callmemadam (callmemadam) wrote,
callmemadam
callmemadam

  • Mood:

November Books, Late & Few


Freddie de la Hay, the dog of Corduroy Mansions

Anderby Wold, Winifred Holtby
Blotto, Twinks and the Ex-King’s Daughter, Simon Brett
The Music at Long Verney , Twenty Stories, Sylvia Townsend Warner
I Am Half-Sick of Shadows, Alan Bradley (Flavia de Luce)
Katherine at Feather Ghyll, Anne Bradley
State of Wonder, Ann Patchett
Humbug, E M Delafield.
Leave the Grave Green, Deborah Crombie
A Conspiracy of Friends, Alexander McCall Smith

Not much reading, very little knitting, lots of fiddling about with stamps. I should have put Stanley Gibbons’ Specialised Commonwealth Catalogue to 1970 on the list. Not read cover to cover, obv., but I’ve spent a lot of time with it.

I seem to have given the impression that I disliked Ann Patchett’s State of Wonder. Not at all; it’s a haunting book, one I’ll always remember. It’s just that the jungle gave me the heebie-jeebies. I really did dislike Humbug by E M Delafield. It’s a moral tale about the effects of bad parenting by people who ‘mistake ignorance for innocence’. I felt it was unsuccessful because the heroine is far too dim and set in her ways to have a sudden conversion in the last chapter and see what has been wrong with her life.

I agree with gghost that I Am Half-Sick of Shadows is the weakest book so far in the Flavia de Luce series. Perhaps it’s because all the events take place in the house and I like Flavia whizzing about the countryside on Gladys. Also, being picky: I read the British edition yet ‘draughty’ was spelt ‘drafty’. And I don’t think someone of Flavia’s background and at that time would have said ‘toilet’, more probably ‘lav’ like the Mitford girls. I’m reading Deborah Crombie’s Gemma & Kincaid series backwards, as I get hold of the books. The further back I go, the less I like them, as I feel like smacking the pair of detectives for not seeing the obvious and getting together. The most recent ones, where they are a couple, are much better, IMO. I do like the topography in these books. Leave the Grave Green is set in a part of Buckinghamshire which I know quite well, so I could picture the scenes. Blotto and Twinks are very different types of detectives. The stories may be silly but they’re highly entertaining and I applaud Simon Brett for writing lightly humorous books; it’s a great talent and one I prefer to solemn pretentiousness.

Alexander McCall Smith also writes light fiction, but with a moral dimension. Scotland Street is still my favourite series but I enjoy keeping up with the inhabitants of Corduroy Mansions, too. The things that happen to them get increasingly improbable but there’s enough potential in just one of the threads for a full length novel, so who’s complaining? Katherine at Feather Ghyll was my comfort read of the month.
Tags: alexander mccall smith, children's books, crime fiction, deborah crombie, e m delafield, simon brett, stamps
Subscribe
  • Post a new comment

    Error

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
  • 7 comments