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  ‘I have no words for you, my dearest … You are mine, I am yours’ – Letter No 1   Sunday. I have no words for you, my dearest, – I shall never have – You are mine, I am yours. Now, here is one sign of what I said: that I must love … Continue readings

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  Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe is famous for his interest in food and all things to do with his stomach. There’s even a Nero Wolfe Cookbook (Rex Stout; 1987), made up of recipes mentioned in Rex Stout’s novels. In this clip from the first episode of the 2001–2 TV adaptation, Nero and Fritz debate the … Continue readings

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‘They drove by the level road along the valley to a distance of a few miles, and, reaching Wellbridge, turned away from the village to the left, and over the great Elizabethan bridge which gives the place half its name. Immediately behind it stood the house wherein they had engaged lodgings, whose exterior features are … Continue readings

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  ‘Detective Mallory just called. She shut down the play.’… Axel Clayborne scanned his new lines. ‘Did she say why?’ ‘Bad behavior,’ said Cyril. ‘Too many dead bodies in the audience.’ The actor nodded. ‘I suppose last night was overkill.’ –It Happens in the Dark, p. 120   Modern crime fiction is a wondrous thing. … Continue readings

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  EDITOR’S CHOICE I absolutely love American crime writer Carol O’Connell. Since I first read Mallory’s Oracle (1994), which introduced the extremely odd and emotionally challenged Kathy Mallory, these books have literally grabbed me by the throat and I pace around until the next book is published. O’Connell’s standalone titles are also chillingly brilliant in … Continue readings

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The pseudonym of English husband-and-wife team Nicci Gerrard and Sean French, who write psychological thrillers together, the entity that is Nicci French is an award-winning author. Titles include: Blue Monday.   See also: Tami Hoag

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American-born Donna Leon has lived in Venice, Italy, for more than 30 years and this is where she has set her extremely successful series of books featuring Commissario Guido Brunetti. Famous for her elegant prose and lyrical style, Leon carefully evokes the Venice of contemporary times, while revealing through her language her very strong love … Continue readings

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EDITOR’S CHOICE I love Ngaio Marsh. One of the Four Queens of Mystery, along with Agatha Christie, Margaret Allingham and Dorothy L. Sayers, Marsh was born in New Zealand on 23 April 1895. She grew up in Christchurch and studied art, before joining a theatrical arts company. From 1928 she spent about half her time … Continue readings

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EDITOR’S CHOICE Even if Vera Caspary hadn’t written Laura, one of my favourite books and films, she would be an editor’s choice. Caspary’s novels have independent and spirited female protagonists who look for love but also are inevitably embroiled in mystery/suspense/murder. Laura is often considered the first noir. It’s a superb book and was well … Continue readings

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EDITOR’S CHOICE One of our favourite food writers, Nigel Slater is not only a cook who writes, but a great broadcaster. Slater writes a popular food column for the Observer. He has also appeared in five television series and has written numerous books, including his award-winning memoir Toast (adapted by the BBC for television) and … Continue readings

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  I have, in recent times, realised I enjoy a good crush. I even have a Pinterest board dedicated to the subject. I don’t discriminate on the grounds of sex, age, race, even species – I am an equal-opportunities bestower of my affections – something that has sadly led to ridicule by certain friends and … Continue readings

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Letters of Note, Letterheady and Lists of Note are just a few of the sites that enterprising Shaun Usher runs. The Letters of Note site, which we love, features really interesting, erudite pieces of letters that probably otherwise wouldn’t see the light of day in modern times. Usher has published a critically acclaimed book, Letters … Continue readings

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  Letters have to pass two tests before they can be classed as good: they must express the personality both of the writer and of the recipient.” – EM Forster   I love letters. I love writing them. I love receiving them. I really appreciate a good letter: you can tell so much from it, … Continue readings

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Best-selling American author Gaelen Foley is probably best-known to romance fans for her books featuring the ‘Knight family’ and the ‘Inferno Club’ series.  She also writes as EG Foley, with her husband Eric, producing young adult fantasy novels. Her adult historical novels include: His Wicked Kiss (Knight family).   See also: Mary Balogh (early); Anne … Continue readings

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Award-winning writer Lisa Kleypas established herself as a leading historical-romance writer, especially with the series of books featuring ‘The Wallflowers’ and the ‘Hathaways’. In recent years she has also written several contemporary romances, which deal with issues such as domestic violence, poverty and racism. Her heroines are always strong, quirky characters who often overcome adversity … Continue readings