I have to tell you a story. Back in the day, the late nineties, I think, I remember whining at work one day to my friend Susan, that I didn’t have a good book to read. I remember I said, “I wish P. D. James would hurry up and write a new book.” And Susan looked at me, and said wryly, “Well, she is almost eighty.”

That memory always makes me laugh. First, because I pulled my horns in pretty quick, I tell you. Imagine getting impatient because someone of James’ advanced age was not, in my view, working hard enough. And secondly, and more lately, it makes me laugh because many of my friends (and my husband) are now almost eighty. And almost eighty doesn’t seem nearly as advanced as it did back then. Ha. Not to mention the fact that P. D. James was still writing in her nineties. Death Comes to Pemberley was published in 2011 when she was ninety-one.

Of course, I’m not really waiting on P. D. James to write a new book. Not literally. Since she died in 2014 at age ninety-four. I wrote a post about her death back in 2014. And about her work, my favourite of her books, and who might succeed her as the “Queen of Crime Fiction.” You can read it here if you’re interested.

It’s just that I am in the exact same mood as I was on the day I moaned to Susan about P. D. James. I really need a good book to read. A wonderful, captivating book, wonderfully written, with engaging characters, and an atmospheric setting skillfully depicted. A literary book, possibly, with serious themes, but not too depressing, witty but not silly, with a plot that makes sense and does not make me want to scream because of the unbelievable plot twists added at the end. Oh gad, those unnecessary plot twists drive me crazy.

I need a book like Maggie O’Farrel’s Hamnet and Judith, which was a perfect book, I thought. Or The Marriage Portrait, which I loved, eventually, but not as much as Hamnet and Judith. By the way, it’s called Hamnet in the States. Or Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason which I read last year. Who knew that a novel about mental illness and depression could be so funny. And wonderful.

Or anything written by Paula McLain. Like Love and Ruin for one or The Paris Wife, my favourite. I love how Paula McLain makes historical characters her main character, and does so wonderfully. I even seek out the nonfiction memoirs of her subjects once I had finished McLain’s version. I’m a big fan of “reading round the subject” which you’ll already know if you read this post from a while back. I need another book like Frances Liardet’s Think of Me which got me through the big spring blackout of 2023. All two days of it. Ha.

A look at some of my “keepers.”

I’m not in the mood for a totally serious book. Not at the moment. What I really, really want is a wonderful mystery. Not a “spine-tingling thriller.” Pfft. No, a good old solid mystery where the characters are believable and flawed, the plot makes sense and keeps you interested, the setting description takes you there, wherever there is, and the writing is so good it makes you wish you’d said those things yourself in exactly that way.

But as I said, P. D. James died in 2014. Followed closely by Ruth Rendell in 2015 at age eighty-five. I loved Rendell’s Chief Inspector Wexford books. The last one, No Man’s Nightingale was so good. I read it and then a year or so later listened to it narrated by the brilliant Nigel Anthony. Sigh. I miss Ruth Rendell’s books. I have a bunch of the early Wexford titles in my audible library, and I love to relisten to them. Enjoying the sound of a wonderfully written book, well read by a talented narrator, is almost as good as reading that wonderful book for the first time. Almost. But it’s still not the same as reading a long-anticipated new book. Sigh.

So many of the best mystery writers have died. My all time favourite, Reginald Hill, died in 2012. No more Andy Dalziel and Peter Pascoe novels. And then Peter Robinson in 2022. Two writers that Hubby and I adored, both now gone. Then just when we began to love Susie Steiner, she became ill and died at age fifty-one. That was really sad. She was so talented, and only getting started, really.

“Where have all the Reginald Hills gone?” I said mournfully to Hubby on the ski trail the other day. “What?!?” he yelled, a bit incredulously, over the sound of his skis shushing. “Never mind,” I sighed. Jeeze.

I miss Hill’s writing, the skilful and erudite wit, the richly drawn characters. If you haven’t read his Dalziel and Pascoe books you should. Start with the first book and read right through the whole canon. You will be in for a treat. And when you’re finished you’ll be as bereft as I am that he’s gone.

One does get attached to one’s favourite writers. Especially when they have been prolific over many years. Almost as if we think they are immortal. And will produce a book for our delectation year after year after year without end. Which is silly, I know. Of course we all get old. And everyone dies.

