What I’m reading…

 

The Three Dahlias

I’ve been waiting for this book ever since I heard that Katy Watson’s trilogy had been snapped up by Constable.

I was lucky enough to have a Netgalley ARC but Katy is a friend and colleague and I bought a beautiful signed, hardbound edition for my keeper shelf. Because it is a keeper. This is a wonderful homage to the golden age of crime fiction with a great cast of characters, two of whom have played the eponymous Dahlia on the big screen and in a long running television. Now there is going to be a new series, with a new Dahlia – former child star Posy Starling, who has been plucked out of the fame wilderness. And rehab.

The action takes place at a Dahlia convention held at Aldermere, the stately home of Lettice Davenport, the author whose sleuthing creation of the 1930s, Dahlia Lively, is about to be reimagined for a new generation. Even before she arrives, Posy feels that something is off and then, during a dinner recreated from one of the books (in which someone dies), someone dies.

It could be a heart attack, but the Dahlias aren’t convinced. Time to put on their “Dahlia” hats and investigate. 

I loved this book and cannot wait for the second in this trilogy.

Professor Ruth Galloway

 

I’m a big fan of the Ruth Galloway series by Elly Griffiths and this week I noticed that The Locked Room, the latest in the series, had been released in paperback, which meant – huzzah! – that the kindle edition was reduced to an acceptable price. (Sorry, Quercus, but I won’t pay hardback prices for a book that I don’t actually own.)

Set in Norfolk – a county I love – this is a continuing series about investigations involving forensic archaeologist, Ruth Galloway and her ongoing relationship with DCI Harry Nelson.

This book, bravely, is set at the moment Norfolk is about to go into lock down. Ruth’s mother has died and left behind a mystery. She returns to her isolated cottage on the coast to find that she has a new neighbour and then an ancient burial is found in Norwich, in a haunted area near the Cathedral known as Tombland. And then someone commits suicide in a locked room. 

The Norfolk setting of this series is unfailingly atmospheric, but the silence of lockdown adds another level to the sense of mystery and unease. Always a five star read for me.

Bruno, Chief of Police

I also enjoy Martin Walker’s Bruno series, set in the Dordogne region of France, about a small town cop who loves to cook, has affairs, a gorgeous dog and gets into all kinds of bother, frequently with the security services.

It’s also published by Quercus and I usually have to wait an age for each new release for the same reason, although – another big huzzah – his latest, To Kill a Troubadour is on sale at Amazon for 99p right now, so I have grabbed that and I’ll be finding a shady spot in the garden this afternoon to enjoy all that wonderful French food and a much loved cast of characters.

From this, you might have gathered that although I love reading romance, I have a really big weakness for crime. All these would probably come into the “cozy” category.

There are bodies, there is danger, but the deaths tend to be off the page and that’s the way I like it.