Hosted by Miz B at Shoulder Be Reading, to take part just answer three questions:

1. What are you currently reading?

2. What have you recently finished reading?

3. What are you planning on reading next? I’m

And here are my answers!

1. I’m reading Sophie Hannah’s The Telling Error. I got this in hardback, being a huge Sophie Hannah fan, despite a recent dip in form, especially with The Carrier, the convulated and totally ridiculous ending of which really irritated me! Annoyingly, I lost track of it totally in our flat move earlier this year. So, when it came out in paperback recently I repurchased it (without Mr Crimeworm’s knowledge – my “book habit”, as he calls it, causes enough friction in the household without a conversation about purchasing the same book twice, and the fact that I can’t find the first copy would be held up as an example of exactly why my “book habit” is out of control…) Of course, just days later the hardback reappeared…Anyway, really enjoying this, actually getting through it fairly quickly, and, on the caveat it doesn’t blow it by going OTT at the end, I think it’s a return to form for Ms Hannah.

2. The book I finished most recently was a true crime job for a change – Naming Jack The Ripper by Russell Edwards. You can read my thoughts on that in my last post.

3. I hate this question – basically because I don’t know the answer to that until I pick up a book and start reading! I’ll usually gather all the likely candidates in front of me, and my Kindle, and read the various blurbs, then choose a candidate. I also have to have a “real” book, and one on the Kindle on the go – the real book because the utter crapness of my Kindle Fire’s battery even when I’m just reading means I have to have a real book “in reserve.” I have thought of a second, more basic Kindle, solely for reading, but as you can imagine I’m not ready for THAT conversation with Mr Crimeworm…I did consider that perhaps he wouldn’t notice, but realised I’d be snookered if he asked me – as he often does – to check the Celtic score while I was using the basic Kindle…seriously though, I really should return to The Skeleton Road by Val McDermid, on the Kindle, as it was starting to get going when Sophie Hannah distracted me. As for the “real” book for when battery disaster strikes, I can’t answer that – as I don’t know the answer myself yet…

Any suggestions? Or comments – I’d love to hear from fellow bloggers and bookworms, especially if your “habit” is also out of control – it’s important for us addicts to know we’re not alone! And I REALLY shouldn’t say this, but any recommendations will be gratefully received too…

Naming Jack The Ripper – Russell Edwards

I’ve fallen somewhat behind with my reviewing (oh, the guilt, as my fellow bloggers will know…) so have a few to review, but I’ll have to remind myself of them a little first – so much crime fiction can blur into one…

But this week I took a step into the true crime side of things, with Russell Edwards’ Naming Jack The Ripper. I actually went out and bought this myself, my interest piqued after reading a short article in The Times about it and the findings contained within.

Everyone interested in the world of crime knows about the Ripper; indeed he is now of mythical status, the uncertainty regarding his identity only feeding the myth and making it all the more compelling. I read Patricia Cornwell’s Jack The Ripper: Case Closed in 2002, where, using her not inconsiderable fortune, she tested mitochondrial DNA on some of the Ripper letters, and put forward the controversial case that it was Impressionist painter Walter Sickert. She was not the first to suggest he was the Ripper, but she got plenty of attention as she was such a well-known novelist, he is (rightly) such a well-regarded artist, and, more importantly, her findings seemed backed by our favourite, no-nonsense, modern tool for proof: DNA. I read the book and, like many, I suspect, came to the conclusion that Sickert may very possibly have written the letters, or some of them, and was certainly fascinated by the Ripper (as was most of London at the time!) – but she didn’t quite persuade me he was a killer.

Now we have a similar situation – someone using the wonders of the modern lab on a possible Ripper artefact, in this case a shawl allegedly found at the scene of the fourth victim, Catherine Eddowes’, death (I couldn’t help thinking Cornwell would be gutted to not have got hold of this – if only to ‘bury’ it, as it makes a nonsense of her claims!) The owner of the shawl, and our author, is Russell Edwards, an English entrepreneur, and his workmanlike, straightforward prose makes him come across as easy going and likeable. With him for the forensic findings is Finnish scientist and DNA expert Dr Jari Louhelainen, who did the expensive tests in his own time, with the agreement that he would write an academic paper on any findings. It is unlikely, however, he realised all he would discover…

I don’t want to go into the findings contained within, in case anyone reading missed the recent press stories and wants to read it. But it really is a great yarn, with Edwards’ telling us how the shawl came into his possession, then retracing the murders, with plenty of information on how tough life was in the East End at that time. His light touch with words mean the tale is never dull, even if some of it will be familiar to many. Then he goes on to tell of the scientific finds, and the various pieces of detective work he has to learn how to do, meeting many interesting people along the way.

