1 June 2022 Susannah

Crime novels and travel

Travel reading

With travel becoming a part of our lives again, I have been turning to my favourite aeroplane reading – crime novels. I have recently loved discovering the DCI Craig Gillard series by author Nick Louth. They are set in the south of England. The first book in the series is The Body in the Marsh (2017), followed by The Body on the Shore, The Body in the Mist, The Body in the Snow and another five novels, with more promised. They would make terrific TV, are cleverly plotted, atmospheric and have strong characters.

I have also really enjoyed two books in a new crime series set in Scotland by Neil Lancaster (who served for over 25 years in the Metropolitan Police), featuring DS Max Craigie. The series begins with Dead Man’s Grave (2021), which was very gripping, and is followed by The Blood Tide (2022) with a third one promised soon.

I don’t know why a good murder seems to be exactly the right thing for whiling away time in airports and on flights, but it distracts me enough to (mostly) forget the discomfort, and to make the hours pass more quickly. I know many of you are also crime aficianados, so hope you will give these two recent authors a try. I do prefer my crime to be British in setting, and these two writers fitted the bill exactly!

Will you give these authors a try? Tell me what you think by leaving a comment.

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Featured image credit- Travel reading, photo by Max Kukurudziak on Unsplash, https://unsplash.com/photos/XW-G72qM60I
Body image credit- Nick Louth, https://www.nicklouth.com/about-nick/
Body image credit- Neil Lancaster, https://neillancastercrime.co.uk/about-me

Comments (22)

  1. Karen Stapleton

    thanks Susannah for the Nick Louth crime series tip. Have now read the first seven books in his series and am really enjoying them. But having said that, I found the latest one I read, the Body on the Moor, to be really implausible. It just seemed too much a stretch of the imagination for me to believe what some of the characters did. But it hasn’t stopped me from getting the next one. Thankfully my local library has a lot of them and the others only cost $4.99 on Apple store.

    A friend also recently recommended the Angela Marsons detective series. Am also enjoying her books in between Nick Louth’s.

    • Susannah Fullerton

      So glad you have enjoyed them, Karen. I have his latest still to read – not enough reading time in my life.
      I will look out for the Angela Marson ones.

  2. Mary Mayo

    Thank you for the book recommendations. I have been very busy and now need to relax into literature. By the way I loved rereading Emma after a couple of decades. You are so right in recommending rereading Jane Austen

    • Susannah Fullerton

      I am delighted you enjoyed rereading ‘Emma’. Good luck with your books and relaxation.

  3. Felicity Hocking

    Dear Susannah,

    May I suggest Mick Herron’s ‘Slow Horses’, which is one of a series of spy type thrillers in the style of Le Carre but more contemporary issues and witty dialogue, which does make me chuckle. Great thrillers with lots of twists and turns. The TV series is to be released this year with Gary Oldman starring and the theme music composed by Mick Jagger.

    Safe travels,

    Felicity Hocking

    • Susannah Fullerton

      Thanks Felicity – that sounds good. I’ve heard of it, but never read it.

    • Kareen Carberry

      Iam a Mick Herron fan. I have enjoyed all of his spy novels but was really taken by “Real Tigers”. He has the ability to draw you in so much that it’s hard to put his books down no matter how tired I am.

      • Susannah Fullerton

        I haven’t read any of his, so many thanks for the recommendation. I’ll give them a try.

  4. Gara

    I recommend After Story by Australian writer Larissa Behrendt, which includes a tour around literary places in England but from a different point of view – that of an Aboriginal woman with little education but a wealth of knowledge drawn from her upbringing and customs.

    • Susannah Fullerton

      Oh I loved it, and did list it in my Top Reads of last year. The tour described goes to so many of the places I take my tour groups to visit, and I could really relate to it. I felt it was a clever and moving novel.

  5. Gara

    Thank you for two more British crime authors for my list! I too am heading back to the UK soon to catch up with relatives and old school friends I haven’t seen for a few years.
    Happy travels!

    • Susannah Fullerton

      Safe and happy travels to you too. Glad I have given you some new crime writers to enjoy.

  6. Jill

    Hi Susannah, just to let you know that Neil has been incommunicado for weeks now devouring the CJ Sansom series – he has now finished and has returned to the world of the living. Cheers, Jill

    • Susannah Fullerton

      Oh Jill, you have made my day. I am soooooo glad Neil has loved the series. I got my Dad on to them and he rang me up one morning and told me he was cross with me. When I asked ‘Why?’, he said he’d been up most of the night reading Shardlake and was now really tired.
      I’ve got so many friends hooked on them – they are just the best!!!

  7. Helen Tomlinson

    Arabella? Have you read the seven Williamsburg novels by Elswyth Thane? The first set before during and after the 1770’s American War of Independence; the second book covers same families before, during, after Civil War. The subsequent novels are set in and between wars finishing with the last book, Homing, mostly set in London around 1942. The novels follow the Day and Sprague families through the generations set in USA mostly Williamsburg and New York, France, Germany, England, the Cotswolds and London. I read all seven every year in autumn, in front of the fire…on a plane would be perfect! Happy landings.

    • Susannah Fullerton

      No, I’ve never heard of them, and they do sound good. I’ll look them out for a future trip. Thanks.

  8. Heather Grant

    Thanks Susannah – Another author to add to my ever-growing list. I am just about to start A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles which has received quite a great deal of publicity.

    Enjoy your trip back home to your family – safe travelling.

    • Susannah Fullerton

      Hmmm, I know most people adored that book. I liked it but felt it ended weakly. However, mine is certainly not the majority viewpoint, so do try it for yourself.

  9. Heather Grant

    Last year I read Richard Osman’s novel The Thursday Murder Club set in a Retirement Village in southern England and thoroughly enjoyed it. Since then he has been featured in the British Book Club on Face Book in fact everywhere and his books have become very popular. The second one is The Man Who Died Twice (I am on the Reserve Loan List about 9th in the queue) plus another one recently entitled The Bullet that Missed.

    I also read The Windsor Knot by S.J. Bennett. It is set at Windsor Castle opening with the Queen having a cup of tea while carrying out her Royal duties. She is informed that there has been a murder overnight at the Castle!! Unbeknown to everyone, he Queen has been living a double life – she is also very good at solving murders!! A delightful read and again humour permeates the novel.

    The above are very good reads while travelling I feel.

    Thanks for your crime recommendations. They are On The List.

    • Susannah Fullerton

      I also enjoyed The First Thursday Murder Club. When I get back from my travels, I’ll put my name down for the second in the series.
      The one about the Queen sounds delightful, so I will also reserve that. Thanks for the recommendations. you might also like the Dales Detective series by Julia Chapman. In that series, there’s a group of pensioners in a retirement home who help the two main characters solve murders, adn the books are funny and light-hearted.

  10. Carol Hampson

    I look forward to reading these two authors, new to me.

    I’ve been enjoying J K. Rowling, writing crime novels under the name of Robert Galbraith.
    I’m on book five now – start from book one, called The Cuckoo’s Calling. You’ll soon be hooked. The books are a bit too big to take on a plane though!

    • Susannah Fullerton

      I also love the Robert Galbraith novels and have read them all. I believe she has another one coming soon.

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