But still, our favourite writers are, in a way, immortal. Their work survives them.

I’m thinking of last September, when Hubby and I were waiting at Toronto Pearson Airport for our flight to Lisbon. Waiting and waiting as it happened. I listened to most of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility, beautifully read by Rosamund Pike. I know this book so well. I’ve read the novel at least three times, watched the Emma Thompson movie countless times with my mum, and now listened to this audible version at least twice.

If you don’t love Jane Austen you won’t identify with my being able to get lost in her words and stories again and again. In fact, I love Jane Austen books as much the fifth time I experience them as I did the first. Maybe even more. Because the first time one is always beset by the stress and suspense of what will happen. When we know things turn out well, we can sit back and savour the journey.

This weekend I’m listening to an old Peter Lovesey book, The Secret Hangman. I’ve read all of Lovesey’s books, but I still like to listen to the old ones again. Lovesey’s character Peter Diamond is a bit like Hill’s Andy Dalziel. I enjoy Lovesey’s mysteries. They’re very good, but they’re not as wonderful as Reginald Hill’s books. Few are. Well, except for Kate Atkinson’s Jackson Brodie books. Or Tana French’s Dublin Murder Squad series. And her new series started in 2020 with The Searcher. Both Atkinson and French have new books coming out soon. This year. I want to tell them to hurry, but I learned my lesson with P. D. James.

My guilty pile of partially read books.

So what I did instead was go to my shelves where I know I have a bunch of books that I never finished. Like The Adventures of Miss Barbara Pym by Paula Byrne. Which I was enjoying, but put down for some reason. Or Helen Humphreys’ The Evening Chorus, which I bought because I do love Humphreys’ work, but didn’t read because I wasn’t at that moment in the mood for another war book. Both of these have now been installed on the table in my sun room. As guilt-inducing reminders. Ha. We’ll see if that works.

The book I did pick up, struggled with initially because it is SO dense, and am now enjoying immensely is Robert Graves’ World War I memoir Goodbye to All That. This book was lent to Hubby by a friend who loves historical war fiction. I could not believe I had not read it when I was going through my own period of reading round the subject of World War I after finishing Pat Barker’s Regeneration trilogy. By the way, Barker’s trilogy of books about World War I is superb. Seriously superb. I used to teach World War I poetry to my grade eleven class, and Barker’s books helped me understand the drama and the mundanity, the horror and the humanity, and the utter, utter waste of that war.

We’ll see how I get on with the Graves’ memoir. I am nothing if not fickle when it comes to non-fiction. In a storm of reading just after Christmas, I began Rosemary Sullivan’s book The Betrayal of Anne Frank. I couldn’t put it down for days. It’s fascinating and well written. But very detailed. So I took a break. I must get back to it. The guilt, the guilt, of a good book left unfinished is eating me up. By the way, I know there was some criticism of this book after it came out. Just so you know, this edition addresses that criticism in an appendix.

I’m taking a rest from this wonderful book.

Hubby and I are on a ski break in Quebec this weekend. We packed our skis, food, wine, and books… all the essentials… and headed here yesterday. We’re staying in a small condo on the banks of Lac Morency. We love it here. We mostly cook for ourself but we’ll dine at the lodge (built in the thirties) one night for their table d’hote. The food is always great. And the ambience is perfect for us.

Today I skied for the longest I’ve skied all year. Over 100 minutes on the P’tit Train du Nord trail … all skiing… no rest stops. Lots of poling because the route back to the car was almost all uphill. Phew. My arms are tired. I admit it, I time my exercise. I blame my obsession with numbers and with setting concrete goals which I can work towards. Otherwise, I’d sit on my butt and read all the books. And drink all the wine. Ha.

Out on the frosty trail earlier this week.

Once I hit publish on this post, I’ll put the kettle on and settle down with Robert Graves. I was interested to read in his memoir that he was a friend of the famous Everest climber George Mallory. One summer when we were staying a week in Quebec, on the Saguenay River, I could hardly be shoe-horned off of the couch to do anything. I was totally immersed in Tanis Rideout’s wonderful historical novel Above All Things, about George Mallory, his family, and his tragic last climb, told from dual points of view. Mallory’s as he attempts the ascent of Everest, and his wife’s as she waits at home for word of his success. Or failure. Gad. Even when I knew the outcome, I kept hoping against hope that things would be different. If you haven’t read this novel, I can highly recommend it.

