An Inspector Calls by J.B. Priestly.

An Inspector Calls by J.B. Priestley

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

An Inspector Calls (Classic Radio Theatre): Amazon.co.uk: Priestley, J.B.,  Barber, Frances, Full Cast, Jones, Toby: 9781408467244: Books

Yesterday I was on a steam paddler down the Nile, this morning I was in the drawing room of a respectable industrial family in J B Priestly’s play An Inspector Calls – listening to what was a family dinner party, turn into a murder inquiry and a judgement on the families morals and behaviour- competently led by a certain Inspector…. The BBC Classic Radio Theatre production, starring Sam Alexander, Frances Barber, David Calder, Morven Christie and Toby Jones was the version I listened to – highly recommend it.



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Watch her Vanish by Ellery Kane.

Today I have a pitch for Watch Her Vanish by Ellery Kane.

‘Do you want to explore the mind of a murderer? What is it that makes someone take a person’s life or commit a violent crime? Forensic psychologist Ellery Kane has worked on some of the most interesting murder and criminal cases in California. She spends her days evaluating violent criminals and opining about their violence risk. At night, she weaves elements of her day job into her books. Ellery Kane is also a writer of popular thrillers, and she will tell your audience that real life is often stranger than fiction! Her latest release, Watch Her Vanish, is loosely based on her adventures as a forensic psychologist in California.

https://play.google.com/store/books/details?pcampaignid=books_read_action&id=S2XxDwAAQBAJ

Love a good crime novel now and again so look forward to reading this one.

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The Secret Garden.

Bateman’s Robin. Burwash East Sussex.

‘The robin flew from his swinging spray of ivy on to the top of the wall and he opened his beak and sang a loud, lovely trill, merely to show off. Nothing in the world is quite as adorably lovely as a robin when he shows off—and they are nearly always doing it.’

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Chapter 8. “The Robin Who Showed the Way.

An autumn walk around Bateman’s gardens and this engaging robin reminded me of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden. A childhood favourite book.

Goblin Market

By Christina Rossetti.

Goblin Market (published in 1862) is a narrative poem which tells the story of Laura and Lizzie who are tempted with fruit by goblin merchants. It is one of my favourite poems generally and my favourite Rossetti poem in particular.

Evening by evening 
Among the brookside rushes, 
Laura bow’d her head to hear, 
Lizzie veil’d her blushes: 
Crouching close together 
In the cooling weather, 
With clasping arms and cautioning lips, 
With tingling cheeks and finger tips. 
“Lie close,” Laura said, 
Pricking up her golden head: 
“We must not look at goblin men, 
We must not buy their fruits: 
Who knows upon what soil they fed 
Their hungry thirsty roots?” 
“Come buy,” call the goblins 
Hobbling down the glen. 

“Oh,” cried Lizzie, “Laura, Laura,
You should not peep at goblin men.”
Lizzie cover’d up her eyes,
Cover’d close lest they should look;
Laura rear’d her glossy head,
And whisper’d like the restless brook:
“Look, Lizzie, look, Lizzie,
Down the glen tramp little men.
One hauls a basket,
One bears a plate,
One lugs a golden dish
Of many pounds weight.
How fair the vine must grow
Whose grapes are so luscious;
How warm the wind must blow
Through those fruit bushes.”
“No,” said Lizzie, “No, no, no;
Their offers should not charm us,
Their evil gifts would harm us.”
She thrust a dimpled finger
In each ear, shut eyes and ran:
Curious Laura chose to linger
Wondering at each merchant man.
One had a cat’s face,
One whisk’d a tail,
One tramp’d at a rat’s pace,
One crawl’d like a snail,
One like a wombat prowl’d obtuse and furry,
One like a ratel tumbled hurry skurry.
She heard a voice like voice of doves
Cooing all together:
They sounded kind and full of loves
In the pleasant weather.

… (extract)

It’s a fairytale world of temptation and mystery, exploring themes of temptation, sacrifice and salvation.

Ancient themes magically visited in beautiful lyrical language.

Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas.

