Having one of those spells at the moment when I don't know what to read and keep wittering and wombling and unsure which book to start. I always feel so guilty about this as when this happens I go back to re-reading an old and loved book and all those lovely copies sent to me by publishers are languishing in obscurity. I know I will get stuck in soon and this will pass so in the meantime I want to mention those I have recently received, not because I am swanking at all this stuff, but just to let everyone know what is out there. Here we go.
As you can see there is some interesting stuff there and top of the pile are two more little gems being republished by The British Library, The Cornish Coast Murder and the Lake District Murder by John Bude. This is the pseudonym of Ernest Elmore (1901-1057) who wrote thirty crime novels, all of which are now rare and highly collectible. Seems he was a co-founder of the Crime Writers Association and I am really looking forward to these.
Another book from the British LIbrary - The Angel of Charleston by Stewart MacKay tells us of the ife of Grace Higgins who arrived at the house of Vanessa Bell in 1920 and was to remain with the family for fifty years. My enthusiasm for the entire 'Bllosmbury' lot is luke warm to say the least but this is the kind of memoire that I like so I will see how I get on with it.
Two books by Jane Thynn, the Winter Garden and Black Roses both set in 1930s Berlin and featuring Clara Vine, an actress who becomes a secret agent. Sounds promising.
The Ruby Slippers by Keir Alexander tells the story of Rosa, an old bag lady in New York, who shuffles around the streets with her filthy dog, avoided by all who meet her. Every effort to get her to talk or even take a bath has failed and then she is knocked over during a parade and while in hospital and in a coma, Michael, her nephew, visits her squalid and filthy flat and there among the piles of junk, he comes across the Ruby Slippers from the Wizard of Oz. How is that for a cracking start then! I have started this one and I can see that it is going to be a goodie.
The Coral Island by Ballantyne is in this pile and I have read and reviewed this and, judging by the comments I have received about this title, it has brought back many memories of childhood reading. Published by Hesperus, who are a delightful publishers producing beautiful little editions of books which are lovely to hold and read. They were kind enough to send me, in addition to the Ballantyne, Fighting France by Edith Wharton, one of my favourite writers and looking forward to this as well.
So many to read and I must also mention that in this pile is book by Nicola Slade, The Dead Queen's Garden, and she is the only author I know who had had somebody being murdered by a euphonium.....