Maybe instead of moaning about not having a new mystery, I’ll finish Graves’ memoir and try to find a book about George Mallory. Read round the subject again. Dive down a reading rabbit hole, so to speak. And I can console myself that it’s only a few weeks until Tana French’s new mystery comes out.

So I guess even though I’m not waiting on P. D. James anymore, I am waiting on Tana French. And, you know, I don’t feel at all guilty about telling her to hurry up. She’s not even close to eighty.

On the trail back in the late eighties.

P.S. There are affiliate book links in this post. If you make a purchase after clicking my link, I will earn a small commission which helps to pay for the blog.

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From the archives

fashion

The Effortless Fashion Myth

Effortless fashion is a myth. No one pulls on any old thing and looks effortlessly chic. Not without lots of trial and error first.
life

The Art of Just Sitting Around

Learning to cope with retirement helped me develop skills to cope with the pandemic. Including perfecting the art of just sitting around.
travel

Enroute to Provence. Looking for Sun and Stress-Free Living.

Our trip to France continues with treelined roads, vineyards, great wine, and getting lost in the rain. All part of the experience, though.

83 thoughts on “Waiting on P. D. James”

  1. Hi Sue,
    I loved your most recent post. Have you tried Garry Disher? He’s a fabulous Australian writer who’s written a terrific police procedural series of novels set on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, and another series set in the mid north outback region of South Australia.

    I have recently finished listening to the latest Robert Galbraith – a long but beautifully crafted and written book- as one would expect from the amazing JK Rowling. I am also quite enjoying a series by Sarah Yarwood-Lovett – not literary but nonetheless enjoyable.

    I still look forward to release of the latest in the Maisie Dobb’s series and love the Billy Boyle books.

    Happy reading,
    Shirley Fisher
    Yorke Peninsula
    South Australia

    1. I love all the Robert Galbraith/ Cormoran Strike books. They are wonderfully detailed. Good plots, and the characters are so believable as well as decent and often heroic people. I have been listening to the most recent ones because the narrator is so good. And I get many, many hours of happy exercising or house cleaning from them. 😀 I’ve not heard of Garry Disher, although Hubby and I usually love Australian mysteries. I will look for his books. Thanks.

  2. Zut ! Je ne connais pas du tout les auteurs dont vous parlez ! Je vais consulter les catalogues pour voir s’ils ont été traduits en français.
    Actuellement je lis beaucoup de livres d’auteurs scandinaves , qui sont très prolifiques et passionnants .Ils savent créer une atmosphère et des personnages attachants .
    En France les auteurs sont encore trop souvent attachés au Nouveau Roman ,au style minimale. Ce n’est pas ma tasse de thé !!!
    Je connais actuellement une période de deuils ,amis et parents ont la mauvaise idée de mourir sans que je sois préparée à leur départ.
    Alors je rénove ma maison pour un autre printemps ,un nouveau jardin moins gourmand en eau .
    Et je lis comme vous .Je reprends des livres abandonnés ou oubliés .Ils ne le méritent pas.
    Je suis submergée par les livres .Des centaines de livres .Je ne peux me résoudre à les jeter .Pourtant il va falloir libérer les bibliothèques ,les murs ,les étagères.
    Ce sont les différentes strates de ma vie
    Mais il va falloir passer à la suivante ..
    Au revoir chère Sue .
    J’ai grand plaisir à lire chaque semaine ce qu’en France nous appelons le billet d’humeur , ce petit instant fugace qui résume notre pensée du moment .

    1. Sorry to hear that you have lost people close to you, Celia. Good luck with the renovations. I have to be more strict with myself in the number of books I keep. I had a big clear out a few years ago, and need to do so again. It’s just so hard to choose which books stay and which ones must go.

