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    My grandmother, a wise woman and some would say witch, used to say, treat the plants with the most beautiful flowers with respect and care, as they hide the best and worst of secrets. Of course, as a child, I ignored her – to my detriment, in fact, when I stupidly consumed a … Continue readings

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    From it’s beautiful cover to its beautiful writing, The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot is a joy to read. The one hundred years referenced in the title are the collective ages of 17-year-old Lenni and 83-year-old Margot, the protagonists of writer Marianne Cronin’s debut novel. Margot has lived a full and … Continue readings

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      The premise of Helen Fisher’s novel, Space Hopper, is wonderful. What would you do if you could go back in time and be with a loved one? That’s the dilemma of thirty-something, happily married Faye, who still grieves for the mother she lost at a very young age, more so as her … Continue readings

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      Dr Cassandra Coburn is an impressive character. A scientist, editor and now author of her first book, Enough: How Your Food Choices Will Save the Planet, she has a doctorate in genetics and is associated with The Lancet; all great credentials. The danger though that sometimes occurs when academics write books on … Continue readings

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    Eating was as close to heaven as my mother ever came … And almost as heavenly as the eating was the making – how she gloried in it. Every last body on this earth has a particular notion of paradise, and this was hers, standing in the murderously hot back kitchen of her … Continue readings

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    We’re huge Michael Connelly fans’ and came to him via The Concrete Blonde, oh so many years ago, in Murder One. It’s thus with complete delight we read his new book, The Law of Innocence, the latest outing for wildly popular protagonist Mickey Haller. From the first pages we’re thrown into the action, … Continue readings

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  When I was asked if I wanted to review The Archers: Ambridge at War, penned by novelist Catherine Miller, it was a no-brainer. Like so many, growing up, Sunday mornings were given over to listening to The Archers’ omnibus on Radio 4. As soon as the iconic music came on, everyone would fall silent: … Continue readings

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  We know and very much admire Anita Nair’s literary fiction and yet, despite being huge crime-fiction lovers, we hadn’t read any of her writing in the genre. Until now. And it’s astounding. Beautifully realised, authentic, truly great crime. Just pleasing in every way. A Cut-Like Wound introduces fallen hero Borei Gowda, a police inspector … Continue readings

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    It’s wonderful when writers, particularly women writers, get their moment in the sun again – and it’s especially so when the writer is someone as talented as Kamala Markandaya. In her day, she was a well-respected, best-selling author, her name known globally, and yet, despite this, for some twenty years, her novels were … Continue readings

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  Happy national poetry day 2020. How wonderful that we have a day to celebrate a medium that we all love in one shape or form. I know many of you reading this will have penned a poem at some time, or written a lyric. The former is certainly how I first started writing – … Continue readings

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    It’s a year ago since we reviewed the first of the Imperial War Museum Wartime Classics, a series of previously out-of-print fiction by the valiant men and women who wrote so poignantly about the Second World War from first-hand experience. It’s with great pleasure that we’ve just finished the latest book, Barbara Whitton’s … Continue readings

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    Most people will recognise Kate Humble from telly. She’s a well-known face; honest, appealing, the kind of person you’d like to sit down and have a cuppa with and chat, knowing you’ll come away enriched by the experience. It’s thus a joy that Humble’s new book, A Year of Living Simply, reflects her … Continue readings

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  If you like comedy, Andy Hamilton will be a familiar name and face. A regular panellist on game shows and an accomplished screenwriter, with such highly rated series as Outnumbered and Drop the Dead Donkey under his belt, Hamilton publishes his novel, Longhand, this month with Unbound. Both a love letter to the lost … Continue readings

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      We’ve said on several occasions how much we like a good historical novel, and ones paying a nod to the Gothic tradition are of particular interest: Rhiannon Ward (aka crime writer Sarah Ward) ticks both these boxes in the beautifully produced The Quickening. Set in 1925, in a post-World War I world, … Continue readings

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    Newfoundland is one of those places that captures the imagination – if, indeed, you are aware of it at all. We love books like Michael Crummey’s The Innocents, which evoke its haunting, savage, challenging, sometimes extremely strange landscape, which really is like nowhere else on earth. That alone would make us like this … Continue readings

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