About

I’m a long-time fan of crime fiction, although I try to read other genres, like literary fiction, and some popular history. I particularly like to support Scottish crime writers, small imprints, and new authors, although I do enjoy high-profile books too. Right now, anything with a psychological aspect to it, and I’m happy. Favourites include Denise Mina, Ian Rankin, Kate Atkinson, Erin Kelly, Tana French, Jane Casey, William McIlvanney, Liam McIlvanney, Ben Macintyre (from the UK & Ireland), and Michael Connelly, Joseph Wambaugh, George Pelecanos, Laura Lippman, James Lee Burke, James Ellroy (from the US), plus a smattering of Nordic Noir, and other European countries – in fact, anywhere there’s crime! Contact me through Twitter @crimeworm1 or at lindaboa1972@gmail.com. It’s such a bad idea to use your birth year in your e-mail address…;-)

Just to add – I’m not reading as fast as I used to as I was attacked three years ago by a burglar and left disabled due to nerve damage. I’m currently working on an Access course for an OU degree, as my memory was affected, and my meds tire me out, but please get in touch and I’ll do my best to read and review your books!

22 thoughts on “About

  1. hello, Twitter friend, Linda!

    I have enjoyed reading your blog this evening. I wonder if you’ve read any books by Donna Tartt? In particular, “The Secret History” would appeal to your interest in crime stories. You may have read it, but if not, then I warn you it is quite dark. My favorite book by Tartt is “The Goldfinch.” All sorts of crime in it, too, but it’s a deeply moving story.

    James Lee Burke’s Detetctive Dave Robicheaux novels are also excellent, and I know you would enjoy them — if you haven’t already discovered them.

    Both are American authors, and both are from the Deep South. Tartt’s two books mentioned here are not set in the South but Burke’s are.

    Cherry

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  2. Hi Cherry, thanks for your recommendations! I do love James Lee Burke books, especially Dave Robicheaux – he’s such a fantastic writer, really poetic. I’ve read some of the Billy Bob Holland books too, but I feel like I know Dave Robicheaux better, if that makes sense! As for Donna Tartt, I did read The Secret History a few years ago, and I’ve got The Little Friend and The Goldfinch, but I haven’t tackled them yet – they’re pretty big books! Something Deep South-related, that I loved, although it’s not a book, was True Detective. It was absolutely fantastic – did you watch it? I’m not sure what the new series will be like though…

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  3. Hi, Linda.

    You will enjoy The Goldfinch, especially. I’ve read it twice, it was so good — it has so much depth. It is a big book, but so worth the time. It’s not so dark as The Secret History which I found somewhat depressing.

    Yes, I loved the HBO series, True Detective! I even purchased it, and I rarely buy TV series. I’m a big fan of Matthew McConaughey. (Love his accent and voice.) This series was filmed not far from where I grew up, and is maybe an hour west of where I live now, generally speaking. (I don’t live in a swamp or near a bayou.) I live north of New Orleans by about half an hour’s drive. I agree about the future of the series being iffy without McConaughey who has already said he won’t be in it.

    I am glad to hear that you enjoy James Lee Burke. I love his ability to put his readers right in the setting, to feel as if one is right there in the moment. His descriptions of the stories that take place in Louisiana are perfect. The people he describes are just like the people I’ve met and known from New Iberia. And, his friend Clete who is from the Irish Channel section of New Orleans could have been drawn from real life.

    Cherry

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  4. Hi Cherry,
    I’m pretty sure I read that it’s – hold on to your hat – Colin Farrell and Vince Vaughn, as well as Rachel McAdams, play the cops in season 2. And this one’s not set in Louisiana, but California…so it’s going to be a very different animal!
    I am definitely looking forward to The Goldfinch, but it’s such a huge book, and I’ve so many to read and review right now – I did really love The Secret History, although it’s about 12 years since I’ve read it. It was an awesome book. I might read The Little Friend before The Goldfinch, so I’ve read them in order – it’s set in the South isn’t it? What did you make of that one?
    I’ve also got a couple of Alafair Burke’s books too, although I haven’t read them yet. I think they’re more legal thrillers – which I do enjoy. Attica Locke is a writer who I THINK sets her books in the South; I do have one, Black Water Rising, which I must read. Have you read any of hers?
    Linda x