  3. You’ve mentioned many of my favourites there & I agree Reginald Hill was the master . I didn’t warm to Dalziel in the TV series but he was a deeper character in the books . Some authors write an excellent first book then settle into a cosy rut but not Hill . I miss him . We’re watching the old Shetland series on TV just now & I’m quite a fan of Jimmy Perez , plus the scenery of course . For books I’m currently working my way through Denzil Meyrick & his Jim Daley series . I like the two main characters & can picture the area as I know it quite well . I’m enjoying them but need a break now & then . I can recommend Lucy Worsley’s biography of Agatha Christie . It makes you think about the woman she was in her youth rather than the dignified older lady she became . Who knew she enjoyed water skiing in Hawaii ? You might also like Darling by India Knight . It’s described as a modern take on Nancy Milford’s Pursuit of Love . Not as good as the original but entertaining . Lastly , which you might have found already , is Jane Casey’s Outsider . It isn’t Maeve & Josh , though they do make an appearance & it moves the story on a little . I love inspecting people’s bookshelves so thanks for showing us yours . I’ll go & investigate some of your books now .

    1. I am excitedly waiting for the newest Shetland series to make its way over here. Loved the old one, especially the scenery. I will look for that Christie biography. I’m familiar with Lucy Worley as a tv presenter. And that Mitford spin-off sounds good. I was infected with Mitford mania for so long. Too bad that mystery series by Julian Fellowes niece turned out so badly. Saw the new Jane Casey. Holding off getting it until I am desperate. Ha. Like being on a diet, trying to NOT buy every new book that comes out.

    2. Wendy,I’ve waited for sooo long to be able to watch Shetland somewhere and cried when Perez (Douglas’ wife is a Croatian awarded author who writes in English,too-mostly dramas,excellent ones, btw)decided to go away! Nevertheless,I’m watching the eight Shetland series now and I like Tosh and Ruth together a lot,too
      I’ve checked Jim Daley series and had great hopes,but it seems that there are ,at the moment, no Kindle purchases. I’ll try his another books
      Dottoressa

      1. Hi D
        We watched the Tosh & Ruth version & quite enjoyed it but Perez is better to me . I have some of the books to read but need to forget the tv series first ! I saw that the author didn’t have a Tosh character in her books but wished she had . I’m sorry you can’t get Jim Daley on kindle . We can here but countries differ I guess . It’s frustrating for me sometimes when books recommended by Sue aren’t available here . I think you would like them .
        Wendy

  4. I have just started reading your blog and I love it – thank you for all the book recommendations! have you tried the louisa penny ~inspector Gamache series set in and around Quebec and a tiny village called 3 Pines. I love them – detective stories but with a literary and philosophical twist. best to read them in order.

  5. Don’t worry Sue, I haven’t recovered from realising, when I was a teenager, that there’d never be another novel by Jane Austen. As I’m now in my late 60s, that’s many years of longing right there 😂
    I think too much time on screens has diminished my ability to focus on books. I still read, but not as much or as easily as I used to and it is harder to find things I enjoy reading. I no longer finish books just because I’ve started them. This has been liberating and disappointing in equal parts. It’s good to stop reading books I don’t care for but I don’t like the feeling that there are less books out there for me to read. I appreciate blogs like yours and Frances’s because they encourage my reading life and introduce me to new books and authors.

    1. I hear you, Maria. I had to stop reading on my iPad altogether for a while. I could. It stop myself from clicking away from a book, and sometimes never getting back to it. Hoping that my paper copy of the Robert Graves book will help me.

    2. Your post gave me great relief, I have a similar experience. Not so many years ago I read a lot. Now I often don’t finish books, they bore me. I don’t want to waste my time with books which don’t give me something, learning or just entertainment.

  6. You are no longer teaching, and I don’t know if you have read this or not, but I saw it in the library the other day on the talking books shelf:
    Talking About Detective Fiction Paperback – Illustrated, May 3, 2011
    by P. D. James (Author)
    4.3 4.3 out of 5 stars
    Just thought I would mention it.
    Happy reading! I am reading “The Confidante” (Gorman) and “The Great Circle” (Shipstead) for my book club and wishing they would choose a good mystery for a change. We need that!

