I came across The Curse of the School Rabbit by famed children’s author Judith Kerr in my library’s BorrowBox catalogue and couldn’t resist the cover.
This was my first Judith Kerr and if the rest of her books are like this one, I can see why she was such a beloved author.
The story of Snowflake, who has a tendency to pee on people, was both funny and heartwarming and dealt with a young boy worrying about a struggling family, illness, and the responsibility of looking after an animal in a very touching and sympathetic way.
I really enjoyed this.
I’m also tempted to add Kerr as a potential author for May’s Literary Birthday Challenge for the (Mostly) Dead Authors Society on Goodreads.
Blue Murder by Harriet Rutland was a recent recommendation by a fellow fan of crime and mystery books on Goodreads. He knows my tastes in books fairly well and this recommendation of a book and author I had never heard of entirely hit the spot for me. I have not actually read many mysteries this year so far which is a sad departure from my usual reading mood, but I think Rutland has coaxed me out of the mystery funk.
Blue Murder starts with the story of an author who is bad at writing mysteries and who is taken in as a boarder by the Hardstaffe family during the war. One of the things that immediately intrigued me about the story is that most of the family seemed to be horrible people. In a murder mystery, it always provides an element of fun if I can try and guess which character(s) will get bumped off, or bumped off first as the case may be. And much of my reading enjoyment of the first half of this book focused on exactly this.
For the rest of the book, the author made me cling to the pages with a deep feel of unease about the background to the crime. I seriously could not put my finger on what was the matter with the story and the characters, and just when the solution seemed to be tangible, Rutland kicked me in the shin. And I deserved it. I had expected a formulaic mystery. I had expected a story copying so many other stories I had read before. Silly me.
Harriet Rutland is one of the re-discovered authors I very much want to read more by.
Other reviews posted this week:
Women of Westminster: The MPs who Changed Politics by Rachel Reeves
The Interest – Michael Taylor
Red Ellen: The Life of Ellen Wilkinson – Laura Beers
Wenn Du Geredet Hättest, Desdemona – Christine Brückner
Childhood, Youth, Dependency: The Copenhagen Trilogy – Tove Ditlevsen
The Oxford Shakespeare: The Complete Works – William Shakespeare (see The Will’s World Project)