Tag Archives: Christmas

Mrs Hudson and the Malabar Rose by Martin Davies

mrsThis is a brilliant second installment to the Hudson and Holmes series, and, rather appropriately, has a festive theme. The bulk of the action occurs between Christmas and New Year, so you simply must read it this instant to fully appreciate the atmosphere.

In this novel Holmes and Watson have been tasked with protecting the precious Malabar Rose gemstone, which a crafty magician is keen to purloin. When it inevitably disappears, said conjurer is locked in the midst of an escapology  trick onstage – how could it have been him? And what does all this have to do with a clockwork-toy maker, an Ealing clerk going missing, and the glamorous Lola del Fuego?

I think the risk with having Mrs Hudson being a smart cookie is that it might detract from Holmes, but i think Martin Davies manages to balance both; Holmes isn’t buffoonish, but he doesn’t notice everything that Mrs Hudson does.

I love this book’s wry self-awareness, like the moment when Flottie asks Hetty whether she’d like her to explain what’s going on. Hetty says that she’ll wait until Mrs Hudson sits them all down and explains it at the end – the classic detective-genre denouement.

I’m excited for the next in the series, arriving early 2016.

Can you recommend any other detective novels that subvert expectations? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!

 

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This Year’s Best Christmas Presents for Book Lovers

The weather outside is frightful, and the fire is so delightful – so I’m doing all my Christmas shopping online! Here’s a selection of lovely things that book lovers might enjoy. Let me know what you think in the comments below!

 Get a gorgeous edition of something from the Folio Society. I’m coveting this copy of Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

BKF

I also fancy their tote bags, including this based on Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go.

BG4

I will let the makers of Personal Library Kits explain their benefits: ‘It is frustrating to lend books and never see them again. With this kit, both you and the borrower will be able to keep tabs on whose it is / who has it. And don’t we all have ‘Shhhh’ fantasies about being the librarian doing the stamping? Give it to: The ‘forgetful’ member of your book club. Includes 20 adhesive pockets and checkout cards, date stamp and inkpad.’ Sold.

personal_library_kit

Ever wondered what Charles Dickens smelt like? It’s the Charles Dickens diffuser! It is classy and beautiful and belongs in the wood-panelled library I wish I had.

DICKENS_DIFFUSER

Be Sherlock Holmes! 221b Baker Street is my favourite board game. It’s like Cluedo, but with extra intrigue plot twists.
221b

For the classiest of festive drinks parties, I present the literary coaster set from Bookish.

coasters

Well I have always wanted to be able to wear punctuation – and now I can!

Amersand

What literary delights will you be asking Santa for this Christmas?

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All I Want for Christmas is…The Best Literary-themed Gifts!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The perfect time for giving and receiving reading and writing paraphernalia. Hopefully, you’ll all be buying my proofreading and editing Christmas Vouchers here for the talented writer in your life, but in case there’s still some room in your stockings, here’s my suggested list for Santa.

Brilliant  falling bookend, creating that wonderful sense of trepidation before you’ve even picked up a new thriller.

bookend

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Capture the Castle tea towel. Reminding us that sometimes lovelier things than scrubbing broccoli molecules out of a sieve can take place in a kitchen sink.

i-capture-the-castle-teatowel-3368-p[ekm]249x249[ekm]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hairpins– because everything about you should scream well-read. Even your hairdo. hairpins2__55935.1308856435.420.420

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Puns and Shakespeare- these are a few of my favourite things (sung with glee like Julie Andrews). The bard himself would definitely have been proud to wear this if t-shirts had been invented instead of the blouses and bloomers they wore back then. To buy or not to buy- that is the question.

william_shakespeare_will_power_womens_dark_tshir

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next, something seasonal, but not saccharine: a cool but creepy print, inspired by Charles Dickens’ ghost of Christmas yet to come. I could very easily have written a whole post on pictures from Society 6, but I have to restrict the time I spend on that website- it’s a maze of glory that I don’t have the wall space to accommodate.

A christmas carol

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Writers, just for a change, bring your stories to life in a different way. Sometimes it’s nice to see something physically – visually – expressed; it’s all great story-telling! Also, Christmas is all about quality animation- The Snowman is a personal highlight. That + Labyrinth= Bowie’s greatest moments. I’m willing to try anything that kids look that happy doing! Four thumbs up! animate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The gift that keeps on giving- a Persephone Books subscription! Who doesn’t love getting post that isn’t bills or circulars? Quality literature through the post every month- what could be better?

book-a-month

 

 

 

 

Alternatively, *awkward plug warning* you could by my cheap and cheery ebook at Smashwords or Amazon. It’s got pictures and everything!

The Brilliant Women Collection

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