Detectives old and new, and Narnia

Bookshelves of doom reviews Neil Gaiman’s collection of stories "Fragile Things". Here’s one that appeals to me: " "The Problem of Susan" — Neil Gaiman on Narnia.  This one’s a must read for anyone who enjoys the occasional Pullman-rant re: C. S. Lewis.  It’d also be a good one for those who think Pullman maybe should calm down a little bit.  And it’s a good one for people who are interested in All Things Narnia.  It’s just good, period, okay?"

The Literary Saloon reviews "Jar City" (sometimes called "Tainted Blood") by Arnaldur Indridason. They give it a B plus. Fair enough — though they don’t pick up on the book’s main flaw — the plot depends on a double-blind code being broken, which is impossible. Here’s a link to my review, for comparison. And here is a link to my review of "Silence of the Grave", the second of Indridason’s books to be translated into English and winner of the CWA gold dagger award. The third, "Voices" is out in hardback but not yet in paperback. True to the bizarre tradition of Scandinavian noir, Indridason’s books aren’t translated in reading order. See some discussion on this question at International Noir Fiction, with Henning Mankell as the type-example.

Here is a nice comparison between Peter Wimsey and Roderick Alleyn, at Random Jottings. There is a lovely picture in the post, but I can’t believe Alleyn looks like that. I used to own all the Ngaio Marsh books, but they got given away at some distant point in my past. Pity, I feel quite tempted to return to them one day. I remember being very struck by the artist heroine’s name of "Troy" — actually her first name is Agatha, but sensibly she goes by her surname. I thought it would be great to call my own child Troy, but sadly when that happy event actually occurred, this idea was vetoed. (Along with Robin, Scarlett, Rowena and, had I thought of it, Leia.) Incidentally, there are lots of other interesting posts at Random Jottings, including the biggest pile of books I could imagine carrying away from a book sale. (Nice Shakespeare posts sandwiched inbetween.)

Karen of Eurocrime is currently reading a book called "The Torso". Would take a lot to convince me to read a book with a title like that, but she says it is good (so far).

Crimeficreader of It’s a Crime! reviews "The Not Knowing" by Cathi Unsworth, which does not seem to live up to its promise.

4 thoughts on “Detectives old and new, and Narnia

  1. Glad you are enjoying Random Jottings and thank you for the kind comments. This book sale is an annual event in aid of the NSPCC (National Society for Preventention of Cruetly to Children) and is now in its 17th year. It is very well organised with dropping off points all round Colchester, where I live in the UK, throughout the year. I may have bought a huge pile this year, once of the best yet, but I also make sure that I donate books as well (in order to make room for their replacements…) The picture on the earlier post is just one I used for illustration from Google, meant to take my camera this morning and forgot. What I love most about this sale is going through to the children’s section and seeing children spread out all over the place surrounded by heaps of books and looking at them all. Makes one feel very hopeful about the future of reading.

  2. Since you mention Arnaldur Indriðason, I thought you might like to know that Tainted Blood has been filmed. I have not seen it yet, but reviewers are saying it’s one of the best movies ever made in Iceland, which means it will definitely be exported.

  3. Thanks, Bibliophile, can’t wait. Keep us up to date with the movie — hope you’ll review it on Another 52 books, even though it isn’t a book but a book once removed.

  4. I will definitely review it once I have seen it – probably next weekend. It will be interesting to see it – the actor who plays Erlendur is the opposite of what I had imagined Erlendur to look like, but he’s also a very good actor, so it should just about even out.

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