    1. Stu bought me that P. D. James book for Christmas when it first came out. It’s so good. Based on her descriptions I have found and enjoyed several “golden age” mysteries. I used to belong to two book clubs but found I could not keep up with all the serious reading. Especially since I retired, I just love to follow my nose when I choose what I want to read. And now that I can yak with you guys about books, the need to have someone to discuss books with has diminished. 😊

  7. Another retired English teacher Sue here! You didn’t mention it in this post, but the Mick Herron Slow Horses series is one I enjoyed and think would meet your ‘wonderful mystery’ criteria.

    If you want another very good book about George Mallory (non-fiction), Wade Davis’s Into the Silence is also excellent … the first chapter sets the Everest expeditions in the context of the First World War and will break your heart – but it’s a beautifully written book.

    1. I have heard of Mick Herron but not read him. Thanks for the recommendation. I will look for that Mallory book. Although it may be a while after reading Robert Graves’ memoir. Currently this afternoon he’s in the thick of trench warfare and I’ll probably need a break when I’m done.

      1. Me again … very forgetful today! The first three Slow Horses novels have been made into a TV series available on Apple. Gary Oldman plays the main character and he’s wonderful in it (though the character himself is rather physically appalling :))

  8. I’ve been waiting for one of your book review posts. As one of your descriptions catches my eye…or ear…I hop on Libby and hope the Ottawa Library has it. Today, I found a few and placed holds for others. I find your posts on books very useful. I’ll be all set for several months, so, thanks!

  9. Sue again – forgot to thank you for all the reading suggestions provided here – you’ve given me a good long list to explore for the rest of the winter.

  10. If you’re willing to venture into a different genre, the book Babel: An Arcane History by R.F. Kuang was probably the best I read last year. It’s historical fantasy that reimagines the beginnings of the end of the British Empire.
    I studied post-colonial literature and linguistics as an undergraduate so it was right up my alley, so to speak, but I would guess as an ex-English teacher and resident of a British-affiliated country you’d find personal links to the book, too.
    As you’re a mystery fan you’ll appreciate that I’m now reading an old Agatha Christie book, The Murder on the Links. It’s certainly ‘old school’ but quite enjoyable!

    1. I love old Agatha Christie. Often take a stroll down that road. Despite the bad press she gets she was a good writer. Not sure about the other suggestion. But thanks for making it. I love many different kinds of books besides mysteries… except fantasy, I’m sorry to say.

  11. Oh I loved teaching the First World War poets to my Italian students! And Pat Barker’s trilogy was superb! And you’ll love Robert Graves!
    How far apart we are yet it’s so exciting to see how much we have in common.
    My mother used to bring me the latest P.D.James books when visiting me in Italy. Innocent Blood was my favourite.

  12. I started Maggie O’Farrell’s “Instructions for a Heatwave” (c.2013) on Friday and will finish today. She is one of the best!

    1. I recommend, and am currently barreling through, the Maisie Dobbs series by Jacqueline Winspear. Beginning in England pre WWI, the stories follow Maisie’ life as a private investigator/psychologist on through 18 books. Very much enjoying the characters.

  13. Love your book posts!!! I had read The Searcher by Tana French, but had not read any of the Dublin Murder Squad books. I have been reading the first book in the series, In the Woods, and am really enjoying it. Also excited that there are several more to look forward to. Someone recently mentioned the Cazalet Chronicles and I read all of them over the holidays and loved them! There are a couple of things that were somewhat disturbing to me, but all in all a fascinating look at a family during WW2 and beyond. I had a hard time saying goodbye to them. I’m so glad your readers share their suggestions as well as you, such a great community to be a part of!

      1. I started reading Faithful Place per your recommendation. Really enjoying it! I lived in Ireland in the early 80’s and love the Irish, their humor and strength in the face of adversity. Sadly, some of your other recommendations are not available in our library. Still, I have new avenues to explore. Thank you Sue and commenters.

  14. I would like to suggest Donna Leon’s Commissario Brunetti series. Set in Venice, images come to life with taste and smell as Brunetti works his way through each new crime. There are 34 books in the series and it has generated spin off cookbooks and travel guides of Venice.
    Leon is an American author who has taught English all over the world, lived in Venice for 30 years and currently lives is Switzerland. She recently became a Swiss citizen.
    As a side note, Leon was working on her PhD about Jane Austin while teaching in Iran the 78-79 revolution broke out. Because of her harrowing escape she lost all her papers.
    I have read most of the series until recently when carpel tunnel makes holding a book a bit difficult. My tablet is only slightly better.