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    • Then it will be very different. I wonder what part of California? “The Little Friend” is good and interesting but like a feather compared to The Goldfinch. It is told from a child’s point of view, although a very unusual child. Yes, it is set in the South, but I can’t remember if it was explicitly stated. Since I know the author grew up in Mississippi, the setting was familiar to that area, so I made the assumption. At least, I don’t remember a specific area being stated in the book.

      I haven’t read any of Alafair Burke’s books. No, I have not read Attica Locke. I will have to look her up, so thanks. I am reading Wilbur Smith’s first Courtney Family book — no mysteries or crimes, but the history of South Africa is interesting. I’ve already learned some things I never knew, very unpleasant things. I don’t intend, at this point, to read the series. Just not my cup of tea. Like you, I enjoy the crime stories, the mysteries, especially with psychological components. I promised a friend that I would at least try one more book by Smith, from his Egyptian series, titled “The River God.” I was promised that it is much better than the South Africa books.

      If you like true crime, you may like Chuck Hustmeyre. I haven’t read all of his books, but “Killer With A Badge” was a book about a true story. Horrific story! I tried to read “The Axeman of New Orleans,” by Hustmyre but just didn’t care for it. Here’s a link to his site: http://www.chuckhustmyre.com/index.htm

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  5. I know you love crime stories, but what about the “Outlander” series by Diana Gabaldon? Or perhaps the TV series based on those novels, set in your beautiful country, part of which is spoken in Gaelic but mostly in English? I’m completely hooked on the TV (or Telly?) series. I have the first book, but must first finish what I’m reading now., “Leaving Berlin,” by Joseph Kanon, set in East Germany just after WWII was over. My family knew a young man, Sven, from East Germany, and I am interested to learn what it was like where he lived, although it is set in the time of his grandparents. He lived here in the States for about five years, then returned to Europe with his brother. It was a loss as we had come to think of him as a son. Lovely young man, he was — tall and blonde with blue eyes. He was ntelligent, well-educated and had such lovely manners. My daughter loved him, but sadly he only came to think of her as a close friend. Anyway, I have not learned much about East Germany so far, but my curiosity persists. One day I’ll find the right book about it, I suppose.

    Let me know if you have any interest in the Outlander series. It comes highly recommended to me from a direct descendant of the Stuarts of Scotland. She and I share a deep pride in our Scots ancestry. I know Lindsey is a common name there, but is Watson as common? Watson was my great-grandmother’s name. Her son, my grandfather, was tall and fair with dark red hair and eyes the beautiful amber shade of Scotch whiskey. He was extremely independent.

    I feel a kinship with you, because of our love of books. My Stuart girlfriend also loves books, as well as weaving. She lives in the neighboring State of Texas. Our friendship is based on corresponding about books and other creatuve interests like Photography. Feel free to correspond with me using the email address you have on file here on your site. Books, books, books!!

