I’ve been struggling with posting again but not reading! By the time I close my work laptop, I just have no motivation to spend any more time in front of a screen. Still…

The Spinster’s Secret (1946) by Anthony Gilbert

Gilbert’s books have become comfort reads to me. Some, like this one, are not great and may require a little more patience and forgiveness from thee reader than others – I certainly had to suspend my disbelief several times when it came to the private eye in this story. Still, I loved how dark this story about an old impoverished lady trying to investigate a potential kidnapping was. The treatment by institutions, authorities and even distant relatives of poor old people who do not have any means of support was horrifying.

Luckily, one of Arthur Crook’s – the odd private eye – redeeming features was that he took on the case of the “Spinster’s secret”. He was the only character taking the old lady seriously. It was nice to see his kindness in a story of what was otherwise filled with greed and jealousy.

I’m so glad there are still a few of Gilbert’s (aka Lucy Malleson’s) books that I have yet to discover. I already look forward to the next one.


The Janus Stone (2010) by Elly Griffiths

As soon as I finished the first book in this series, The Crossing Places, I wanted to read the next. Given that I am currently reading the third, I guess I am hooked!

The Janus Stone was as gripping as the first book. I had the murderer picked pretty early on, but that was more lucky guess than anything. It could easily have been two other characters, too. The main thing was that I was kept guessing at the mystery, all while learning a bit more about archaeology and Roman gods.

I still maintain that Ruth, the main character, is brilliant. I love her style. But I am also invested in the other recurring characters, especially Cuthbed, the druid.

Did I say I was now reading book # 3 already? I have reserved books #s 4 and 5 at the library.


Giant’s Bread (1930) – Mary Westmacott (Agatha Christie).

I will probably never be a Westmacott fan. Even if this book, Giant’s Bread, was Christie’s own favourite, I really could not like it much. The characters grated on me. The story grated on my with it’s glacial pace.

What is worse is that after reading the first chapter, the characters and story seemed familiar – yes, I had actually read this before and totally forgot everything about it.

The book did not improve on the re-read for me.

Give me Passenger to Frankfurt and the equally awful Postern of Fate anytime but not this whiny discussion about the artists and their sacrifices.


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

Alligator Playground – Alan Sillitoe

The White Bird Passes – Jessie Kesson

Catch-22 – Joseph Heller

The House at Sea’s End – Elly Griffiths

Partners in Crime – Agatha Christie