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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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    Eva Mozes Kor’s The Twins of Auschwitz is an extraordinary piece of memoir. Aged ten, Romanian Jews Eva and her sister, Miriam, survived the gas chambers because of one small genetic factor: they were twins. Selected to be part of Dr Josef Mengele’s scientific experiments, Eva and Miriam were ripped from their mother’s … Continue readings

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    ‘In a world that is increasingly dark and aggressive, I think making beauty is an act of rebellion and that’s what I’m trying to do really,’ says author and illustrator Jackie Morris of The Unwindings. And she does it most successfully in this gorgeously produced book. A pillow book, compact enough to be … Continue readings

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  When I first heard the premise for Amanda Craig’s new novel, The Golden Rule, I was intrigued. Two women meet on a train, talk and agree to kill each other’s husbands. It’s Strangers on the Train revisited surely? As a huge Hitchcock and Highsmith fan that’s wonderful. It’s even more so to discover the … Continue readings

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  I was looking at the book jacket of Damian Barr’s You Will Be Safe Here a few days back, when I reread it, and was struck by how many adjectives have been applied to it by so many great writers, so you’ll forgive me if I repeat some of them in the course of … Continue readings

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  Every year I get myself a present from my late mama. Something that’s meaningful, occasionally life changing, like the flat I bought and moved into on my birthday four years ago. Mostly though it’s a set of charcoals or a plant. This year it’s Charlie Mackesy’s The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and the … Continue readings

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  I was looking at the book jacket of Damian Barr’s You Will Be Safe Here a few days back, when I reread it, and was struck by how many adjectives have been applied to it by so many great writers, so you’ll forgive me if I repeat some of them in the course of … Continue readings

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