  15. I especially love Susan Hill mystery series. You should really try it. Her characters are richly drawn. Start with the first book even though the first book is not her best. I find that a lot with mystery writers, the first one in a series is not as good as the later ones. I also have read all of Peter Robinson and Peter Lovesey. I am reading Robert Galbraith right now. I long book but I have just started. For a lighter style, I read Micheal Connelly. I love the detective Bosch. I watched the entire VERA Series on TV and now am reading her books. She writes so well! the book Magpie Murders is great too. cannot remember the author’s name right now! Someone mentioned Donna Leon—I love her mysteries which are not really about the death, but more about the evilness of the people involved.

    1. Yes, I like Susan Hill too. For some reason she fell off my radar for a while and we have only recently begun to catch up with the books we missed. Hope you like the Ann Cleeves/Vera books. Cleeves is one of my current favourites.

  16. Thank you so much for giving us so many book suggestions! I’m needing something to read and am delighted to see new ideas, as well as some old favorites. I remember a friend who gave his mom the new Tony Hillerman for her birthday every year. I am very late to the party on podcasts, but have recently started listening to LeVar Burton reading short stories for adults. It’s a gem.
    I have my own small story about an 80+ year old. When I was in my 40’s, I met my 84 year old friend for lunch. She was wearing the most beautiful sweater. A very expensive sweater from a boutique, a splurge. She said, “But it will last forever.” I silently thought that perhaps at 84 she didn’t need a sweater that would last decades. Now that I’m in the long stretch it makes perfect sense.
    Stay warm everyone.

  17. I forgot to add a couple of nonfiction books I have read lately, and found worthwhile: Naomi Klein’s Doppelganger (being taken for someone else on the internet), David Brooks’ How to Know a Person, and Kristi Coulter’s Exit Interview, The Life and Death of My Ambitious Career. The third is about her time spent at Amazon. Yikes.

  18. Enjoyed your blog today as always and can certainly relate to waiting for another book from an author. You don’t mention if you have read any of Ruth Ware’s books. They are excellent mysteries and I am waiting for the next. She is a British author likened to Agatha Christie. I do like historical novels and wonder if you have read Suzanna Kearsley. She is a Canadian author and writes historical mysteries. Again, I am waiting for the next one. I could go on with my list but that is for another day. Happy reading😊

  19. Charles Todd (actually a mother/son writing duo) writes a mystery series revolving around a WWI vet, Inspector Ian Rutledge. Lots of angst with that Inspector with regard to PTSD, horrors of WWI but also great mysteries.

  20. Kathy Stephenson

    If you are looking to dive into a new series, I recommend Deborah Crombie’s Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James mysteries. I believe there are nineteen (and counting) books. They are Scotland Yard detectives, and I love that Crombie has created so many strong and interesting characters. I feel like I’m reconnecting with old friends with each new book.
    A wonderful stand-alone I just finished is “The Frozen River” by Ariel Lawhon. It is a novel based on a real person, a midwife in 1790’s Maine. It is a great story, and there is a mystery in it as well.

    1. We enjoyed Crombie’s books for years. Like Susan Hill’s books, somehow they fell off my radar. I must remedy that. Her books are similar to Peter James’ Roy Grace series. Grace has also been made into. Television series which is quite good. I will look for that book set in Maine. Thanks.

  21. I see someone else mentioned Susan Hill – I liked the earlier ones a lot more than the most recent ones. And Mick Herron: a good friend and also 2 of my kids really enjoy his books but I just cannot get beyond the first 100 or so pages despite trying hard. I think you mentioned Ellie Griffiths in an earlier reading post? I am particularly enjoying one of her newer series; I burned out a bit on the Ruth Galloway ones.

    How about JA Jance? Her 2 series centered in Arizona are very enjoyable and beautifully written. Also Deborah Crombie and Elizabeth George.

    On the non-fiction front I just finished a book of Eleanor Roosevelt’s correspondence that was fascinating and sent me on a search for more about her as a person.

    I’m going to come back and look more closely at other recommendations here – even Eleanore Roosevelt won’t keep my occupied forever.

