I love doing Six Degrees of Separation, a monthly link-up hosted by Kate at Books Are My Favourite and Best. Each month a book is chosen as a starting point and linked to six other books to form a chain. A book doesn’t need to be connected to all the other books on the list, only to the one next to it in the chain.
This month the chain begins with Tales of the City, the first in a series by Armistead Maupin – yet another book I haven’t read or even heard of before! But it brought to my mind another book of tales –
Completely Unexpected Tales by Roald Dahl, described on the back cover as a collection of macabre tales of vengeance, surprise and dark delights. I used to enjoy these tales in the TV series, Tales of the Unexpected, years ago.
That takes me to the second link in the chain which is another collection of short stories, Don’t Look Now and Other Stories by Daphne Du Maurier. The title story is a supernatural tale involving a British couple on holiday in Venice to escape the pain of their young daughter’s recent death.
Another book set in partly in Venice is The Man in the Picture: a Ghost Story by Susan Hill . The narrator is having a meal with his old college professor one bitterly cold January evening in Cambridge, listening to a strange tale of a Venetian painting, of death and damnation.
And so to the fourth link both by its title and its subject – a story of the supernatural, The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, a Gothic horror story in which Dorian Gray exchanges his soul for eternal youth and beauty.
Oscar Wilde is the main character in Oscar Wilde and the Candlelight Murders by Gyles Brandreth, a detective story of corruption and intrigue in which Wilde and Arthur Conan Doyle investigate a murder. This is a book that mixes fact and fiction by using real people as characters. As does my last book –
Fear in the Sunlight by Nicola Upson, set in the 1930s, in which writer Josephine Tey joins her friends in the holiday village of Portmeirion to celebrate her fortieth birthday. Alfred Hitchcock and his wife, Alma Reville, are there to sign a deal to film Josephine’s novel, A Shilling for Candles.
My chain is made up of a mixture of books that I’ve read or are on my TBR shelves and a mix of short stories, ghost and horror stories and crime fiction. Books about the supernatural, books set in Venice and books that mix fact and fiction.
Next month (August 4, 2018), we’ll begin with Atonement by Ian McEwan. Hurrah – a book I’ve read and loved!