Stanhope series by Ann Cleeves. I see from the cover there’s been a TV series but it passed me by completely. This story is set in Yorkshire, the flat, coastal part getting towards Lincolnshire (coincidentally the setting for South Riding) and the landscape dominates the book, making it very atmospheric; the sea and the wind seem everywhere. A teenage girl has been murdered ten years before and the case is to be reopened. Secrets and lies abound in the small community and Vera relies perhaps too much on her instincts to find out the truth. It reminded me a little of Anita Shreve’s Eden Close, which I read last year. As is so often the case, the dénouement is less interesting than the steps towards it but I liked the book and will be happy to read more by this author.

ramblingfancy also lent me the latest Catriona McPherson novel, Dandy Gilver and an Unsuitable Day for a Murder. This one is a Montagu & Capulet story set in Dunfermline. Two department stores, two families whose members all hate each other, two deaths. I loved the descriptions of the shops and the people working in them but much as I like Dandy and Alec, the plot of this one was too convoluted for me. If anyone can beat Dandy to working out the complex relationships between the Aitken and Hepburn families: congratulations!

I have two more crime books lined up. At the market yesterday the nice man who finds books for me had the first Maisie Dobbs novel, hurrah! I’ve been reading them out of order and now I shall be able to see how it all started. He also offered me two Daisy Dalrymple books, one of which, Rattle His Bones, was next on my list to read. I was just as pleased to spot two books by O Douglas, after rummaging through several unpromising boxes.
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