I’ve read all of Elizabeth George’s series featuring the bedraggled Barbara Havers and intellectual and aristocratic Thomas Lynley. Indeed, I very much loved their early outings and devotedly awaited the release of each new adventure.
This latest release by Sophie Hannah reminded me of my cozy fiction days. In many ways, our lead character Cara and another resort guest (Tarin) are Miss Marplesque characters. Though perhaps more like Agatha Raisin. Or Phrynne Fisher (‘Lady Detective’).
I must admit, I was rather taken with Tarin (and Zellie) Fry in particular, and wouldn’t mind meeting them again. I suspect Cara’s story is done, but Tarin would hold some allure for future books in a series. (Akin perhaps to Mary Higgins Clark’s lottery winners, Alvirah and Willy Meehan, who often feature – even in secondary roles – in her novels.)
I rarely watch talk shows. The only one I do watch – depending on its guests – is The Graham Norton Show because I love the host’s wicked and irreverent sense of humour.
I’m aware he’s released a couple of biographical memoirs but regular readers know how I feel about non-fiction (ie. I’d rather poke myself in the eye with a stick. Or eat broccoli.), but I jumped at the chance to read his first foray into fiction, hoping his droll sarcasm found its way into his debut novel. Which it certainly does.
I missed the first in this Stephen King trilogy. Mr Mercedes received great reviews which tempted me (after a long break from King’s fiction) to read the second in the series, Finders Keepers.
I mostly enjoyed Finders Keepers and you can check out my review here, but… without the Mr Mercedes backstory I failed to really engage with Bill Hodges and his cohorts – who entered the Finders Keepers plot when I was already well and truly settled in with its main protagonist, young Peter Saubers and his family.
End of Watch seems to return to where Mr Mercedes left off, but interestingly, provides a really good recap of the key points of the original. So I enjoyed it a lot.
Last year a book called My Grandmother Sends Her Regards and Apologises was doing the rounds. I loved the title but – for reasons I now do not recall – didn’t get around to reading that book.
It wasn’t until after I finished Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman that I discovered the Swedish blogger and columnist also authored ‘My Grandmother… etc’ and his latest had a quirky and beguiling warmth that makes me realise I would have loved to read about the apologising grandmother.
British author and poet Sophie Hannah is hugely popular. Indeed her work’s won a myriad of awards and been adapted for television. And she’s prolific, writing crime fiction, psychological suspense, children’s literature and poetry.
I’m a relative newcomer to her work, having (only) read her standalone thriller, A Game for all the Family and the predecessor to her latest release, The Narrow Bed. And I have to admit… I’m still a little undecided about the extent of my own thrall….