This is one of Thirkell’s novels that has not been reprinted by Virago, so it may prove a little more difficult to track down. It is also one of the last of the Barsetshire chronicles, appearing in 1959, and it has the tell tail signs of a late Thirkell; when she admits to being unsure … More Love At All Ages by Angela Thirkell
This is number nineteen in a series of twenty mysteries, but it is probably possible to read it as a standalone novel, once the basics have been grasped. Fans of the tv series “Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries” will quickly pick up the context of the story. Miss Phryne is a wealthy woman living an independent … More Unnatural Habits – a Phryne Fisher Mystery by Kerry Greenwood
This book is number eleven in a series of twelve, so there is a risk of spoilers of many books in reviewing it, but it is such I brilliant book I thought that I would take the risk. If I am honest, I found books nine and ten (“The Miller’s Dance” and “The Loving Cup” … More The Twisted Sword by Winston Graham; the eleventh Poldark novel
If you remember a novel called “Kitty Peck and the Music Hall Mystery”, this book is the sequel or second one of a series concerning a Victorian Music Hall empire which did not hold back on detail. The first book was remarkable for the clever way it described the London streets and buildings in intense … More Kitty Peck and the Child of Ill Fortune by Kate Griffin
Here is something completely different! A few months ago I gave a lecture on the Reformation in Fiction – one in a series of talks on the Reformation in England. I was then asked to summarise it for a magazine article, which meant that it … More The Reformation in Fiction – a list of books with comments!
An early Thirkell, and typically light and gentle, Wild Strawberries is more of a comedy and character introduction than many of the later novels. This is a book which introduces characters such as Lady Emily, who is remembered with affection throughout all of the Barsetshire Chronicles. It also introduces the charming and feckless David, the … More Wild Strawberries by Angela Thirkell
This is a romantic comedy for the slightly older person. There is a little romance in terms of people revaluating their priorities, or discovering new ones, and there is the comedy of the making of a reality celebrity programme with people who do not even recognise themselves as stars of tv. It is a confusion … More The Brazilian by Rosie Millard – a very different book!