    Ceci

    1. I enjoyed the Ruth Galloway books. Although I found they got a little thin in the later books, not as richly plotted. But not sure how writers who are very prolific can keep up the quality year after year. And I was happy and relieved that she wrapped things up with Ruth and Nelson to my satisfaction in the last book of the series. Even so, I will miss her characters, especially Cathbad. I’m looking forward to her new series. It sounds interesting.

  22. Sue
    You are a treasure of book knowledge. I need to read more. Thank you for reminding me.
    The only book I tecall ever reading twice is:
    “The Shadow Of The Wind”
    By Carlos Ruiz Zafon….loved it.
    I take that back. I read a book in 5th grade called “Old Bones” about a race horse. 5th grade reading but I just read it again. I found it recently while clearing out my parents home after their passing. My child signature is on the inside…. I still love it!!

    1. How is it that books can stay with us for so many years? I remember a book called High Hedges from my elementary school years. Brought in by our teacher to supplement our class library. I loved it so much the teacher let me keep it. I remember being honoured. 😀

  23. Not much of a mystery fan but I recently read and really liked The White Lady by Jacqueline Winspear. It starts during WWI ends shortly after WWII. It’s quite a thriller! Completely out of the wheelhouse is AnnePatchett’s sublime The Dutch House. I love Patchett and this novel does not disappoint. It was on the Pulitzer short list. I was on the waiting list on Libby at the Ottawa Library for sixteen weeks! So worth the wait. If you are a fan of the Mitford sisters ( especially the rather bizarre Unity and Diana with their dubious political affiliations) The Mitford Affair by Marie Benedict is an interesting read. I have a child who toils at Indigo so was gifted Astor by Anderson Cooper ( interesting) and Barbra by Barbra Streisand which I haven’t started ( it’s quite the bible sized tome) hope she’s a better writer than Julie Andrews just slogged through her last memoir. Either she’s a terrible writer or she has a bad editor, for someone who lived an exciting life her memoire was a giant bore.
    Why I prefer reading cook books….

  24. I know the feeling,Sue,I know the feeling….
    Last week I’ve checked all my favourite (living) authors,to see how long it will take till their new books will arrive this year. Luckily,all are prolific,as it seems,but nothing before summer/autumn. There will be new Ann Cleeves’ Vera,new book from Helen Simonson,Dona Leon,M.W.Craven….. and I have the last R. Galbraith book to read (she could start a new series,don’t you think?)
    Aw,P. D. James,D. Sayers….,I’ve devoured Hill,Lovesay and Wycliffe,very sistematically from the first one to the end… but still have one or two Hill’s,for ,as Aurelia in Love Actually would say,: ” just in cases”
    I’m so sad about Susie Steiner, beautiful books and characters,she was so young
    I’ve mentioned in your last (Covid) book post some of my new authors,can’t remember did I mentione Maria Afolfsson Doggerland series as well?
    I’ve had some book fatigue in last couple of weeks-Nita Prose’s (The Maid) The Mystery Guest kind of broke it
    Enjoy your ski holidays
    Dottoressa

    1. Oh, that line from Love Actually made me laugh out loud, Dottoressa. When we were in Portugal I kept saying “boa noite” and Stu looked at me quizically. I said I learned it from Love Actually. 😀 I am currently ordering a couple of those Doggerland books. Thanks. By the way, I listened to the first Colleen Cambridge book Murder at Mallowan Hall. Liked it. Laughed out loud in the beginning when the housekeeper is trying to convince the local bobby that there really is a body in Agatha Christie’s library. Ha.

  25. I always start your post with a cup of coffee in anticipation of being entertained and educated……and this one did not disappoint. I am so glad I found your blog a couple years ago. I hope you realize how much you are still ‘teaching’. I have read so many of the books that you recommend…and I just love hearing your life adventures!
    Love from Texas, USA

  26. May I recommend Walter Mosley. Devil in a Blue Dress is the first of many in the Easy Rawlins series. Terrific writer and still alive!

