1 May 2020 Susannah

Reading for difficult times

My Covid-19 experience has been greatly alleviated by the novels of Elly Griffiths, featuring archaeologist Dr Ruth Galloway. The novels are set in Norfolk and are wonderfully atmospheric – the author has a vivid sense of place. I’ve loved following the up-and-down progress of Ruth’s relationship with a local police officer. The crimes are all to do with bones and Ruth’s expertise in archaeology, there’s lots of history included, and the plots are believable and gripping. There are very well drawn characters, and the books have proved to be a real tonic for me in this stressful time. I do recommend that you read them in order – the first one is The Crossing Places.

Another crime novelist I have greatly enjoyed in recent years is one whose books are closer to home. Sulari Gentill has written a series of novels set in the early 1930s, in Sydney although the characters do sometimes travel to Europe and America. Rowland Sinclair is an artist who shares his Woollahra home with three good friends – a sculptor, a poet and a communist. They get embroiled in various murders and political scandals connected with the Far Right movement in Sydney. There are now ten novels in the series and I have enjoyed them all. The series begins with A Few Right Thinking Men.

I am finding in this difficult time that I want to avoid depressing books, but a good murder seems to be just what the doctor ordered.

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Comments (12)

  1. Beverley Wallis

    I recommend the the Simon Serrailer series by Susan Hill. Simon is a detective from a family of doctors His father , a difficult man, is disappointed that Simon did not become a doctor. Each book deals with a crime but also you get an insight into Simons extended family
    The first book in the series is The various haunts of men.

    • Susannah Fullerton

      I agree. I have her latest, ‘The Benefit of Hindsight’, in my To-Read pile.

  2. Diana Paulin

    I will be looking for books by both of these authors, thank you.

  3. Susannah Fullerton

    Elly Griffiths especially has been such great therapy during this stressful time.

  4. Hi yes these crime books suit me. also the Maisie Dobbs series by Jacqueline Winspear
    about 15 books in the series. regards Maria

    • Susannah Fullerton

      I love Maisie Dobbs and have read all of them. Hope she writes another one soon.

  5. Vaaudha

    I really like Alan Bradley’s crime series starring eccentric child heroine Flavia – the first is ‘The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie’ – a fun, clever series!

    • Susannah Fullerton

      I have also loved most of them. I thought they went badly ‘off’ when Flavia went to Canada, but the last few have improved again. Flavia is great fun!

  6. Lois Erickson

    I have really enjoyed a series written by Camilla Lackberg, a Swedish writer. The series is set in her home town, Fjallbacka, on the west coast of Sweden. The main characters are Erica Falck, also an author and Patrick Hedstrom,her detective husband. Together they work on solving local murders, contemporary and historical. The books are set against a background of family and local community life. A pleasure to read.

    • Susannah Fullerton

      I also love Camilla Lackberg’s novels. Erica and Patrik are such good characters. I believe there is a Swedish TV series – have you ever seen it? I’d love to get hold of it.

      • Lois Erickson

        No, I haven’t seen the TV series. It doesn’t seem to be generally available outside Sweden. You have inspired me to so some more searching!

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