Every year I get a ton of books as presents (this year I also got a kindle – which I used to download every free classic known to man, The Cuckoo’s Calling & every cheap gothic horror/ghost story I could find)… Last year I promised to review my haul & I mostly didn’t – which ruined my ploy to become such a proficient reviewer that publishers send me free books, but I’ll give it another try (which means I’ll write about 4 reviews before twittering on about my usual cultural hobby-horses).
And so – the list :
1. The Santa Klaus Murder by Mavis Doriel Hay – a 1936 murder mystery (I’m on chapter two & so far it’s brilliantly written & a bit of a lost masterpiece of Golden Age crime fiction & women’s writing – I’m amazed it wasn’t reissued by Virago).
2. Spellhorn by Berlie Doherty – a children’s fantasy, possibly involving a unicorn.
3. The Paris Winter by Imogen Robertson – an historical thriller set in Paris. It has a lovely cover.
4. Cue For Treason by Geoffrey Trease – a children’s historical adventure set during the reign of Elizabeth I. (I didn’t read a lot of children’s fiction as a child – so I’m catching up as a hag – plus I need recommendations for tiny family members).
5. The Dead Men Stood Together by Chris Priestly – a children’s horror based on an aspect of Frankenstein.
8. The Weed That Strings The Hangman’s Bag by Alan Bradley – another murder mystery for the child detective Flavia De Luce… I was lukewarm about the last one, but then I remember it clearly – so it’s vivid enough to try another.
9. Christmas At High Rising by Angela Thirkell – wherein I will pretend to be a 1930s upper middle-class English housewife with quaint relatives & a giant house in the country.