BOOKMARK December 2023 Book recommendations
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Murder at Holly House by Denzil Meyrick
(Transworld Publishers Ltd, 2023)
Denzil Meyrick’s new mystery, Murder at Holly House (ISBN: 9781787637184), sees a dead stranger lodged up a chimney at Holly House, in the remote Yorkshire village of Elderby. Inspector Frank Grasby is sent to investigate. As the blizzard sets in, another body is found and plans go awry. Secrets abound as the tension mounts.
The Christmas Jigsaw Murders by Alexandra Benedict
(Simon & Schuster, 2023)
Alexandra Benedict’s tale, The Christmas Jigsaw Murders (ISBN: 9781398525375), is described as ‘deliciously dark’: it’s the 19th December and puzzle-setter Edie O’Sullivan finds a present left for her on her doorstep. It’s a jigsaw. The six pieces in the box show part of a crime scene, complete with blood splatter and a body outline, and a promise that four more people are to die unless Edie can solve the puzzle.
A Country of Eternal Light by Paul Dalgarno
A Country of Eternal Light by Paul Dalgarno (ISBN: 9781846976438) is sharp, funny and poignant. It is the story of Margaret, told by Margaret after she has died. She recounts her past: growing up in Aberdeen, through the birth of her twin girls, their dispersed lives, Margaret’s illness. Trying to remember and to forget.
Absolutely and Forever by Rose Tremain
(Chatto & Windus, 2024)
With Rose Tremain’s Absolutely and Forever (ISBN: 9781784745202) we have the first-love story of teenagers Marianne Clifford and Simon Hurst, as they start out in life, still under the influence of their families, and of course subject to the vagaries of fate. Set in Chelsea and Paris, in the 1960s, it has all the brilliancy of Tremain’s emotionally deft writing.
The Fabulous Frances Farquharson: the colourful life of an American in the Highlands by Caroline Young
(The History Press, 2023)
The Fabulous Frances Farquharson: the colourful life of an American in the Highlands by Caroline Young (ISBN: 9781803992532). Born in 1902, in Seattle, Frances travelled to Europe in her twenties to pursue a career in journalism. Surviving severe injury in a house fire that cost the life of her first husband, she married again in 1949, this time to the 16th Laird of Invercauld, heralding the start of her life in the Highlands. A remarkable woman and an interesting life.
Mothers of the Mind by Rachel Trethewey
(The History Press, 2023)
Mothers of the Mind by Rachel Trethewey (ISBN: 9781803991894), explores the fascinating lives of Julia Stephen, Clara Miller and Aurelia Plath and the complex influences they had on their famous author daughters: Virginia Woolf, Agatha Christie and Sylvia Plath. If you are interested in knowing more about these authors, this is a novel and pertinent place to start.
Walking the Bones on Britain: a 3 billion year journey from the Outer Hebrides to the Thames Estuary by Christopher Somerville
(Transworld Publishers Ltd, 2024)
Christopher Somerville’s Walking the Bones on Britain: a 3 billion year journey from the Outer Hebrides to the Thames Estuary (ISBN: 9780857527110). In this book, Sommerville considers how the land we inhabit and walk on has influenced every aspect of human history to date, and how it might help in the current climate crisis. It’s a quest book, a history book, a science book, a current affairs book, all in one.