Six Degrees of Separation: from The Bass Rock by Evie Wyld to Harbour Street

It’s time again for 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 Six Degrees chain begins with The Bass Rock by Evie Wyld, set on an island in the Firth of Forth. I haven’t read it, but it does appeal to me, so I think I’d like to read it. It’s a novel that weaves together the lives of three women across four centuries.

My first link is to a book about another rockPicnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay, an Australian thriller, set in 1900 about a group of girls who went missing after an outing to the Hanging Rock, a spectacular volcanic mass.

The beginning of Picnic at Hanging Rock when it was agreed that the warm summer’s day was just right for the expedition to the Rock, reminded me of the beginning of To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf in which Mrs Ramsay announces that if the next day is fine they could go to the lighthouse, an expedition that her son had looked forward to for years.

As I wondered which book to link to next it struck me that Virginia Woolf’s name begins with two consecutive letters of the alphabet. Another author’s name also begins with consecutive letters – Charles Dickens. So my next link is to A Tale of Two Cities, a novel set in Paris and London about the French Revolution.

Paris is my fourth link with The Shadow Puppet by Georges Simenon. A man is shot dead in his office in the Place des Vosges in Paris and Maigret uncovers a tragedy involving desperate lives, unhappy people, addiction and an all-consuming greed. Maigret notices shadowy figures in the lighted windows of the building opposite.

Staying with Shadows my next link is The Shadows in the Street by Susan Hill, one of her Serrailler novels. Whilst being crime fiction, it also concerns moral and social issues.There are two major themes in this book. One concerns the murders of local prostitutes, found strangled. The other is mental illness, with Ruth Webber, who suffers from manic depression. She goes missing there are fears she may become one of the murder victims.

Murder and the word street in the title are my links to the final book in the chain – Harbour Street by Ann Cleeves – one of the best Vera Stanhope murder mysteries. It’s about the murder of an old lady, Margaret Krukowski, who was stabbed to death on the Newcastle Metro ten days before Christmas.

My chain begins with a novel about the Bass Rock and ends with one of my favourite murder mysteries.

Next month (3 July 2021), we’ll start with Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss.

15 thoughts on “Six Degrees of Separation: from The Bass Rock by Evie Wyld to Harbour Street”

  1. These are such clever links, Margaret! I always appreciate the way you’re able to connect stories like that – that’s fantastic! And you’ve included Picnic at Hanging Rock, which I think is such an engrossing, eerie story. Well done!

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  2. I love your consecutive letters link! I would never have thought of that. A Tale of Two Cities is probably my favourite Dickens novel.

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  3. These days, there is a hot rod run around Valentine’s Day at Hanging Rock called Picnic at Hanging Rock. We’ve never been as it always seems to fall on a roastingly hot day (much like the day of the picnic in the story), but have friends who go every year.

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  4. Your link from Woolf to Dickens is a hoot.

    I enjoyed your chain, particularly because I have heard of all the authors! That doesn’t happen a lot.

    Funnily I thought about including To the lighthouse in my chain, but I prefer to include books I’ve reviewed, so I tend not to use books I’ve read before blogging.

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