    Cherry

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    • Sorry, Cherry, just read both your replies together there – apologies! Weirdly, Outlander isn’t really that popular here, although another US blogger who I’m blog friends with loves them! I get the impression people think that they’re a romanticized version of Scottish history – I’m kind of allergic to anything romantic! I’ve never read Wilbur Smith – my friend, who helped his dad run a little bookshop – I worked there too – said they were about “butch men in Landrovers” and that’s kind of stuck in my head, although it does make me laugh! It’s weird you mentioning the “Axeman of New Orleans” story; I got a proof of a fictionalized crime fiction novel called “The Axeman’s Jazz” by Ray Celestin – it’s been nominated for a lot of awards. I first heard of the case in a non-fic ARC from Edelweiss about the history of New Orleans, City Of Sin – excellent book, by Gary Krist. It was pretty wild, and almost unpoliced, until 1900 – real frontier stuff! It surprised me! Leaving Berlin looks excellent, I’m waiting for it to go into paperback then I’ll get it. Re Eastern Germany, if you read non-fic (many don’t), the best book I can recommend is Stasiland by Anna Funder. I’ve heard so many people rave about this; it’s first person accounts of living in East Germany. I don’t think you’d get a better book about it than this – imagine not knowing who you can talk to openly? Or the fear that someone who dislikes you will claim you are a dissident? Terrifying. Beyond comprehension for us, in the West! Watson is a pretty common name here, all over Scotland, to the best of my knowledge. But Boswell – is that your husband’s name? – I’m divorced, but never changed it anyway, as my family has quite a unique history – well, while not being a massively common name, it has a special history attached to it, as James Boswell accompanied Dr Samuel Johnson on a trip to the Hebrides in the late 18th C – in fact, there’s still a plaque in this town marking where they stayed (it’s now the Procurator Fiscal office – what you’d call the District Attorney, probably! I love US legal dramas, from LA Law when I was almost a teenager, to The Good Wife, which I taped earlier!) You should Google James Boswell! At the moment I’m reading a book called A Death In The Rainy Season, for a blog tour. It’s set in Cambodia, and is excellent. That’s why I agreed to do the tour, because I enjoy exotic locations! I’m also reading LOTS of others, as you’ll see if you look at my GoodReads page – are you on there? Have we connected on there? So many good books, not enough time! The war cry of the blogger! I’m not sure how I’d get your e-mail address from on here – I’ll find it, or DM me it on Twitter. I tweeted Mr Walsh to tell him of my book joy, and told him to come to Scotland in July! Best wishes, look forward to hearing from you, Linda xx

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  6. Boswell is my married name. My husband’s family is from New Orleans. More on that in email.

    Outlander is in the Epic Fantasy genre, and while there is a romance between the main character and one of the other characters, it’s not the focus of the story. I’ll know more after I read the books.

    More later in email .. I hate taking up so much space on your blog!!

    Cherry xoxo

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  7. Waulking- saw this done in one episode of Outlander tonight. It’s called “waulking.” Since the dye is set with “pot piss,” it was stinky and not a bit romantic. But I see where the major theme is going for the first eight episodes, and the Scots are a rough bunch compared to the British. But, the British were bloody bastards; all conquerors are. And, they get to write the history. My husband loves the show, too.

    About James Boswell, I’ve read about him. I worked for a newspaper back in the 80s. The editor called me his “Boswell.” He was a sarcastic sort, so I was never sure what he meant. He was hard to figure.

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    • A “Boswell” is an observer, as if you’re there to make notes or simply remember things for him! I don’t think it’s at all derogatory, apart from the implication that he’s the important one! It’s quite intriguing when names become nouns! There are doubtless others, but “quisling” is one – a coward, or, more accurately, a collaborator, named after the Norwegian WWII leader who acted as a puppet for Hitler. Now THAT’S derogatory – but justified!

      Am I right in thinking Outlander was set after the Jacobite uprising? After that, the English banned tartan, and Gaelic, and mapped and built roads into the Highlands, so they could keep an eye on the clans. I think that’s when they built Fort William (which is a town about 60 miles from here), Fort Augustus, and Fort George (just outside Inverness.) It’s good that both you and your husband enjoy it; there’s very little that Mr C and I can agree on!

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  8. I was the editor of the Lifestyle section, not hard news. Since there was a shortage of “hard news,” it was left to me to go out and write stories about the local news, based on leads he provided. I did my own photography, too. A few of my stories won awards, and one photo won a 1st place award from the Louisiana Press Association. I only struck back at him twice, but it was for provocation he needn’t have used with which to amuse himself. I think he was at heart a kind man, and used the sarcasm to hide behind. When I returned fire, so to speak, he quickly shut up. He works for the Baton Rouge Advocate now.

