editor’s choice

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  Good crime fiction usually grabs you from the very first page, immersing you instantly in the author’s world. Great books grab you from the very first words: Ausma Zehanat Khan’s excellent The Language of Secrets does just that. Set in twenty-first century Canada, on paper the book is a tale of our times, its … Continue readings

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  The ability to make people laugh is a great thing – and writers who can do so seemingly effortlessly are worth their weight in gold. Gina Kirkham is one such author, and Constable 1261 Mavis Upton a wonderful protagonist. Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot, Mavis’s second outing, hits the ground running. The year is 1999 and … Continue readings

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   ‘Better to be the one who leaves than the one who’s left behind.’   ‘You think?’”   –Polly/Peilan responding to Leon   Following its publication in America, Lisa Ko’s quietly powerful novel, The Leavers, received well-deserved critical acclaim. Now, as the launch title in Dialogue Books’ exciting new list, it will reach far wider … Continue readings

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  Nordic Noir writer Gunnar Staalesen pays more than a nod to Raymond Chandler in his latest book, Big Sister, the twentieth featuring popular PI Varg Veum. The Little Sister (1949) was Chandler’s fifth book featuring Philip Marlowe. ‘I have a sentimental relationship with [The Little Sister],’ he says, ‘because it was the first one … Continue readings

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    Spurred on by Hayley at Rather too fond of books‘s post about this, I’m taking on the 20 books of summer challenge set by Cathy at 746 books – what a great idea – so that’s reading 20 books and an awful lot of words of our choice between 1 June (today) and … Continue readings

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  In a year of extraordinarily good crime fiction, much of which has been published by small or independent presses, Orenda does it again, hitting the mark with Johana Gustawsson’s excellent novel, Keeper. Canadian profiler Emily Roy and French writer Alexis Castells, introduced to audiences in the critically acclaimed Block 46, get a second outing … Continue readings

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  I ALMOST WEPT WHEN THE CHARLIE RESNICK BOOKS CAME TO AN END. They were brilliant – not just crime fiction at its best, but also insightful political and social commentaries on the state of Britain at the time, set to a lot of great music. I didn’t read any John Harvey after that, so, … Continue readings

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  Cyrille said the sea was like a patchwork quilt. Fragments of waves joined together by strands of sunlight. He said the sea would swallow the stories of the world and digest them at its leisure in its cobalt belly before regurgitating only distorted reflections. He said the events of the last few weeks would … Continue readings

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  International Women’s Day 2018 marks great change – women standing up everywhere and saying, ‘we are not invisible … we are present … we are here.’ As women march, strike, shout for equal rights, we hope that this year really does signify the beginnings of a better world, not just based on gender, but … Continue readings

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  LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE, Celeste Ng’s new novel, builds on the extraordinary success of her debut Everything I Never Told You. It opens with a momentous event: a house fire in the seemingly idyllic Cleveland suburb of Shaker Heights where everything runs to order. The house in question belongs to Mr and Mrs Richardson, model … Continue readings

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  PIER OF THE YEAR AND NOW the prestigious Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Stirling Award 2017 – the accolades just keep coming for Hastings Pier. A community-led project, designed and restored by London-based architects dRMM (Alex de Rijke, Philip Marsh and Sadie Morgan), the pier is, in RIBA president Ben Derbyshire’s words, a … Continue readings

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  SET IN THE WILDS OF WESTERN MONTANA, COME SUNDOWN, like many of the best novels by Nora Roberts, focuses on family – blood or otherwise – spiced up with just enough murder, madness and, of course, romance to sustain our interest. At the heart of the story lies the relationship between protagonists Bodine Longbow, … Continue readings