Death at the Bar by Ngaio Marsh (1940)

A darts night at the Plume of Feathers, an old-fashioned pub at a small village in Devonshire, turns into a crime scene. Lawyer Luke Watchman, his cousin, Sebastian Parish who is a handsome and celebrated actor, and their friend, Norman Cubitt, a distinguished artist, are visiting the village after a year’s absence and are staying … Continue reading Death at the Bar by Ngaio Marsh (1940)

The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins (1859)

The Woman in White is an exciting and complex story with a memorable cast of heroes, villains, and sundry other interesting characters. Wilkie Collins lived between 1824 and 1889 and his life overlapped those of other well-known Victorian authors whose books I’ve enjoyed reading: Charles Dickens (1812 - 1870)Elizabeth Gaskell (1810 - 1865)Charlotte Bronte (1816 … Continue reading The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins (1859)

I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith (1949)

I Capture the Castle was one of the books on my shelf that I'd been reluctant to begin. I’m not sure why because I enjoyed Dodie Smith’s other well-known novel, 101 Dalmatians. Once I'd started this book my hesitancy quickly disappeared as I discovered that it is such a quirky, fun with patches of seriousness, … Continue reading I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith (1949)

Assignment in Brittany by Helen MacInnes (1942)

'Her purpose always was to strike at authoritarian governments. In the genre of highly literate suspense she is considered unrivaled.' Assignment in Brittany is Helen MacInnes’ second book and was published early in World War II not long after the Battle of Dunkirk. It is set in Brittany and captures the bleak atmosphere that must … Continue reading Assignment in Brittany by Helen MacInnes (1942)

Quo Vadis: A Tale in the Time of Nero by Henryk Sienkiewicz (1896)

Quo Vadis is, as its subtitle implies, a work of historical fiction set in Ancient Rome during Nero’s reign. It is the love story and spiritual journey of a young couple - Marcus Vinicius, a Roman tribune from a patrician family, and Lygia, daughter of a Lygian barbarian chief, held as hostage in Rome. It … Continue reading Quo Vadis: A Tale in the Time of Nero by Henryk Sienkiewicz (1896)

Nemesis by Agatha Christie (1971)

Miss Jane Marple was astonished to receive a letter from the solicitors of a Mr Rafiel after his recent death. He and Miss Marple had had a brief but very memorable acquaintance some years back and she thought that perhaps he may have left her some small memento, such as a book from his library. … Continue reading Nemesis by Agatha Christie (1971)

Barnaby Rudge by Charles Dickens

Barnaby Rudge was published in 1841 and was Charles Dickens’ first historical novel. It is his least read book, which surprised me as the story is very interesting. It is based on a real historical event and includes a murder mystery, a talking raven, two romantic dramas, as well as being a social commentary on … Continue reading Barnaby Rudge by Charles Dickens

Bookish Destinations 2022

2022 Art Book Reading Challenge Rebecca @ a humble place is hosting a 2022 Art Reading Challenge with seven categories. I've chosen the four options below: A biography of an artist from the 20th century (Beatrix Potter by Linda Lear) A biography of an artist from the 19th century (? Van Gogh by Peter Burra) … Continue reading Bookish Destinations 2022

Love by Elizabeth von Arnim (1925)

This is only the second novel I’ve read by Elizabeth von Arnim, but along with Edith Wharton, she has shot up on my reading radar. Both authors have gotten under my skin with their beautiful literary writing and their sensitive treatment of women’s issues and sometimes difficult themes.In the context of the times in which … Continue reading Love by Elizabeth von Arnim (1925)

Waverley by Sir Walter Scott

In 1805, Walter Scott sat down to write the opening chapters of Waverley, a book that was to usher in an entirely new type of literary genre, the historical novel.In the same year Scott had published his narrative poem, The Lay of the Minstrel, which was received enthusiastically, but when he submitted the first few … Continue reading Waverley by Sir Walter Scott