Book Review: Paying Guests by E. F. Benson #1929Club

Paying Guests by author, biographer, and memoirist E. F. Benson, first published in 1929, is a standalone novel, which appeared in publication order somewhere between his best-known Mapp and Lucia books. This story is set in the fictional Bolton Spa and around Wentworth, a boarding house which is far more elegant and luxurious than others,…

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Book Review: The Half Sisters by Geraldine Jewsbury

The Half Sisters (1848) is a novel by lesser-known Victorian writer Geraldine Jewsbury whose books are described as feminist, and which often questioned the conventional norms and roles that women at the time were confined to. Jewbury who was a novelist, book reviewer (with around 2,000 reviews to her credit, many for the Athenaeum), and…

Book Review: And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

Many nursery rhymes, much like fairy tales, even though they are now largely read by children, have rather dark and sinister meanings and undertones, whether it is ‘Three Blind Mice’ or ‘Ring a Ring o Roses’ or ‘Mary Mary Quite Contrary’ dealing with themes like the plague or religious persecution. Agatha Christie is quite the…

Book Review: Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne du Maurier #DDMReadingWeek

Frenchman’s Creek is a novel of romance, of adventure, of pirates and of Cornwall, and rather different from the gothic, suspense/thriller themes one usually associates with her. A novel I’d enjoyed very much on my first read years ago, this was a revisit for Ali’s #DDMReadingWeek for this year. In Frenchman’s Creek, we meet the…

Book Review: Shroud of Darkness by E.C.R. Lorac #1954Club

Shroud of Darkness, the fortieth book in the Robert Macdonald series of books by British author Edith Caroline Rivett, writing as E. C. R. Lorac was my third pick for Karen and Simon’s #1954Club. With some elements that one typically encounters in quite a few Golden Age mysteries—the London Fog and a train journey—the book…

Book Review: Murder at Primrose Cottage by Merryn Allingham

My thanks to Bookouture and NetGalley for a review copy of this book. Murder in Primrose Cottage is the third in the Flora Steele series of cosy mysteries by Merryn Allingham, which I have been following from the start. While this can be read as a standalone as the mystery is complete and we get…

Book Review: Behold, Here’s Poison by Georgette Heyer

Behold, Here’s Poison (1936) is the second of Georgette Heyer’s mysteries featuring Superintendent Hannasyde; in these Hemingway, who later features in his own subset of mysteries, is Sergeant. Behold, Here’s Poison opens below-the-stairs in Poplars, where the unpleasant and domineering patriarch Gregory Matthews lives with his older sister, Harriet, widowed sister-in-law, Zoe, and Zoe’s two…

Book Review: Fear Stalks the Village by Ethel Lina White

You look at these scattered houses, and you are impressed by their beauty. I look at them, and the only thought that comes to me is a feeling of their isolation and of the impunity with which crime may be committed there.--Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, ‘The Adventure of the Copper Beeches' These words of Sherlock…

Book Review: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis #Narniathon21

This was a reread of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (1950) as part of #Narniathon21 hosted by Chris at Calmgrove. He has discussion prompts for the book up so do head there if you'd like to join in. Banner from Calmgrove The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is a truly classic children's…