Tuesday, June 25, 2013

{review} creepy, noir, & memoir

What have I been reading? 

Michel Faber Under the Skin (2000)


I cannot actually say anything about this book as almost anything could be a spoiler! Um, it's about Scotland, hitchhikers, and a woman with a lot of scars. The setting is contemporary. I loved it. Anything else? It is nothing like The Crimson Petal and the White. If you like well-written, creepy books with slow and horrible revelations, this is for you. (Hmm. That rather sums up The Crimson Petal as well!)

Dorothy B. Hughes The Blackbirder (1943)


A fine, albeit highly melodramatic read for noir fans. The Blackbirder is someone who smuggles people and other cargo in and out of the United States during the Second World War. If you can afford the service, the blackbirder will organize your escape – whether that be from Nazi occupied France, or from justice.
"I didn't even know there was a Blackbirder, not really. It's all been whispers, a legend, something a refugee believes in because he needs to believe in it, because he might have a desperate need for such a man some day."
"To escape a murder charge?" Schein pointed.
Her mouth hardened. "To escape Gestapo agents who somehow manage to reach this country despite the F.B.I."
Blaike's voice was quiet. "Couldn't it be they enter by such a method as blackbirding?"
This was why the F.B.I. was searching for the Blackbirder. They couldn't chance the entrance of dangerous aliens among honest refugees. Nor the escape dangerous aliens over the same route. Somehow she hadn't thought of it that way. The Blackbirder to her had been only a shadowy figure of refuge. He was still that but a sinister blackness darkened his shadow. His helping wings could be abused. She shook away the tremor.
The heroine of Hughes' gripping thriller has been in hiding in the States since her perilous escape from France. She cannot take her safety for granted, for she is connected to some very powerful and very bad people. Moreover, she has lost contact with the love of her life. Then, one night in New York, she is recognised, and must flee for her life – south to New Mexico to find the blackbirder and search for her lover. But the FBI is on her track, and it looks like the Gestapo is catching up too… 

The atmosphere of a country that may not be sanctuary it seems is brilliantly evoked by Hughes – who can you trust? If you want to read some Hughes, I suggest In a Lonely Place {REVIEW} -- one of the best books I read in 2011.



I had very high hopes for this book, hoping it might be a bit of a World War Two meets CSI with better frocks. And it is that. Molly Lefebure was a journalist in the early 1940s when she accepted a secretarial post with the not-quite-as-famous-as-Spilsbury pathologist Dr Keith Simpson. She took her type-writer and shorthand pad into the mortuaries of London and the surrounding areas to take down Dr Simpson's autopsy findings verbatim. Throughout the war she was witness to some of the most famous investigations of horrible crimes; then, in 1954 she published this book as a record of her wartime service. 

The reissue comes at an interesting time, I think – as the romanticized vision of Londoners in the Blitz is being subject to a bit of a more or less candid debunking. Yes, people were tremendously brave – but the war also allowed a lot of clandestine activity to flourish under the blackout. It was also often hard to bring criminals to justice – given the ease with which they might be shipped out or return overseas or be blown to bits before they could be charged. Lefebure's narrative is perhaps not for the squeamish, though I was more troubled by something else, namely her constant air of occupying the higher moral ground to her victims: she has little sympathy for a fifteen year good-time girl who is strangled by two US soldiers, "more a matter of sordid accident than murder". The same judgement is not applied to a fourteen year old innocent, assaulted on her way home from Sunday School. Her remarks on prostitutes (that 'ancient but abysmal profession'), the lower classes, and the poor in general are achingly snobbish ("I wondered… why the State cannot prosecute people for being dirty"). She's quite a fan of hanging. 

However, if you can swallow that as a product of its time (and as part of a journalistic love of sensation, where everything is to be regarded as 'material'), the book is a fascinating insight into the daily dangers of life in the Blitz for a professional woman. Her writing is occasionally absolutely striking – such as the shrapnel at Southend which "fell in little showers, more cruelly than the summer rain", or the corpses of babies, "like weary imitation flowers". This memoir is apparently being turned into a TV series, and I shall be fascinated to see if our heroine becomes more empathetic and less judgmental in the transition.

Oh, and some July things... I'm gearing up for my third year of Paris in July, hosted by Karen at BookBath and Tamara at Thyme for Tea. Sadly this year I won't actually be in Paris, as I was last year. But I'm prepared to make the best of it... ;-)  And HeavenAli is hosting Anita Brookner Reading Month too: I'm hoping to find a Brookner I haven't read, but, it's long been my problem that they all seem to similar (in a good way) that I can't remember what I've read... Something to work on!


