Hosted by Miz B at Should Be Reading, this weekly meme asks you to answer three simple questions:
1. What have you just finished reading?
2. What are you reading now?
3. What are you intending to read next?
And here are my answers!
1. Well I have finally completed Dandy Gilver And The Reek Of Red Herrings by Catriona McPherson – there is a reason I’ve taken so long with this one. I wasn’t going to ‘fess up, but the truth is, I’d had it in the bathroom and read it in there! Bizarre, I know, but now you know my secret. Or perhaps it isn’t bizarre – maybe some of you do the same? So now I’ll have to select another book to become “the bathroom read”. Mr Crimeworm and my daughter, Gemma, who was up from Glasgow for a couple of days last week, did ask, “Why do you have books in the loo?” And I said – why not? Every couple of precious reading minutes should be used! So, now you all think I’m quite mad, I’ll move on…I also read (and reviewed: https://crimeworm.wordpress.com/2014/12/14/the-weight-of-blood-laura-mchugh/) The Weight Of Blood by Laura McHugh which was an enjoyable debut – the sort of book that would be perfect for, say, a long train journey, as it has no dips in it – it’s pacy and keeps you reading. Which is easier said than done.
2. While perusing the usual end-of-year lists in all the broadsheets, making sure I hadn’t missed anything that looked interesting, I saw a Scottish crime debut mentioned twice in The Herald of which I hadn’t heard. Potter’s Field by Chris Dolan was recommended by authors Alice Thompson and Caro Ramsay (who is excellent), so not wanting to miss out, I bought it straight away for my Kindle (it was £3-odd, so I wasn’t betting the house on it or anything.) I’m about halfway through, and I’m loving it. I’m loving that it’s set in Glasgow (take note, FictionFan!) and I’m loving the main character, Maddy Shannon, a Procurator Fiscal (Scotland’s version of the CPS) of Irish-Italian descent. I’ll say no more about it, in case it all goes a bit rubbish at the end (highly unlikely, at this rate) but will review it once I’ve read it. However, as it’s maybe a new one to many bloggers, here’s the blurb:
In Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Park, the bodies of two youths lie with bullet holes in their heads. Hungover, nicotine-starved and ill-attired, procurator fiscal Maddy Shannon attends the scene, unaware that this grim morning is about to spiral out of control. The corpses have been carefully disfigured, perhaps signs of gangland revenge or, worse, ritual slayings.
As the gruesome complexities of the investigation multiply, the fragmented story of Maddy’s immigrant ancestors emerges as a counterpoint to brutality and corruption. As she struggles to prove her worth against the darkest side of human nature, we discover the history and heartbreak that created this strong-willed woman.
Potter’s Field is the first of a Maddy Shannon crime mystery series.
What do you think? Sound good to you?
Also, in paperback, after a slow start, I’m beginning to enjoy Marcia Clark‘s The Competition, which is about a high school shooting. Initially it looks as though the killers shot each other in a suicide pact. However, closer observation of the scene shows that it was staged, and they are very probably still alive, out there somewhere – possibly planning further atrocities. I’ve been intending to read this for AGES, so I’m glad it’s really starting to get moving now. Then The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell is a book I ended up digging out last night, mainly because I’ve been dying to read The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters , but want to save that for over the festive period, so I thought this one, set in a not-dissimilar point in time, would “fill the gap” until I can get stuck into The Paying Guests. I reluctantly put it down at 4.15 am, as I had a doctor’s appointment at 10 am and didn’t want to roll in as though I’d been on the lash all night (chance would be a fine thing!) In case you’ve not come across this book, which came out last year, here’s the run-down:
New York City, 1924: the height of Prohibition and the whole city swims in bathtub gin.
Rose Baker is an orphaned young woman working for her bread as a typist in a police precinct on the lower East Side. Every day Rose transcribes the confessions of the gangsters and murderers that pass through the precinct. While she may disapprove of the details, she prides herself on typing up the goriest of crimes without batting an eyelid.
But when the captivating Odalie begins work at the precinct Rose finds herself falling under the new typist’s spell. As do her bosses, the buttoned up Lieutenant Detective and the fatherly Sergeant. As the two girls’ friendship blossoms and they flit between the sparkling underworld of speakeasies by night, and their work at the precinct by day, it is not long before Rose’s fascination for her new colleague turns to obsession.
But just who is the real Odalie, and how far will Rose go to find out?
3. So, next on the menu – the aforementioned The Paying Guests by the wonderful storyteller Sarah Waters. In case anyone’s been asleep for the past few months, here’s the blurb…
It is 1922, and London is tense. Ex-servicemen are disillusioned; the out-of-work and the hungry are demanding change. And in South London, in a genteel Camberwell villa — a large, silent house now bereft of brothers, husband, and even servants — life is about to be transformed as impoverished widow Mrs. Wray and her spinster daughter, Frances, are obliged to take in lodgers.
With the arrival of Lilian and Leonard Barber, a modern young couple of the “clerk class,” the routines of the house will be shaken up in unexpected ways. Little do the Wrays know just how profoundly their new tenants will alter the course of Frances’s life — or, as passions mount and frustration gathers, how far-reaching, and how devastating, the disturbances will be.
Also, I intend to read the remainder of Rebecca Bradley‘s debut crime novel, Shallow Waters, which I couldn’t resist reading the beginning of, but I really want to save it and get stuck into it over the festive period. I need my crime fiction fix! And I’m pretty sure this police procedural will fit the bill perfectly.
When the naked, battered body of an unidentified teenager is found dumped in an alleyway, post-mortem finds evidence of a harrowing series of events.
Another teenage death with the same MO pushes DI Hannah Robbins and her team on the Nottingham City division Major Crimes Unit, to their limits, and across county borders. In a race against the clock they attempt to unpick a thick web of lies and deceit to uncover the truth behind the deaths.
But it doesn’t stop there. When catching a killer isn’t enough, just how far are the team willing to push themselves to save the next girl?
What are on your W-W-W-Wednesday lists this week? Please leave your links below, or I’d love to hear any of your comments on my choices…And who’s to say Santa won’t be good to us all and leave us EVEN MORE books! (I’ve asked my parents for either the Roy Jenkins’ biography, A Well-Rounded Life, by John Campbell, after reading FictionFan‘s great review, or Germany: The Memories Of A Nation by Neil MacGregor – which was actually a hint for both, but I think I’m just being greedy…but nae cheek, nae chance, as we say up here!) ANY bookish thoughts are welcome – and do let me know what’s on your Christmas list…