Bookshelf Travelling: 26 June 2020

Judith at Reader in the Wilderness hosts Bookshelf Travelling for Insane Times. I’ve got several bookcases of unread novels and most of them are double shelved. This is another shelf of mixed genre fiction, beginning with three of Reginald Hill’s books. It’s a double stacked shelf, so my other Reginald Hill books are sitting behind these.

This shelf is a mixture of crime fiction, spy fiction, general fiction and one book of short stories.

Child’s Play by Reginald Hill is the next Dalziel and Pascoe novel I’m going to read. It’s the 9th book in the series. I’ve been reading them in sequence and each one has been better than the ones before. From the description on the back cover this looks to be a complicated murder mystery with plenty of suspects.

Another murder mystery is Murder in the Glen: a Tale of Death and Rescue on the Scottish Mountains by Hamish MacInnes, a book I bought whilst on holiday in Glencoe a few years ago. It’s set in the 1970s and although fiction it gives a ‘true portrayal of Highland life by a world authority on mountain rescue as well as the the Scottish Highlands.’ On his website the novel is described: ‘A Highland Laird is killed by a high velocity bullet. The action doesn’t stop there, but escalates in a series of deaths and incidents which appear to hinge round a mountain rescue team. There is no cheating on the part of the author; the plot is logical but few who-did-it guru’s have managed to point a finger at the murderer until the second last chapter.’

I first read Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy by John le Carré many years ago (1979), when I watched the BBC series with Alec Guiness as George Smiley. I bought this copy after watching the more recent series (2016) of The Night Manager (I have that on my Kindle) and fancied re-reading Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. I started reading it – my bookmark is between pages 88 and 89 – I’ll have to go back to the beginning again to refresh my memory before I can finish it.

My final choice from this shelf for today is Olivia Manning’s Balkan Trilogy, containing, all three books, The Great Fortune, The Spoilt City and Friends and Heroes. I read the first two books years and and still have the third to read! The trilogy is a semi autobiographical account of a British couple, Harriet and Guy Pringle living in the Balkans during World War Two.

This shelf is in one of the bookshelves that greet you as you walk in our front door.

12 thoughts on “Bookshelf Travelling: 26 June 2020

  1. I so enjoy seeing what other people have on their bookshelves, Margaret! You’ve got some great ones there, too. I haven’t read the MacInnes, but it sounds really interesting. I love the setting, too. And the others you’ve got are great, too. How warm and comforting it is in these times to have lots of great books to hand.

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  2. I haven’t read Reginald Hill although I am sure one of my previous employers published them and I should have gathered some free copies then!

    Recently, I made an attempt at John Le Carre and I couldn’t get past the first chapter. A pity, but it was time to move on.

    I do remember watching Fortunes of War in the late 80s, which I think was America’s first exposure to Emma Thompson and Kenneth Branagh (they fell in love while making it, although that marriage obviously did not last), and getting The Balkan Trilogy from the library. I really enjoyed it, albeit very long ago. My copy was a 3-in-1 volume so I would not have had your strength to save the last book for later!

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    1. I read the first two of The Balkan Trilogy close together and was really keen to read the third, but didn’t have a copy. It was years later that I found my 3-in-1 volume and by then i was reading other books and just didn’t get back to reading Fortune of War!!!


  3. I meant to add that I just got An Air That Kills from the library today. I tried to put The Lost Lights of St. Kilda on reserve but it has not yet been published in the US.

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  4. I think I could sit in a comfy chair and happily work from one end of that bookshelf to the other, Margaret. I have the Balkan Trilogy and must get to it at some stage.

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  5. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy has been languishing on my TBR shelf for lo’ these many years. Maybe this summer…i’ve heard it’s great, and if you’ve decided on a reread, that’s good enough for me!

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  6. I think you might like Murder in the Glen – although there is just one review of it on Amazon and that really slates it and gives it one star.


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