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

{review} islands of privacy & african millionaires

Lately I seem to be spending my time reading (with considerable enjoyment and great sabotage to my own reading plans) other people’s reviews and not writing any of my own. What have I been reading?

Grant Allen An African Millionaire: Episodes in the Life of the Illustrious Colonel Clay (1897)

"He is a Colonel, because he occasionally gives himself a commission; he is called Colonel Clay, because he appears to possess an india-rubber face, and he can mould it like clay in the hands of the potter. Real name, unknown. Nationality, equally French and English. Address, usually Europe. Profession, former maker of wax figures to the Museé Grévin. Age, what he chooses. Employs his knowledge to mould his own nose and cheeks, with wax additions, to the character he desires to personate. Aquiline this time, you say. Hein!”
The African Millionaire in question, Sir Charles Vandrift, is a peer freshly minted for his services to industry (mostly exploitative mining projects in faraway corners of the British Empire). It is his bad-luck to have become the target of a wonderfully quick-witted con-man, and a master of disguise, one Colonel Clay. The ‘Colonel’ has decided to fleece the Sir Charles of as much of his fortune as he can – on the surface, not an easy task, given Sir Charles’ reputation as a cunning financier. But the Colonel plays audaciously on Sir Charles’ great weaknesses: a love of a good deal and the even greater love of an unscrupulous good deal.
The fact of it is, sir, your temperament and mine are exactly adapted one to the other. I understand you; and you do not understand me—which is often the basis of the firmest friendships. I can catch you just where you are trying to catch other people. Your very smartness assists me; for I admit you are smart. As a regular financier, I allow, I couldn't hold a candle to you. But in my humbler walk of life I know just how to utilise you. I lead you on, where you think you are going to gain some advantage over others; and by dexterously playing upon your love of a good bargain, your innate desire to best somebody else—I succeed in besting you. There, sir, you have the philosophy of our mutual relations."
From the glamorous hotels of the French Riviera, to the wilds of Scotland, to the plush clubs of New York, Sir Charles appears helpless to thwart his cunning opponent (and his extremely lovely sidekick: “However, a man of the world accepts what a lady tells him, no matter how improbable…”). Will Sir Charles ever understand that it is his own ethical shortcomings that have caused him to fall into Colonel Clay’s hands?

This is a very funny book, filled with a number of rather clever con jobs, set among a group of people, not one of whose morals can withstand too close a scrutiny. I thought it quite as good as the other Grant Allen book I have read, Miss Cayley’s Adventures, about the exploits of a strong-minded, educated young woman determined to make it in the world using her own wits (do read the reviews by desperate reader and tbr13). Both Allen books can be read for free thanks to Project Gutenberg.

*

And now for something completely different, but very relevant at the moment:

Christena E. Nippert-Eng Islands of Privacy (2010)

Gorgeous cover! 
…for the people I interviewed, it can be quite difficult these days to claim any place, time, or activity as well and truly private. There is a general feeling now that the condition of privacy has become relegated to rather tiny islands of one's existence, few and far between, scattered across the vast ocean of accessibility that dominates so much of our lives. 
This was a fascinating read: Nippert-Eng is interested in how we can maintain an acceptable level of personal privacy (“privacy is a condition of relative inaccessibility”) in a world gone mad for sharing and interrupting and demanding instant responses. How can one carve out a space, establish boundaries, and choose what we disclose and what we conceal? 

One thinks immediately of the Internet in this context, but a number of Nippert-Eng’s case-studies are of much more intimate territory – a woman’s handbag; the sanctuary of one’s bathroom or yard or verandah/porch; the secrets of other people which we must keep (medical history, for instance); when we choose to take phone-calls (during sex? 14% in one survey said that they would do this!); email vs. more instant communications, and so on. “Interruptability is a key measure of how much privacy one has.” 

