Library Loot

The mobile library came yesterday and I borrowed three books:


You Are Dead by Peter James – this is the 11th in his Roy Grace series. I’ve only read two (the first and the third) of the earlier books. I know I should probably read them in order but sometimes you have to take what’s available at the time and fill in the gaps later. I’m hoping it reads well as a stand-alone.

It’s set in Brighton and it’s about current cases of missing women and the discovery of the remains of women who went missing in the past. Are these events connected and if so how?

Duchess of Death: the Unauthorised Biography of Agatha Christie by Richard Hack, drawing on over 5000 unpublished letter, documents and notes. I’m not at all sure I shall actually read this book, but I thought I’d borrow it just to have more time to look at it. I’ve read Agatha Christie’s Autobiography, which is an excellent book that took her 15 years to write, and a few other biographies about her, some better than others.

I don’t like the title, Duchess of Death, which I suppose Hack chose for its alliteration. The jacket cover blurb says it is ‘as full of romance, travel, wealth and scandal as any whodunit she crafted.’ I have a feeling this will not be one of the better biographies.

And finally I borrowed Northanger Abbey by Val McDermid, one of the Austen Project series (in which six bestselling contemporary authors write their own take on Jane Austen’s novels). I’ve been wondering whether to read any of these books for some time now and also meaning to read Val McDermid’s books, so when I saw this sitting on the mobile library’s shelves I thought why not at least have a proper look at it.

I first read Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey many years ago (it could have been in the second year at Grammar School) and as far as I remember, despite loving Pride and Prejudice, I wasn’t too taken with it. I’ve been thinking of reading it again for some while now. I didn’t watch the TV adaptation a few years back, so I’m coming to both books with fresh eyes.

This is my copy with its awful cover:


7 thoughts on “Library Loot

  1. I tried to read a biography of Agatha Christie not long after I’d read her autobiography. It felt like the author had read the AC’s autobiography and was just rehashing the basic facts. I gave up about 100 pgs in. I hope you have better luck.

    I feel like I should read something by Val McDermid too. I keep seeing her on various programmes – Chistmas University Challenge etc – and she seems delightful. Perhaps this Northanger Abbey by her would be a good place to start.


    1. Cath, I think the Duchess of Death could do just that – I don’t hold out much hope.

      Val McDermid’s Northanger Abbey has got some great reviews on Goodreads! I saw her on the Christmas University Challenge too -she was most impressive! I am determined to read some of her crime fiction soon.


  2. I enjoyed McDermid’s take on Northanger Abbey, but then I love the original too. It was the only one of the Austen Project books that I enjoyed – of the three that I read before abandoning the project, that is. Hope you like it!


  3. I’ll be interested in what you think of that biography, Margaret. I always like to see what biographers say about Christie. And I’ll be very interested in what you think of the McDermid; she’s got wide-ranging skills, and this is a bit different for her.


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