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March 2019



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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.

Yes, I know I’ve already got a full, matching set of O Douglas novels, but how could I leave these behind when they were a pound each? They are 1951 Hodder Yellow Jackets in excellent clean condition.

Pretty! The rather crude illustration on the little Nelson edition is actually far truer to the book but this one is nicer to look at. Hodder excelled at pretty dustwrappers around this date. Here’s another lovely book which I now regret having sold.


Oh gorgeous! My Priorsford find from yesterday is not yellow but white but with the same dw and looks rather like your old Elizabeth Goudge (which is lovely!). So glad you enjoyed the Ann Cleeves I'll lend you the ones I've got. Think tv series hasn't been on yet. Yes agree wholeheartedly re convoluted plot of last McPherson much as I enjoyed it anyway - it felt like one of the riddles "I have no brothers and sisters..." but with no easy peasy answer!
Also thought of you this afternoon as went to hear Henry Blofeld give talk. Excellent speaker ofc - are you a fan?
Ooh, yours must be earlier, so an even better find. Still an amazing coincidence.
Blowers? My dear old thing, everybode luv him.
It would have been a crime to leave behind the O. Douglas novels at that price! I have that edition of Green Dolphin Country; the dj seems to have been the work of either John or Isobel Morton-Sale, who according to Isobel's obituary were friends of Elizabeth Goudge.
I have the same edition of green Dolphin Country but sadly mine is minus the dust jacket. I also have very great affection for Marianne who remains one of my favourite heroines. Although I appreciate Marguerite more now that I'm much older I remember thinking her a total wimp when I first read this.
Thank you for reminding me that I have it, I have pulled it off the bookshelf and and am planning a comfort read later this evening.
How interesting, thank you! I've got the omnibus The Eliots of Damerosehay which also has a very pretty cover.
I love them. O Douglas has become my top comfort read author.


Books ...

You will adore Maisie Dobbs, I find her a far more rounded character than Dandy whatsit in the books by Catriona MacPherson, although Dandy has her strong points, too.
I have a couple of O Douglas on the shelf but still haven't read them - I have simply been seduced by those lovely covers!
Margaret P

Re: Books ...

Yes indeed, I like Maisie a lot.