What is the connection between privacy and status? Does a decrease in privacy through an increase in ‘cross-realm communication’ actually result in a more ‘integrated’ life? Given the recent brouhaha about the NSA leaks, it is interesting to consider Nipper-Eng’s comment that, 
…privacy violations also remind us that privacy is seen as an entitlement for any respectable citizen in this country - an empowering symbol of one's good social status. When others deny us privacy, they also deny us status. 
This is a nicely accessible book, with some theory applied lightly and unmystifingly, and written in a very (sometimes overly) colloquial style. It is mostly drawn from interviews in Chicago. I thought Nippert-Eng rather pushed her metaphor about islands (“As John Donne reminds us, no man (or woman) is an island”), beaches, sand, etc. a bit too far, but it did function as a readily understandable image for how she viewed privacy and its concerns. One criticism relates purely to the e-book: there are a lot of very small tables to back up Nippert-Eng’s research, and they don’t blow up very well electronically. That might be a problem is, unlike me, you were reading this book for serious reasons! 

So, do you let others look in your hand-bag?

Saturday, June 8, 2013

{review} barbara pym reading week


‘Reading, were you?’ Rupert picked up the book which lay on the little table by the fire. It turned out to be the poems of Tennyson, bound in green morocco. Could she really have been reading that? he wondered, looking around for the novel stuffed behind a cushion.
‘Yes, but I was just going to make some coffee,’ said Ianthe. ‘Would you like some?’
How convenient women were, Rupert thought, accepting her offer, the way they were always ‘just going’ to make coffee or tea or perhaps had just roasted a joint in the oven or made a cheese soufflé. (A Suitable Attachment)
I'm very late to the (tea?) party - though I have been playing along on twitter a little - but I have been so enjoying reading everyone's posts for Barbara Pym Reading Week, the brilliant idea of Thomas at My Porch and Amanda of Fig & Thistle. However, my new computer finally arrived yesterday (the whole saga is worthy of an entry to white whine, but I shan't bore you), so I'm back in blogging action now.

But, hey, plenty of time for reading without all those distractions provided by functioning technology, and I was really pleased that I managed to read five books by Barbara Pym this week. I loved them all, although I think that Excellent Women is my favourite (so far!).

So which ones did I read?


Excellent Women (1952) as I noted: wonderful, so funny and so sharp and quietly catty. And I was so happy to see Mildred Lathbury pop up (in name) in two other of my reads, so I found out what happened to her. This was my first Barbara Pym read, and I am now hooked. I may even like her more than Anita Brookner. Oh, perhaps not, but it is close...


Which is interesting, as my second read, Quartet in Autumn (1977) was a book with really Brooknerish resonances - about people who fail to "make contact" - although also reminiscent of another magnificent book about ageing, friendship and loneliness, Muriel Spark's Memento Mori {REVIEW}. It also captured the hideous ugliness of the 1970s really well.
Of the four only Letty used the library for her own pleasure and possible edification. She had always been an unashamed reader of novels, but if she hoped to find one which reflected her own sort of life she had come to realize that the position of an unmarried, unattached, ageing woman is of no interest whatever to the writer of modern fiction.

  

An Unsuitable Attachment (1963 - famously rejected by the publisher and not published until 1982) had a wonderful heroine in Ianthe, with her perfect little house and quiet careful life who is nevertheless prepared to take a chance on a happy ending rather than seek a safer alternative.
The man who had offered the seat had seen Ianthe as a tall fragile-looking woman in a pretty blue hat that matched her eyes. He might also have noticed that her dark hair was touched with grey and that although she was not exactly smart there was a kind of elegance about her. She saw herself perhaps as an Elizabeth Bowen heroine – for one did not openly identify oneself with Jane Austen’s heroines – and To The North was her favourite novel.
However, it was, obviously, the cat Faustina who really grabbed me in this one!
‘Yes – is that her coming now? I thought I saw somebody pass the window,’ said Sophia. Her tone was a little agitated for she had also just seen Faustina mount the refreshment table and pick her way delicately among the dishes of the cakes and savouries, sniffing the air, ready to pause and pounce when she came upon something that took her fancy.

After this I read Pym's first work, Some Tame Gazelle (1950), which was much more - like Excellent Women - obviously humorous in tone. I loved the sisters: Harriet, who likes to feed pale curates ("They were so immature and always made the same kind of conversation"), and the thoughtful Belinda who has loved the Archdeacon next door for thirty barren years.
She felt she could hardly agree that Agatha was elderly when she herself was a year older and thought of herself as only middle-aged. And yet, middle-aged or elderly, what was the difference really? Calm of mind, all passion spent … she had known that before she was thirty.
...
Belinda had decided to wear her blue chiffon. Henry had once said that he liked her in pale colours, and although that had been over thirty years ago it was possible that he still might.
The wicked one-liners in this book were quite wonderful. As a classicist, I am thinking of having this put on a t-shirt (perhaps in embroidery?): "I had a classical education and it isn’t a very good training for scintillating conversation."
‘Now, Ricardo, you mustn’t lose hope,’ said Belinda comfortably. ‘I know she is fond of you and even if she will not love you, always remember’ – her eyes lighted on the works of Alfred, Lord Tennyson – ‘that it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. I always think those lines are such a great comfort; so many of us have loved and lost.’ She frowned: nobody wanted to be one of many, and she did not like this picture of herself, only one of a great crowd of dreary women. Perhaps Tennyson was rather hackneyed after all.

