callmemadam (callmemadam) wrote,

January Books

Dickens at Christmas
A Winterfold Christmas , Harriet Evans
Number 11, Jonathan Coe.
The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Sue Townsend
The Murder at Sissingham Hall, Clara Benson
The Curious Case of the Copper Corpse , Alan Bradley
Exposure , Helen Dunmore
The Vintage Teacup Club, Vanessa Greene
Let Him Lie , Ianthe Jerrold
The Moonlit Garden , Corina Bomann
Missing or Murdered , Robin Forsythe
The Silk Merchant’s Daughter , Dinah Jefferies
Fencing with Death, Elizabeth Edmondson
Death in Profile, Guy Fraser-Sampson

Number 11 was a very welcome Christmas present, which I read straight away. It’s brilliant, doing for the noughties what Coe did for the seventies in The Rotters’ Club and The Closed Circle. I was interested strangely by the many references in the book to the film What a Whopper. I’d be giving spoilers if I explained why the old film is relevant to the story but one whole section of the book is named after it. The page looks like this:

George Osborne, addressing the Conservative party conference
6 October 2009:
‘We are all in this together.’

What a Whopper!

And Coe never mentions Adam Faith!:-)

The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole never fails to make me laugh out loud, even when I’m feeling ill.

I found The Murder at Sissingham Hall on my Kindle and couldn’t remember how it got there. I checked and found that I’d bought it last September; someone must have recommended it. It’s described as ‘An Angela Marchmont Mystery’ and is the first in a series of ten books. None of Clara Benson’s books was published in her lifetime so it’s nice that these Golden Age mysteries are available to us now. I enjoyed it, just when I wanted a quick, light read.

I was seduced into reading The Vintage Teacup Club because it was described as beginning with three women lusting after the same vintage tea set at a car boot sale. I like vintage tea sets and I like car boot sales but the book didn’t live up to its promise. Three women, three lives, a lot of problems which they help each other out with. Sadly, that wasn’t enough to make a book I could love. I did finish it, so it can’t be all bad.

Fencing with Death I’ve already mentioned when it was offered as a free download after the author’s sad and untimely death. Poor old Larry. Said to have a brilliant mind, he’s a complete idiot politically and a total believer in Marxist propaganda. When the chance comes to spend time teaching in Hungary he’s thrilled to think he’ll actually be living in a workers’ paradise. What a disillusionment is in store! Although this story involves a murder and a lot of dirty spying, it’s also very funny. I absolutely loved it.

Death in Profile is the first book in a new series by Guy Fraser-Sampson, called The Hampstead Murders. It’s not out yet but I’ll be reviewing it soon.
Tags: clara benson, crime fiction, elizabeth edmondson, guy fraser-sampson, jonathan coe, sue townsend, vanessa greene

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