Monthly Archives: January 2010

Lloyd Jones, “Here at the End of the World We Learn to Dance”; Carlos Ruiz Zafon, “The Shadow of the Wind”

Sometimes you don’t give a book a fair reading — that is to say, the conditions under which you read it interfere with your absorption of the tale. When you think about it, reading is one of the few forms … Continue reading

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Edmund Crispin, “The Case of the Gilded Fly”

Stop the presses for a startling literary discovery — the first inklings of meta-fiction in a Golden Age English murder mystery! Yes indeed: in the early pages of The Case of the Gilded Fly professor/detective Gervase Fen says “In fact … Continue reading

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Janice Y.K. Lee, “The Piano Teacher”

Not the novel by Austrian Nobel laureate Elfriede Jelinek that was the basis for a movie starring Isabel Huppert. That one was about an Austrian pianist/teacher who embarks on a masochistic relationship with a student. This one, perhaps more conventional … Continue reading

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Anya Seton, “The Turquoise”

When I was a young teenager, I wanted to be Anya Seton when I grew up. I loved her novels, all of which centered on strong-minded women in various historical periods. There were always romantic threads to the stories, of … Continue reading

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Reginald Hill, “Death of a Dormouse”

Reginald Hill is an immensely prolific English writer whose best-known books are the Dalziel and Pascoe series of procedurals. Under other names, he writes other kinds of mysteries — Death of a Dormouse reminded me, oddly, of a string of … Continue reading

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Jane Gardam, “The Man in the Wooden Hat”

I had high expectations of The Man in the Wooden Hat, having loved Jane Gardam’s earlier Old Filth. (It’s an acronym — Failed In London, Tried Hong kong — and a nick name.) In fact I loved not only the … Continue reading

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Kate Morton, “The Forgotten Garden”

Once again, I fell for the Amazon recommendation, and once again read the book on a Kindle without any of the cues that packaging provides. It’s sort of like discovering a band on Pandora: you are responding directly to the … Continue reading

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