So does he, as the title says, ” name” the (arguably) most famous serial killer in history? Yep, I’d say so. Although there will always be others adamant that their theory is the correct one, I think this time we can conclusively say “case closed”.

A great, fast read, I’m giving it:

5 out of 5.


Hosted by Miz B at Should Be Reading, to join this weekly meme just answer three questions:

1. What are you currently reading?
2. What have you just finished reading?
3. What do you plan on reading next?

My answers are:

1. I’m currently reading Naming Jack The Ripper by Russell Edwards. It’s written by a businessman who bought a shawl, found at the scene of the fourth of the Ripper’s murders, that of Catherine Eddowes. It was the beginning of a seven year quest to authenticate the shawl, which, if legitimate, would be the only piece of Ripper crime scene evidence still in existence. It was to take him from the 1880s to the cutting-edge forensic science of the 21st century, and, ultimately, to the identity of Jack the Ripper.
2. I’ve just finished Us by David Nicholls, the follow-up to One Day. I’m going to review that for this blog, although I know it’s not usual Crimeworm fare, but as it’s just such a high profile release, and I enjoyed it so much, I’m going to review it regardless.
3. The book I’m going to read next…hmmm, now that’s always really hard to answer, as it depends what mood I’m in when I’m looking. I really have to start the Elly Griffiths series, plus I’ve got the Wednesday book in the Nicci French series, which is FABULOUS. I also quite fancy something along the lines of a spy novel, like a Charles Cumming, or perhaps Ben Macintyre’s non-fiction work, A Spy Among Friends, about Kim Philby. Or maybe it’ll be something totally different…I’ll let you know next week!


Hosted by Miz B at Should Be Reading, to take part just answer three questions:
1. What are you currently reading?
2. What have you just finished reading?
3. What do you think you’ll read next?

Here’s what I’ve been enjoying…
1. Through a Waterstones cardholders competition, I won an early copy of the much anticipated Us, by David Nicholls, the author of the massive word-of-mouth bestseller One Day. I know it’s not my usual fare, but I think I’ll HAVE to review it. So right now, halfway through, all I’ll say is this: so far, it’s funnier (and possibly better…) than One Day. Big claims, I know, but I’ll do my best to explain why I think that when I review it. I don’t often read books that make me laugh every page, but Us is definitely one of them. This has made my partner question my sanity. It also means I can’t read it while he’s asleep. And as for taking it anywhere – nope. I don’t need the whole town questioning my sanity. That’s why I’ve been “flirting” with a couple of other books (see below, question 3.)

2. I’ve not long finished The Winter Foundlings by Kate Rhodes, a copy of which was kindly sent to me by the publisher. I wasn’t familiar with the author, and set it in the “less urgent” TBR pile. (This makes me aware it sounds like I have some sort of methodology, or system, to my book storage – that’s not the case, except perhaps within my head. In my house, the only “system” is piles of books. Please tell me I’m not the only one!) However, after reading a number of excellent reviews on my favourite blogs, I decided this one couldn’t be missed. I’ll review it too, as soon as I can manage.

3. I’ve also been reading Perfidia, the latest by James Ellroy, Marcia Clark’s The Competition, and today I bought Lena Dunham’s Not That Kind Of Girl – I’m a huge fan of Girls, and love the way Lena refuses to conform to the Hollywood ideal of leading lady, and is never afraid to shove it in our faces – how reassuring to see an average, normal, body. I hope her star continues to rise, so she can be a role model to even more young women, who continue to be bombarded with unrealistic images of the female form, even more so than when I was a teenager. So while I’ll have the first two on hand, I can see resisting Lena’s “learning” will be quite a challenge!

I’d love to hear what you’ve been reading, and love to get comments from my fellow book addicts!