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Mystery

The Bones of Avalon by Phil Rickman

The Bones of Avalon by Phil RickmanI recently received a copy of Phil Rickman’s The Heresy of Dr Dee for review, which came as a timely reminder to me that I’d not managed to get around to reading the first novel in this series — The Bones of Avalon. Having now put that right, I am happy to present a review for you here and will hopefully soon be able to provide a review of the aforementioned follow up. If this new novel is anything like as good as the first one, then I know I have a treat in store in my TBR pile.

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The Observations by Jane Harris

The Observations by Jane HarrisThere is no getting away from the fact that there is a whole stack of recent fiction set in the Victorian era and, because of this, Jane Harris’ 2006 novel The Observations, like others in this arena, has its work cut out to be a little different and capture the reader’s imagination.

I got hold of a Kindle copy after receiving a number of recommendations, so my expectations were already set high for the book. Also, since there are a number of the aforementioned stack of books that I have not yet got around to reading, I was looking forward to getting stuck into its nicely weighty 548 pages without having to worry too much about that “oh god, not another” feeling. So, did it live up to all those recommendations?

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A Kiss Before Dying by Ira Levin

I picked up a copy of Ira Levin’s A Kiss Before Dying for next to nothing in a recent Amazon Kindle sale. It was a member of an on-line book club who gave me the tip-off, and I’m really pleased that I acted on it. Ira Levin’s novels are probably overshadowed by the successful film versions of his work, such as The Boys From Brazil, The Stepford Wives and Rosemary’s Baby — A Kiss Before Dying has itself been turned into a film twice — so it was rather ironic that I soon formed the conclusion that A Kiss Before Dying came across, to me it seemed, almost likeĀ  reading a Hitchcock film.

Possibly a little old fashioned, and without any of the gore and explicitness that seem par for the course these days, nevertheless it allows the story-telling and plot to carry the day. Something that one or two modern day crime writers and publishers might do well to take note of.

A small, perfectly formed, masterpiece of suspense.

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Mr. Peanut by Adam Ross

Mister Peanut by Adam RossI finished reading Adam Ross’s novel Mr. Peanut over a week ago, and I’ve been beating myself up over whether or not to write a review. As regular visitors will know, I only publish reviews of novels that I would recommend other people should read. Mr. Peanut left me in a bit of a quandary, in that to me at least, it ran a fine line between brilliant and annoying.

The book is certainly rather different from the norm, and could be said to sit across multiple genres. It is not your typical crime novel, and neither does it sit perfectly comfortably in the literary fiction section. After letting myself ruminate on it for a few days however, the elements that slightly annoyed me began to fade in importance, and my remaining impression is one of a somewhat unusual, but very intelligently and absorbingly written piece of fiction. Will it be to your own taste though?

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