Finally, I read Jane and Prudence (1953) about two university women whose lives have taken quite different paths, while their friendship has remained true. Can Jane find Prudence a suitable husband from the unmarried men (perhaps the handsome leonine philandering widower Fabian who has a large photo of himself on his wife's grave!) in the village where she tries but always fails to live up to her (literary) expectations of the appropriate activities for a vicar's wife?
‘Yes, of course,’ Jane agreed. ‘The church is going to look very nice, I think.’
‘Oh, Mother, you always say that,’ said Flora, Mrs Glaze having left them alone together. ‘And you never really notice.’
‘No, I notice the things one shouldn’t,’ said Jane.
I quite liked how a little bit of life at the time crept into this book - rationed food, for instance. I love reading about food in books, and Pym's books certainly offered me a lot of treats (apart from liver). I felt like a nice very dry sherry quite a bit as I read too; but not, I think, a madeira:
‘This is Madeira,’ said Mervyn. ‘It seems a suitable present for a respectable unmarried lady who might be visited by the clergy.’
The 'excellent women' ("It was not the excellent women who got married...") who carried the parish / village / suburb / street along in all these books thoroughly resonated with me (over-educated spinster, perhaps even "comfortably indifferent to dress?"!).
Prudence’s flat was in the kind of block where Jane imagined people might be found dead, though she had never said this to Prudence herself; it seemed rather a macabre fancy and not one to be confided to an unmarried woman living alone.
I also loved the literary allusions scattered so aptly through the texts. In addition, I was reminded that I enjoy books where nothing much seems to happen (so, my passion for Anita Brookner) and what does happen happens so quietly that it hardly creates a ripple. Of course, one doesn't want this in every book, but it is really very relaxing at times! It also amused me quite a lot that so many inhabitants of these books seemed to have jobs that no one quite knew what they were, including the employees, in a "vague cultural organisation" (J&P), or "something to do with records or filing, it was thought, nobody knew for certain" (Q in A). The ordinary, the everyday - these are the stars of these books.

I am so happy that I have the pleasure of eight more of Barbara Pym's books to enjoy in the future. Many thanks to Thomas and Amanda for creating Barbara Pym Reading Week!

