We’re very much accustomed to books being adapted for television but the opposite – books appearing as a result of popular television shows or movies – is less common. Though we did have the pleasure last year of a Ms Fisher’s Modern Murder Mystery (in print) following the success of that TV series. And more recently the book Heat 2 has been released, complementing the popular 1995 film (Heat). Here, well-known television producer and screenwriter Roger Simpson has adapted his iconic series Halifax fp, from the small screen onto the page.
The It Girl by Ruth Ware is an absorbing read. It unfolds in the past and present, both via our narrator Hannah. In the past she’s starting out at Oxford University, climbing out of her public school past and and navigating the quagmire that is university life – grappling with study and new friends (which I remember as if it wasn’t 35 years ago 🙄 ). And in the present, she’s married, living in Edinburgh and working in a bookshop – never having graduated from university.
Ware doesn’t keep us guessing why as the book opens with Hannah finding the body of her best friend and room-mate April but we’re then taken back to their meeting and the weeks and months leading up to April’s murder.
Cold Cold Bones is the 21st in the series by Kathy Reichs featuring Temperance (Tempe) Brennan. I was once a devotee of this series but have seemingly missed a few recently. Her latest for example, features Tempe’s daughter Katy who’s recently left the army and I’m trying to remember if I even knew she was in the army. I kinda remember her being at university but then again I have a memory like a sieve, so….
I ADORED Lily and the Octopus by Steven Rowley giving it a rare 4.5 stars. It was astoundingly clever and such a delight. Rowley wrote with humour and sensitivity and – though not a dog / animal lover – I was completely enchanted by Ted the human and Lily the dachshund. (And, sadly… the octopus that ‘consumed’ her.)
I leapt at the chance to read The Guncle. The blurb had me wondering if it’d be like RWR McDonald’s wonderful ‘The Nancys’ series… featuring Uncle Pike and his partner Devon… albeit without the whodunnit.
Reputation by Sarah Vaughan is the third book I’ve read by the former English political correspondent. I enjoyed her the popular Anatomy of a Scandal which has been adapted for television and coming to Netflix in April 2022. I wasn’t as enamoured with Little Disasters which had a stronger parenting focus as – regular readers of my reviews will know – my eyes glaze over at the mention of judgmental parents and parenting wars and the like.
She’s returned to what she knows best here however and the focus is very much on the world of politics. (And the private lives of those who run for office and the media reporting on them.)
I very much enjoyed The Gosling Girl by Jacqueline Roy so it meant my reading year started with a bang. In fact I thought this was very nearly a 4.5 or 5 star read. (Which are rarities in my little harsh-rating-system world.) I suspect I’ve marked it down a little because I was waiting for something that didn’t come… something that would have given me a little more insight. A little more understanding. Which of course, may say more about my need to know than it does about the book itself. Not to mention my expectations of characters’ depravity or otherwise. While others may well have complained if it went further.
I thought I’d only missed the most recent Stephanie Plum adventure but according to Goodreads the last I read was #25. And in the two books I’ve missed Stephanie’s Grandma Mazur has been married and widowed. Again.
Things seem to have progressed with one of Stephanie’s love interests as well. Though here, it’s not the Ranger vs Morelli dilemma we’re used to, but someone called Diesel raises his apparently handsome head. And I found myself wondering where he fits into things, though have a vague memory of him – perhaps in a different series or a standalone book?
It has to be said… ‘Oh my god, how many secrets can one family have?’ Although, having said (exclaimed?) that some of the secrets Adler family members are keeping are blown (by the keeper) way out of proportion. Of course, others are doozies, so….
The Perfect Family by Robyn Harding is centred around a family that seems to be just that. And we’re told parents Thomas and Viv work hard to make it appear so. But cracks are appearing. All at once, and it’s a reminder that – from the outside – you never know what’s happening on the inside.
Oft-referenced advice to wannabe authors is to ‘write what you know’ and Australian author Nicola West has most certainly done that in her debut novel, Catch Us The Foxes.
This is a book within a book. Kind-of. There’s a brief introduction in the present before we’re introduced to The Showgirl’s Secret, a true crime book written by (former) journalist intern Marlowe Robertson. ‘Lo’ is the daughter of the town’s head of police who feels stuck in her small hometown and literally stumbles across the body of a friend. In real life, West grew up in Kiama – the book’s setting – as the daughter of a police officer and is a journalist herself.