    Outlander takes place in 1743, three years prior to the Jacobite rebellion at Cullodon. It shows memorial stones to Clan McKenzie and mixed clans. At present, they are traveling clan lands and collecting rents. They are also collecting money for the rebellion, at the same time. Since I haven’t read the books, I don’t know what’s next. Gotdon and I both are interested in that period of history, in Europe. I’m not a historian, but they appear to be in keeping with appropriate sets and costumes. Some liberties are taken, but since it’s fantasy, they can get away with it. And, since it was a time when belief in the mystical was common, gives them a little more room to elaborate. It’s worth seeing alone for the sets and costumes. We have to rewind to catch some of the heavily accented English. And, of course, we know no Gaelic at all. (Wish I did!)

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  9. Sorry for obvious errors, but I reach a certain point and can’t scroll through to read what I’ve written. I’ve been using my iPhone. I guess I should try using my desktop. But, I think this space was designed for short replies, anyway.

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  10. Hello Linda,
    Thanking you from Lebanon for the follow back :). I too love good crime books; when I was in London, recently, I discovered Val McDermid, what do you think of her? I got her non-fiction, Forensics, and I absolutely enjoyed it, and I’m reading her Skeleton Road. (Incidentally, Forensics has some pretty gruesome crimes that happened in Scotland itself). That said, and if I am lucky, I am planning to visit Scotland before the end of May. Crossing fingers that it will work out for me.
    I noticed you like Scandinavian books and Euro Crime publishers. I read from every Scandinavian country out there; they all left me wanting for more. Something was missing, I would like to blame it on the translation of the books, though few of the plots and of the characters caught my attention, to be honest. The only writer I admired was Leif Davidsen, published by Euro Crime in English. Unfortunately, it seems that his books are not easily available, but if you’re able to find something about him, I recommend that you snatch it.
    Secret History was a disappointing read for me, though I loved the writing of Tartt, and would probably read The Little Friend sometime in the future.
    I’m also a sucker for detective series and I’ll be getting the first season of True Detective today. I would also recommend the scandinavian series, The Killing and The Bridge, if you haven’t seen them. Excellent both of them. I was also told that Endeavour and Inspector Morse are also quite good, so I’ll look into those as well.
    I’ll be following you on twitter as well.
    Cheers

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Hi Nino, HUGE apologies for not getting back to you sooner! It’s great hearing from people from all over the world – crime fiction being the common thread! You mentioned Val McDermid – I’ve got both Forensics and The Skeleton Road but have yet to read them (I did start The Skeleton Road, but got sidetracked, as can happen!) I am looking forward to Forensics though – I like all the technical details; it’s fascinating. I do hope you make it over to Scotland – the weather can be okay in May, most years. I’m kind of in the middle of nowhere – a small coastal town 100 miles northwest of Glasgow; it’s called Oban. I’ll definitely look out for any books by Leif Davidsen; it’s a new one on me. I rather like books set on Iceland – I really enjoy Arnaldur Indridason. And I used to enjoy Henning Mankell, although it’s a while since I’ve read one. I’ve a few Jo Nesbo’s but they are LOOONG books! Have you had a chance to watch True Detective yet? I LOVED it; didn’t want it to end. Series two comes out in the US in June, but different cast (Colin Farrell, Vince Vaughn, Rachel McAdam) and state (California.) So it’ll be interesting to see if it maintains the high quality! I don’t think I’ve ever watched Morse or Endeavour – I prefer reading crime fiction. It’s the way they have to squash a 300-page novel into two hours – you lose a lot. In my opinion, the best TV comes from the US, but I loved The Bridge, The Killing, and Borgen too. If you’re coming to Scotland, you’ll have to bring some Scottish crime authors to read – I’m sure you’re already familiar with a few! Thanks for dropping by and introducing yourself – as I said, I love meeting crime fiction fans from throughout the world. Do you blog? And stay in touch – let me know of any recommendations you have! All the best, Linda

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  12. Hi there 🙂 thanks for following. I’ve a whole new set of authors to look for now, so thanks for that too! I’m also a crime fan, although I do enjoy a lot of other genres except maybe straight romance. I loved visiting Oban when we did a tour of Scotland, it’s a lovely country.