Barbara Pym with cat

{READ IN 2017}

  • AUGUST
  • 80.
  • 79.
  • 78.
  • 77.
  • 76.
  • 75. The Forgotten - David Baldacci
  • 74. Zero Day - David Baldacci
  • JULY
  • 73. Pilgrim's Rest - Patricia Wentworth
  • 72. The Case is Closed - Patricia Wentworth
  • 71. The Watersplash - Patricia Wentworth
  • 70. Lonesome Road - Patricia Wentworth
  • 69. The Listening Eye - Patricia Wentworth
  • 68. Through the Wall - Patricia Wentworth
  • 67. Out of the Past - Patricia Wentworth
  • 66. Mistress - Amanda Quick
  • 65. The Black Widow - Daniel Silva
  • 64. The Narrow - Michael Connelly
  • 63. The Poet - Michael Connelly
  • 62. The Visitor - Lee Child
  • 61. No Middle Name: The Complete Collected Jack Reacher Stories - Lee Child
  • JUNE
  • 60. The Queen's Accomplice - Susan Elia MacNeal
  • 59. Mrs Roosevelt's Confidante - Susan Elia MacNeal
  • 58. The PM's Secret Agent - Susan Elia MacNeal
  • 57. His Majesty's Hope - Susan Elia MacNeal
  • 56. Princess Elizabeth's Spy - Susan Elia MacNeal
  • 55. Mr Churchill's Secretary - Susan Elia MacNeal
  • 54. A Lesson in Secrets - Jacqueline Winspear
  • 53. Hit & Run - Lawrence Block
  • 52. Hit Parade - Lawrence Block
  • 51. Hit List - Lawrence Block
  • 50. Six Were Present - E. R. Punshon
  • 49. Triple Quest - E. R. Punshon
  • MAY
  • 48. Dark is the Clue - E. R. Punshon
  • 47. Brought to Light - E. R. Punshon
  • 46. Strange Ending - E. R. Punshon
  • 45. The Attending Truth - E. R. Punshon
  • 44. The Golden Dagger - E. R. Punshon
  • 43. The Secret Search - E. R. Punshon
  • 42. Spook Street - Mick Herron
  • 41. Real Tigers - Mick Herron
  • 40. Dead Lions - Mick Herron
  • 39. Slow Horses - Mick Herron
  • APRIL
  • 38. Everybody Always Tells - E. R. Punshon
  • 37. So Many Doors - E. R. Punshon
  • 36. The Girl with All the Gifts - M. R. Carey
  • 35. A Scream in Soho - John G. Brandon
  • 34. A Murder is Arranged - Basil Thomson
  • 33. The Milliner's Hat Mystery - Basil Thomson
  • 32. Who Killed Stella Pomeroy? - Basil Thomson
  • 31. The Dartmoor Enigma - Basil Thomson
  • 30. The Case of the Dead Diplomat - Basil Thomson
  • 29. The Case of Naomi Clynes - Basil Thomson
  • 28. Richardson Scores Again - Basil Thomson
  • 27. A Deadly Thaw - Sarah Ward
  • MARCH
  • 26. The Spy Paramount - E. Phillips Oppenheim
  • 25. The Great Impersonation - E. Phillips Oppenheim
  • 24. Ragdoll - Daniel Cole
  • 23. The Case of Sir Adam Braid - Molly Thynne
  • 22. The Ministry of Fear - Graham Greene
  • 21. The Draycott Murder Mystery - Molly Thynne
  • 20. The Murder on the Enriqueta - Molly Thynne
  • 19. The Nowhere Man - Gregg Hurwitz
  • 18. He Dies and Makes No Sign - Molly Thynne
  • FEBRUARY
  • 17. Death in the Dentist's Chair - Molly Thynne
  • 16. The Crime at the 'Noah's Ark' - Molly Thynne
  • 15. Harriet the Spy - Louise Fitzhugh
  • 14. Night School - Lee Child
  • 13. The Dancing Bear - Frances Faviell
  • 12. The Reluctant Cannibals - Ian Flitcroft
  • 11. Fear Stalks the Village - Ethel Lina White
  • 10. The Plot - Irving Wallace
  • JANUARY
  • 9. Understood Betsy - Dorothy Canfield Fisher
  • 8. Give the Devil his Due - Sulari Gentill
  • 7. A Murder Unmentioned - Sulari Gentill
  • 6. Dead Until Dark - Charlaine Harris
  • 5. Gentlemen Formerly Dressed - Sulari Gentill
  • 4. While She Sleeps - Ethel Lina White
  • 3. A Chelsea Concerto - Frances Faviell
  • 2. Kipps: The Story of a Simple Soul - H. G. Wells
  • 1. Heft - Liz Moore

