Books 2010

Books 2009

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Monday, 15 October 2007


I have my first Gilbert book lined up to be read over Christmas - Black Seraphim, I can't resist an ecclesiastical setting. After that I expect I shall be reading my way through your recommendations.

How delightful to have two comments both saying they want to read more - the effort of writing the posts is instantly worthwhile!

fiction, that should have been

I have a vague memory of having read this writer though these titles don't ring any bells. I always enjoy your book suggestions and will certainly give him a try -- I'm always on the lookout for intelligent crime ficition.

I read your blog with especial interest, since we tread the same paving stones to some extent (home is Chiswick). Like you, I treat crime fiction, plus courtroom dramas and medico-forensic thrillers, as eye candy in between worthier reads. I went to school with four of Michael Gilbert's six daughters. One followed him into the law and another (Harriet) is a writer.
Some years ago, in an hotel in France, I met the Gilberts by chance and had a lovely long chat, catching up on Kent news and what all the girls were doing. I shall now pursue a few more of his oeuvre thanks to your list of some of his titles.

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  • Nothing is of greater consolation to the author of a novel than the disovery of readings he had not conceived but which are then prompted by his readers. (Umberto Eco, Reflections on The Name of the Rose)
  • ... relatively few persons in London ... can afford the luxury of one or more servants. No fewer than 3,700,000 have no servants at all, and of the half million that have servants 227,000 have only one. (The Times, 6 June 1895)
  • Standing among savage scenery, the hotel offers stupendous revelations. There is a French widow in every bedroom, affording delightful prospects. (Tyrolean inn brochure, according to Gerard Hoffnung)
  • (A doctor is at an elderly relative's deathbed) "The old sawbones, eh?" he bellowed ... "Just in the nick, perhaps. Haul the old girl back by the short hairs, if you ask me. Devilish smart at his work ... Always take a fence with more confidence when I know he's out with us."
  • Too often, when a man of Monty Godkin's mental powers is plunged in thought, nothing happens at all. The machinery just whirs for a while, and that is the end of it. (P G Wodehouse, Heavy Weather)
  • ...the breed that take their pleasures as Saint Laurence took his grid (Kipling, The Five nations)

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