  27. Thank you Sue for your recommendations, some authors I know, of some I fear that they are not translated into German so I have not heard of them so far.
    But I will research further.
    I want to recommend Josephine Tey. Her books are published again in German! And I’m looking forward to them. One of the best books I’ve ever read was her mystery on Richard III, her attempt to vindicate him.
    And I have always enjoyed Ruth Rendell and her books under the name Barbara Vine, especially „Asta‘s Diary“. I have to return to her and fetch all those Wexford books from the top shelf of my bookcase. Thanks for reminding me!

  28. Thank you for introducing me to Susie Steiner. I was sad to find out that she only wrote three books. She died so young.
    I have been looking for a mystery series to read. Tana French sounds perfect.

  29. I share your love of Reginald Hill. I have read and greatly enjoyed many other mystery authors, but I still haven’t gotten over my sadness that there will never be another Dalziel & Pascoe novel. (The best cure for my sadness is probably to reread the series; Hill never fails to make me laugh.)

    In a different vein entirely, I recently renewed my Audible subscription after letting it lapse for a number of years, and I discovered a delightful BBC radio drama collection of several of Barbara Pym’s novels. It is absolutely wonderful, with several actors whom I recognize from BBC TV dramas. I have a BBC Jane Austen collection queued up to listen to next.

    And finally, the latest Shetland series is available to watch in Canada on Britbox. My husband and I gave ourselves a Britbox subscription for Christmas three years ago and we are nowhere near running out of things to watch yet.

    Thanks for another wonderful book post, and to your commenters for the additional suggestions. My library hold list continues to grow!

    1. Hill’s books were so rich. I may go back and reread my favourites, just for the pleasure of experiencing his writing style and his wit. I must explore to see if I can find those Pym dramatizations over here. Thanks for letting me know.

  30. I always look forward to reading your posts- reading and clothes, perfect!
    I have to tell you about my latest reading crush- the ‘Venetian’ series by Philip Gwynne Jones featuring Nathan Sunderland, the Honorary British Consul who inadvertently turns sleuth while living in Venice. These books are incredibly atmospheric, evoking the mystery and spirit of a very real city. Brilliant!

      1. Oh Sue, do try to , you won’t be disappointed!
        Keep on doing what you do- interesting and intelligent discussion . Thank you. X

  31. These aren’t mysteries but mirror the “feel” of your keeper shelf: the little known Trust by Mary Flanagan which came out in 1996. Also Margaret Drabble’s The Needle’s Eye and Eva Ibbotsen’s The Morning Gift, a bit of fairy tale considering it’s about a wartime refugee in London. But it’s delicious.

  32. Suz from Vancouver

    Hi Sue
    I too am one of those who starts my Monday morning with tea and your always interesting latest post!

    Books – some different ones that you might like…

    Taste: My Life Through Food by Stanley Tucci (I listened to the Audio book, done by him)
    The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
    The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window And Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson
    Rendezvous With Rama by Arthur C. Clarke

    And on another note, if you’re looking for a light, charming movie, Bank of Dave, on Netflix 👍👍

    Thank you
    Suz from Vancouver

    1. Sadly we do not have Netflix. But I will surely look for your other suggestions. Thanks, Suz. P.S. I love Stanley Tucci. His television program was a highlight for Hubby and me.

  33. I love your book posts with your favorites and then those of your readers! Have you read Elinor Lipman (not mysteries, but so clever and fun)? I really enjoyed the SJ Bennett Queen Elizabeth books, Martin Walker’s Bruno books, Cara Black’s books, and the show Annika on Prime, as well as Vera. Thanks for sharing your favorites. It is a wonderful gift to settle down with a good book.

  34. I live book posts. I just discovered The Frozen River by Ariel Lawhon. She writes what she calls biographical fiction. A protagonist that is based on a real person and then she builds the story around her. This one was a 1700s midwife. Now I am reading her one about a WW II spy. The dialogue is a little modern but I enjoy the characters and plot. She has a couple others. I am not usually an historical fiction fan but she is very good. Loved gentleman in Moscow. Loved Peace Like a River, but can’t remember plot Ha. And Lonesome Dove and all the related McMurtry books about the characters.
    So Many good books. Loved the Paris Wife, like you. Paula M lives near me. I have to read one of hers sitting on my shelf. I will review your post again with a pen and paper to take notes. I try PDJ once and found her writing dense and couldn’t get into it. I will try her again.

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