{READ IN 2016}

  • (K = Kindle; rr = re-read)
  • DECEMBER
  • 92. Richardson's First Case - Basil Thomson [K]
  • 91. The Alington Inheritance - Patricia Wentworth [K; rr]
  • 90. Orphan X - Gregg Hurwitz [K]
  • 89. The House of Godwinsson [Bobby Owen 24] - E. R. Punshon [K]
  • 88. Music Tells All [Bobby Owen 24] - E. R. Punshon [K]
  • 87. Helen Passes By [Bobby Owen 23] - E. R. Punshon [K]
  • NOVEMBER
  • 86. It Might Lead Anywhere [Bobby Owen 22] - E. R. Punshon [K]
  • 85. There's a Reason for Everything [Bobby Owen 21] - E. R. Punshon [K]
  • 84. Secrets Can't Be Kept [Bobby Owen 20] - E. R. Punshon [K]
  • OCTOBER
  • 83. Night's Cloak [Bobby Owen 19] - E. R. Punshon [K]
  • 82. The Conqueror Inn [Bobby Owen 18] - E. R. Punshon [K]
  • 81. The Diabolic Candelabra [Bobby Owen 17] - E. R. Punshon [K]
  • 80. The Dark Garden [Bobby Owen 16] - E. R. Punshon [K]
  • SEPTEMBER
  • 79. Picture Miss Seeton - Heron Carvic [K]
  • 78. Down Under (Benbow Smith 4) - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 77. Walk with Care (Benbow Smith 3) - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 76. Danger Calling (Benbow Smith 2) - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 75. Fool Errant (Benbow Smith 1) - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 74. The Annam Jewel - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 73. Mr Zero - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 72. Will o' the Wisp - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 71. Red Shadow - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 70. Pursuit of a Parcel (Lamb 3) - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 69. Who Pays the Piper (Lamb 2) - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 68. The Blind Side (Lamb 1) - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 67. Outrageous Fortune - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 66. The Amazing Chance - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 65. Red Stefan - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • AUGUST
  • 64. The Coldstone - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 63. Anne Belinda - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 62. The Black Cabinet - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 61. Hue & Cry - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 60. The Skin Collector - Jeffery Deaver [K]
  • 59. The Kill Room - Jeffery Deaver [K]
  • 58. Nothing Venture - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 57. Kingdom Lost - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 56. Beggar's Choice - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 55. Hole and Corner - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 54. Touch and Go - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 53. The Red Lacquer Case - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 52. Run! - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 51. Fear by Night - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • JULY
  • 50. The Dower House Mystery - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 49. The Astonishing Adventure of Jane Smith - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 48. Weekend with Death - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 47. Blindfold - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 46. Silence in Court - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 45. Acts of the Assassins - Richard Beard [K]
  • JUNE
  • 44. Hack - Kieran Crowley [K]
  • 43. The Portable Veblen - Elizabeth McKenzie [K]
  • 42. The Spirit Murder Mystery - Robin Forsythe [K]
  • MAY
  • 41. The Ginger Cat Mystery - Robin Forsythe [K]
  • 40. The Pleasure Cruise Mystery - Robin Forsythe [K]
  • 39. The Polo Ground Murder - Robin Forsythe [K]
  • APRIL
  • 38. The Outsider - Jason Dean [K]
  • 37. The Hunter's Oath - Jason Dean [K]
  • 36. Missing or Murdered - Robin Forsythe [K]
  • 35. The Beetle - Richard Marsh [K]
  • MARCH
  • 34. A Curious Beginning (Veronica Speedwell 1) - Deanna Raybourn [K]
  • 33. The Chimera Vector - Nathan M. Farrugia [K]
  • 32. An Infamous Army - Georgette Heyer [K]
  • 31. Mr Bazalgette's Agent - Leonard Merrick
  • 30. Don't Tell - Karen Rose [K]
  • 29. Say Goodbye - Lisa Gardner [K]
  • 28. Gone - Lisa Gardner [K]
  • 27. The Killing Hour - Lisa Gardner [K]
  • 26. The Next Accident - Lisa Gardner [K]
  • 25. The Third Victim - Lisa Gardner [K]
  • FEBRUARY
  • 24. The Perfect Husband - Lisa Gardner [K]
  • 23. Find Her - Lisa Gardner [K]
  • 22. Fear Nothing - Lisa Gardner [K]
  • 21. Catch Me - Lisa Gardner [K]
  • 20. Love You More - Lisa Gardner [K]
  • 19. Live to Tell - Lisa Gardner [K]
  • 18. The Neighbour - Lisa Gardner [K]
  • 17. Hide - Lisa Gardner [K]
  • 16. Alone - Lisa Gardner [K]
  • 15. The Humans - Matt Haig [K]
  • 14. Utopian Man - Lisa Lang
  • 13. Love Insurance - Earl Derr Biggers [K]
  • JANUARY
  • 12. The Ignition Effect - Viv Ronnebeck [K]
  • 11. My Brilliant Career - Miles Franklin [K]
  • 10. Dangerous & Unseemly - K. B. Owen [K]
  • 9. In Bitter Chill - Sarah Ward [K[
  • 8. Half a Crown - Jo Walton [K]
  • 7. Ha'penny - Jo Walton [K]
  • 6. Hilda Wade: A Woman with Tenacity of Purpose - Grant Allen [K]
  • 5. The Case of William Smith - Patricia Wentworth [K; rr]
  • 4. Blue Murder - Harriet Rutland [K]
  • 3. Bleeding Hooks - Harriet Rutland [K]
  • 2. Knock, Murderer, Knock! - Harriet Rutland [K]
  • 1. Ten Star Clues [Bobby Owen 15] - E. R. Punshon [K]