Ms Dewar's been reading...

The Lie – Helen Dunmore** 
Writerly writer writing about the First World War, but others have done it better. 

Northanger Abbey – Val MacDiarmid 
One of a series of updates of Jane Austen – insubstantial – Catherine Morland’s Gothic novels become modern day vampires but the complexities of marriage among the upper classes doesn't translate easily to the present day setting 

A Room with  a View – EM Forster 
Set in 1908 Lucy is a New Woman learning to break through Edwardian convention and be true to herself in an atmosphere of repression and overwrought emotion .  

More Dandy Gilvers;

Dandy Gilver and a Bothersome Number of Corpses - Catriona McPherson 
Dandy as a teacher in a girl’s school – quite touching in a very silly way 

Bury Her Deep – Catriona McPherson 
Set among witches in Fife – as silly as it sounds 

The Winter Ground – Catriona McPherson  
A resting circus is an excellent setting 

After the Armistice Ball – Catriona McPherson 
First in the series and the tone is not quite even  

The Burry Man’s Day – Catriona McPherson 
I was amazed that I’d never heard of the Burry Man – set in South Queensferry and very good fun 

Dandy Gilver and the Reek of Red Herrings – Catriona McPherson 
Set among the fisherfolk of Gaimrie in the North East – lots of local and historical  interest although the most ridiculous plot yet involving taxidermy and a dissected corpse in a herring barrel 

Love Story with Murders  - Harry Bingham  
A police procedural with a detective who for one is not a middle aged male divorcee - Fiona Griffiths is young. Welsh & mentally ill. Well written and tightly plotted – not that common in crime thriller 

Dead Girl Walking – Christopher Brookmyre 
Really disappointing installment of  the long running Jack Parlabane series–  a thriller which needs three chapters of exposition at the end really needed a better plot. His recent Jasmine Sharp novels are much better. 

Black Eyed Blonde - Benjamin Black  
Atmospheric pastiche   Philip Marlowe novel – very well done, no false notes 

The House of Silk – Anthony Horowitz 
Pastiche of Sherlock Holmes is suitably dark but  not as convincing as the Moriarty book  

After I’m Gone – Laura Lippmann 
Shifts in time between the 1960s, 1980s and present day Baltimore can’t help disguise a duff plot  (woman disappears – no one cares)  an uninvolving cast and an extremely clichéd cop character 

The Way of the Panda – Henry Nicholls 
China’s political animal – an overview of panda history, biology and use as a diplomatic bargaining chip. Interesting but feels like a magazine article with heavy padding. 

 To Rise again at a Decent Hour – Joshua Ferris 
 book about an insomniac dentist , but  funnier and more insightful than that sounds 

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