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    • Hi Cathy, thanks for dropping by. To be honest it’s the only genre I generally don’t read, simply because I prefer a bit more action in my books! I’m sure I’ll pick up some new authors from your blog too. I’m glad you liked Oban – it’s very different in the winter; so much quieter. But it’s a nice town in the summer.

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  13. Please do! I pop over to your blog fairly regularly, especially if there’s something of interest. I’ve tried to keep my selections as varied as possible, as long as they qualify as crime fiction, bar one or two. I think Catriona McPherson’s the only author I’ve reviewed twice, as far as I recall, although one was a “Dandy Gilver”; the other a standalone. There’s so much great crime fiction out there – old and new! We’re possibly moving soon – that’ll be an utter nightmare…! :-Cull time!

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    • Good luck with the move – I dread the prospect of me ever doing it again. My wife wouldn’t tolerate all the books! I’ll try and add you to my sidebar later, so I can keep up to date on new stuff that might interest me. I see you are a Hoop – me too, but from afar – my Irish heritage! Shame about the Champions League – but we’re disadvantaged because the game revolves around money more than ever now. Still is it too early to start dreaming of 10-in-a-row?

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  14. Mr C is already grumbling – the last time we moved was just when I began blogging, so you can imagine how much the amount has increased! I know you’ve got a lot too. Good to hear you’re a Celtic fan – there’ll always be a warm welcome here for you! Ten in a row would be AMAZING – this year will make it five. It’s good to see Aberdeen getting stronger, but I’d keep a close eye on Mark Warburton at Ibrox – I could see them scoring over 100 goals in their 36 (?) league games, as they’re knocking in four or five every match. They’ll be back in the SPL next August, and then the fun will begin! As for the Europa League – Ajax, Fenerbahce (who’ve just signed Van Persie and Nani) and Molde is a hard group. Top two qualify; can’t see it happening. Still, it’s a funny old game…I’m a fan of Ronny Deila – most of the time he’s an excellent tactical manager’

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  15. Dear Linda,

    Bestselling African novelist Chanette Paul will make her English-language debut this October with her crime novel Sacrificed. I’m writing to ask if you’d like to receive an advance review copy?

    Sacrificed explores the questions of what constitutes family, and whether qualities of good and evil are innate or nurtured. These themes hold special significance for Paul, who was adopted and never met her birth parents. 

    Rejected by her parents, her sister, her husband, everyone except her extraordinary and unusual daughter, Caz Colijn lives a secluded life in her own little patch of Africa. But a single phone call from her estranged sister is all it takes to shatter this refuge. Caz learns that her elderly mother is on her deathbed in Belgium—and that the old woman isn’t really Caz’s biological mother.

    This phone call is just the first step down an ever-widening tunnel into Caz’s painful past. Jetting between Belgium and Africa, she’s desperate to learn who her biological parents are, why they gave her away, and whether this has anything to do with her daughter’s exceptional nature. Caz is so caught up in discovering the truth about the past, she almost doesn’t notice the man who is falling in love with her. Or the meaning behind the key she receives. Or the two Congolese who are following her every move in search of something they’re willing to kill for.

    Chanette Paul has published 41 romance, thriller and crime novels. In South Africa, she has won the prestigious Lekkerlit prize and the Perskor prize and has twice been a finalist in the ATKV prize. She is fluent in English and happy to do interviews by Skype or email.

    I’d be happy to send you a review copy of Sacrificed. I can send you a PDF file or a print copy. It is also available on Edelweiss.

    Catalyst Press is a new independent press focused on introducing American audiences to African writers. Its first titles launch in October 2017, and it is distributed by Consortium Book Sales and Distribution (an Ingram brand). Its website is http://www.catalystpress.org.

    Best wishes,

    Shirley Vernick
    Catalyst Press

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Shirley,
      Huge apologies – I’ve just seen this! I was in hospital long term after an attack 3-4 years ago so that’s possibly why I’ve missed it!
      Please feel free to contact me on my email address ot through Twitter if you’re still publishing and you’ve any books you think I’ll enjoy. I am so sorry for not responding sooner – people rarely use this page and I obviously missed the email telling me about your message!
      Best wishes
      Linda

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