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  Tolo glanced at his watch. ‘You said business was fairly slack, so I’m really hoping you’ll come on board with this case? Gaspar and the team have enough to deal with while I’m away and we could do with your lateral thinking again.’ ‘Is that supposed to be a compliment?’ Isabel teased. ‘Take your … Continue readings

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  Say ‘Baghdad Central’ and people will immediately begin to talk about the highly acclaimed Channel 4 co-produced TV series, loosely based on Elliott Colla’s far better novel of the same name. Colla’s book is an intelligent, tightly plotted piece of writing, set in post-war Iraq and written from the viewpoint of the Iraqis. Colla, … Continue readings

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    Lev Parikian’s Music To Eat Cake By is an utter delight. A dip in-dip out collection of essays, covering all manner of subjects – from music and bird watching to sandwiches and cricket – it’s a deeply satisfying, highly amusing read, a joy for those with curious minds. The premise of the book … Continue readings

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    We’ve great fans of Karen Sullivan’s Orenda list, partly because of the inclusion of so many very fine books published in translation.We first came across the writing of acclaimed French-Canadian author Roxanne Bouchard in 2018, when Orenda published the lyrical We Were the Salt of the Sea in English. We adored it. It’s … Continue readings

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    The first form of love was the Goddess. Like love always is, we could not see her, but simply feel that she was there. We will call her the Devi, the self, the eternal. She is the mother to the universe and everything that comes next. … The Devi smiles at the three … 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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    One of my favourite things to do is travel. As a child, I read pretty much any and every travel book I could lay my hands on, had a bucket list of places I was desperate to visit and spent hours whiling away the time, nose in tome, imagining myself walking with the … 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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  If there’s a time to read chilling literature (or catch up with Hammer/giallo classics on Netflix), it’s now. October is the month when the unnatural are really out and about, jumping up and down and waving their hands at us, shouting, ‘We’re here!’. So, it’s with pleasure we delved into CJ Cooke’s The Nesting, … 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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  We have to admit one of the reasons we wanted to review Philip Bowne’s debut Cows Can’t Jump is the fact he’s a writer for the Wombles. Childhood nostalgia goes a long way. We’re delighted then that Bowne’s novel doesn’t disappoint. It’s sharply observed, well-paced, funny and yet has a poignancy that’s at times … Continue readings

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    It’s surprisingly hard to come up with a good book title, one that’s not only attention grabbing, but shouts, ‘Hey [waggly hands], this is what I am!’, and sometimes going old school is the key. The Creak on the Stairs does just that and it doesn’t disappoint. The nod-to- the-crime classics’ title is … 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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    ‘I am a woman. I am mixed-race. I grew up in East London and Essex. I am not posh, but I am not going to let anyone tell me that the Bar is not for “people like me”. This is my story.”   Many people will have seen the recent media about the … Continue readings

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