I’m currently catching up on non-work stuff including sleep. I’m so tired at the moment that posting and spending time in front of screens is just not something I want to do. But here we are… Bring on the long Coronation weekend!

Rebel Writers: Seven Women Who Changed Their World (2019) by Celia Brayfield

I was in two minds before reading this book whether I should finish reading O’Brien’s Country Girl Trilogy first for fear of spoiling the story by reading about the author. Normally, this would be a very valid concern for me.

I found, however, that reading Rebel Writers made me want to read the books / plays mentioned in it even more, not less.

This work of literary criticism and history focuses on Shelagh Delaney, Edna O’Brien, Lynne Reid Banks, Charlotte Bingham, Nell Dunn, Virginia Ironside, and Margaret Forster as the first examples of new female voices that broke the boundaries for women in the literary establishment.

While I have some issues with the author’s proclamation here and the lack of comparison to women writers who have come before, I really enjoyed the way the author illustrated the obstacles the authors faced at their time – ranging from sexism to dealing with an industry that seeks to monetise author’s works in any way possible, to defying family expectations.


The Crossing Places (2009) by Elly Griffiths

I remember I saw TA’s review for this series earlier this year, and like her, I am wondering why it has taken me so long to find this book / series!

The main character, Ruth, is a forensic archaeologist living in Norfolk, and enjoying the eeriness of a landscape that is subject to the perils of changing tides.

We have a lot of things I love in this first book: atmosphere, a relatable and very realistic female main character, who values her own comfort more than other people’s judgment, male characters who are fully fleshed out, humour, archaeology, and a bloody good mystery.

I loved it. I can only hope that the rest of the series holds up to the standard set by the first book. I’m as excited about this series as I was when I first discovered Val McDermid’s Karen Pirie series.

Maybe I have a thing for solving cold cases? Who knows?! The main thing is that I read this book – excepting sleep – in one sitting over a cold and wet weekend and was eager to find the next one at the library.


Stories to Make You Smile (2021) – various, edited by Fanny Blake.

This was a collection of very short stories focusing on feelgood endings – though not all of them did for me. The stories were written by an eclectic selection of authors, and some are part of a wider series such as Vaseem Khan’s story which features a story from the Baby Ganesha detective stories.

The stories are by:

Jenny Éclair
Mark Watson
Veronica Henry
Eva Verde
Richard Madeley
Katie Fforde
Dorothy Koomson
Vaseem Khan
Helen Lederer
Rachel Hore

There were a few stories that truly made me smile such as Jenny Eclair’s offering, which features a woman who is freeing herself from caring about non-essentials.

It’s not a great collection, but worth a read – especially if you are looking for light fare.

Other reviews posted this week:


Currently reading:
The Oxford Shakespeare: The Complete Works – William Shakespeare (see The Will’s World Project)

The Book of Form and Emptiness – Ruth Ozeki

The Spinster’s Secret – Anthony Gilbert