Six Degrees of Separation from Passages to The Private Patient

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.

The starting book this month is Passages: Predictable Crises of Adult Life by Gail Sheehy, a self help book that shows how to use each life crisis as an opportunity for creative change — to grow to your full potential. It’s described as ‘a brilliant road map of adult life shows the inevitable personality and sexual changes we go through in our 20s, 30s, 40s, and beyond’. I haven’t read this book.

My First link is to another self-help book, The Road Less Travelled by M Scott Peck, a book I read many years ago. Sub-titled The New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth this book is a guide through the difficult, painful times in life by showing us how to confront our problems through the key principles of discipline, love and grace.

My Second Link is to The Skeleton Road by Val McDermid. Investigating the identity of the skeleton found, with a bullet hole in its skull, on the rooftop of a crumbling, gothic building in Edinburgh takes Detective Chief Inspector Karen Pirie and her Historic Cases Unit into a dark world of intrigue and betrayal during the Balkan Wars in the 1990s. Dr River Wilde a forensic anthropologist, discovers that the skeleton is a male, he’d been dead between five and ten years and his dental work shows he was originally from one of the Eastern bloc countries.

And so my Third Link is to another character with the name of Wilde in Nemesis, the third book in Rory Clements’s Tom Wilde series. It’s historical fiction set at the beginning of World War Two when Wilde, on his honeymoon in France, rescues his student Marcus Marfield. This is an intricately plotted spy thriller in which Wilde finds himself in great personal danger. For just who is Marcus Marfield? And where does his loyalty lie?

My Fourth Link is via the title of another book called Nemesis – by Agatha Christie. Mr Rafiel, who Miss Marple met in the West Indies, has left her £20,000 in his will on condition she investigates a certain crime, but doesn’t give her any details. He wrote that she had a natural flair for justice leading to a natural flair for crime and reminded her that the code word is Nemesis

Agatha Christie was in her eighties when she wrote Nemesis and it was the last book she wrote about Miss Marple.

My Fifth Link is P D James’s The Private Patient another book written by an author in her eighties. It’s set in a private nursing home for rich patients being treated by the famous plastic surgeon George Chandler-Powell. One of the patients is investigative journalist Rhoda Gradwyn. She was looking forward to a week’s peaceful convalescence and the beginning of a new life. But she was never to leave Cheverell Manor alive. Commander Adam Dalgliesh and his team are called in to investigate her murder.

Another character called Rhoda is my Sixth Link, Past Encounters by Davina Blake. This is a thought provoking book about love, loyalty, betrayal and forgiveness. Rhoda Middleton is convinced her husband, Peter, is having an affair. In essence this is a story of a marriage that has drifted, so that Rhoda and Peter no longer talk to each other about the things that matter in their lives. And they both have secrets from each other – big secrets!

My chain is made up of self help books and crime fiction novels, linked by genre, their titles, characters’ names, and two authors writing in their eighties.

Next month (1 April 2023), we’ll start with Bruce Springsteen’s autobiography, Born to Run.

7 thoughts on “Six Degrees of Separation from Passages to The Private Patient

  1. You always have such clever ideas for these chains, Margaret! Bothe McDermid and James have written great novels, and while I think Nemesis is not Christie’s best work, there are enough appealing things in it to make it worth the read. But then, I’m a Christie fan! I’ll be interested in what you come up with for Born to Run!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I really must read that last Marple book, since I’ve read the last Poirot book already (Curtain)! The P.D. James also looks good, although I wouldn’t know where to start! Many years ago there was a TV series based on her Dalgliesh stories, which I loved! Great chain here, thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

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