Spent the past couple of days listening to the audio of Dylan Thomas’ Under Milk Wood- a story about a day in the life of the inhabitants of the small Welsh seaside village of Llareggub
Richard Burton was narrating this “play for voices” and it was a delight to let his deep Welsh tones and the language wash over me as I listened to the snippets of people’s lives and snatches of their conversation that the play is all about. Realism at its finest.

Crime Dagger Awards.

Crime Writer’s Association (CWA) Dagger Awards

The 2020 shortlists for the Crime Writer’s Association (CWA) Dagger Awards have been revealed. The Daggers celebrate the best in the many different areas of crime fiction.

The winners will be announced on October 22nd.

GOLD DAGGER

Claire Askew: What You Pay For (Hodder & Stoughton) 9781473673113

Lou Berney: November Road (Harper Fiction) 9780008309336

John Fairfax: Forced Confessions (Little, Brown) 9781408711606

Mick Herron: Joe Country (John Murray) 9781473657489

Abir Mukherjee: Death in the East (Harvill Secker) 9781784708535

Michael Robotham: Good Girl, Bad Girl (Sphere) 9780751573435

IAN FLEMING STEEL DAGGER

Lou Berney: November Road (Harper Fiction) 9780008309336

Tom Chatfield: This is Gomorrah (Hodder & Stoughton) 9781473681392

AA Dhand: One Way Out (Bantam Press) 9780552176538

Eva Dolan: Between Two Evils (Raven Books) 9781408886410

David Koepp: Cold Storage (HQ) 9780008334543

Alex North: The Whisper Man (Michael Joseph) 9781405935999

JOHN CREASEY (NEW BLOOD) DAGGER

Steph Cha: Your House Will Pay (Faber & Faber) 9780571348213

Samantha Downing: My Lovely Wife (Michael Joseph) 9781405939300

Philippa East: Little White Lies (HQ) 9780008344016

Robin Morgan-Bentley: The Wreckage (Trapeze) 9781409194170

Trevor Wood: The Man on the Street (Quercus Fiction) 9781787478367

SAPERE BOOKS HISTORICAL DAGGER

Alis Hawkins: In Two Minds (The Dome Press) 9781912534180

Philip Kerr: Metropolis (Quercus Fiction) 9781787473225

SG MacLean: The Bear Pit (Quercus Fiction) 9781787473614

Abir Mukherjee: Death in the East (Harvill Secker) 9781784708535

Alex Reeve: The Anarchists’ Club (Raven Books) 9781526604194

Ovidia Yu: The Paper Bark Tree Mystery (Constable) 9781472125248

CRIME FICTION IN TRANSLATION DAGGER

Marion Brunet: Summer of Reckoning, translated by Katherine Gregor (Bitter Lemon Press) 9781912242269

Hannelore Cayre: The Godmother, translated by Stephanie Smee (Old Street Publishing) 9781910400968

E Ferrari: Like Flies from Afar, translated by Adrian Nathan West (Canongate Books) 9781786896964

Jorge Galán: November, translated by Jason Wilson (Constable) 9781472125354

Sergio Olguín: The Fragility of Bodies, translated by Miranda France (Bitter Lemon Press) 9781912242191

Antti Tuomainen: Little Siberia, translated by David Hackston(Orenda Books) 9781912374519

ALCS GOLD DAGGER FOR NON-FICTION

Casey Cep: Furious Hours (William Heinemann) 9781785150739

Peter Everett: Corrupt Bodies (Icon Books) 9781785785955

Caroline Goode: Honour: Achieving Justice for BanazMahmod (Oneworld Publications) 9781786075451

Sean O’Connor: The Fatal Passion of Alma Rattenbury(Simon & Schuster) 9781471132728

Adam Sisman: The Professor and the Parson: A Story of Desire, Deceit and Defrocking (Profile Books) 9781788162128

Susannah Stapleton: The Adventures of Maud West, Lady Detective (Picador) 9781509867325

Down to Earth by Monty Don

Reading Down to Earth was a journey back to my childhood. A nostalgic trip down memory lane being in the garden with my dad, also a horticultural by trade. Working with the seasons, preparing and working the ground, planting and harvesting. Learning to live with nature, not against it.

‘… all good gardens are as much about the people that make them as the plants growing in them.’ 

Monty Don.