Review: MIDNIGHT IN PEKING by Paul French, published by Penguin

I’ve spent quite some times reviewing crime books recently, and here’s another – except this one isn’t fiction.  In the early morning in January 1937 the body of a late-teenaged British girl, Pamela, daughter of the city’s former consul, ETC Werner. She had been appallingly mutilated, and even her breast had been opened and her … Continue reading

Review: ALL THE LONELY PEOPLE by Martin Edwards, published by New English Library

I have written already about a Martin Edwards book, THE DEVIL IN DISGUISE. This was the second book of his, which was irritatingly a book earlier in his Harry Devlin series, but which was superbly well written. Martin’s books had a bit of a choppy beginning, I think. This was originally published by Judy Piatkus … Continue reading

Review: THE DEVIL IN DISGUISE, by Martin Edwards, first published 1998 by Hodder & Stoughton

Martin Edwards is probably best known for his Liverpool-based stories starring the lawyer Harry Devlin, a series that shows the grimy, gritty (and often pungent) back streets of the city as well as the more salubrious neighbourhoods. There is a lot more to Liverpool than the Liver building and the Beatles, after all. A lawyer … Continue reading

Review: THE DIPLOMAT’S WIFE by Michael Ridpath

Well, recently I reviewed the first of Michael Ridpath’s books, and it’s only natural that I should follow it up with the latest of his books: THE DIPLOMAT’S WIFE. Disclosure – I know Michael quite well, and have enjoyed several glasses of wine with him at crime writer gatherings over the years. In fact, that … Continue reading

Review: FREE TO TRADE by Michael Ridpath

First published by William Heinemann, 1995 This was Michael Ridpath’s first novel, and I still rate it very highly.  Recently I was sent a copy of Ridpath’s THE DIPLOMAT’S WIFE, and it gripped me as Ridpath’s books always do. I read it, and will supply a review shortly, but before I do that, I was … Continue reading

Review: LAST DAYS IN CLEAVER SQUARE

A new book by Patrick McGrath is, I am assured, one of those writers who can pull apart our darkest fears and expose them to us without making us flee them, to paraphrase New Statesman.  I can see why his work is popular. In this story, an old man, Francis McNulty, is coming to terms … Continue reading

Review: THE DROWNED CITY, by K.J. Maitland

Published by Headline Review in hardback, paperback, ebook and audio. Hardback published 1st April 2021, £16.99 A book by KJ Maitland is always something to savour. She has an enviable reputation both as a crime writer and expert in the beliefs and daily lives of our ancestors. In previous books she has delved into the … Continue reading

Managed Isolation Quarantine

The UK is operating a hotel-based isolation system for arrivals to the UK from certain countries and I thought it might be useful to give my own impressions of living in quarantine. Last year we had bad news. One week after cycling all around Lake Taupo, a total of over 150 km, our brother Alan, … Continue reading

Review: THE LAST BERSERKER by Angus Donald, Canelo

ISBN e-book:  978 1 80032 186 1        £3.99  Paperback: 978 1 80032 187 8 £8.99 I am not big on Vikings. I read a lot about them in the 1980s, but there was not a lot in their history that grabbed my attention. I was always more drawn to the first kings … Continue reading

Review: SHIELD OF THE RISING SUN, by Adam Lofthouse, published by Lume Books

ISBN: 978 1 83901197 9 I am writing this in a room in a hotel in Auckland, New Zealand. Outside the weather looks bright and clear, with clouds thinly covering the skies. In here it’s warm and not humid, and the room is in many ways a typical conference centre type of bedroom. However, there … Continue reading