In last week’s blog post I mentioned that my most popular posts were often book reviews. I actually tried to write fewer book reviews last year because I didn’t expect them to be particularly well read. Here are the books I reviewed with links to the original blog posts for people who might be interested.
Sharpe’s Assassin: Bernard Cornwell
A short review of the latest Sharpe novel with comparisons with my own Burke and the Pimpernel Affair and Burke at Waterloo, which have some overlaps in plot. If you were imprisoned in a French fortress, who would you rather have saving you: Sharpe or Burke?
The Shepherd’s Life: James Rebanks
This memoir of a life spent as a hill sheep farmer in the Lake District is an absolute gem.
Gooseberry: Michael Gallagher
A thriller set in Victorian London. Huge fun.
Where There’s Doubt: Terry Tyler
Thriller about romance fraud. Probably Terry Tyler’s best. Recommended
The Night Man: Jørn Lier Horst
The fourth of Horst’s Norwegian thrillers that I’ve reviewed. Not as good as the first three about his policeman hero, Wisting, but good enough if you’ve enjoyed the other three.
Anthem: Noah Hawley
I remember lots of excitement about this book when it came out. Does anyone remember it now? Not the Great American Novel that some reviewers seemed to have thought it was. It may well be the Great American Novel That Defines 2022 though.
Shady Hollow: Juneau Black
Beatrix Potter meets Agatha Christie. Either you think the idea is charming and cute or you don’t. Marmite.
The Ides of April: Lindsay Davis
What do you do when your famous detective character (Falco) has been going so long that he’s no longer a credible action hero? Why, you have his daughter take over the family business. The Ides of April is the first in Lindsay Davis’s new series featuring Flavia Albia. It came out in 2013 but I only just got around to it. Sorry about that.
If you’ve read any of my blogs featuring Marble Hill House, you may understand why I found this book so fascinating. If you don’t know anything about Marble Hill House, reading this book might make you want to learn more.
Harbour Ways: Val Poore.
I’m a fan of Val Poore’s blog, Rivergirl, so her story about how she came to be living on a classic Dutch barge fascinated me. Give it a go and you might end up a fan of the blog too.
Britannia’s Shark: Antoine Vanner
The fifth book in Vanner’s ‘Dawlish Chronicles’ series features an early submarine, the ‘Fenian Ram’, a submarine designed by the pioneer of submarine warfare, John Holland. The adventures are largely fictitious but the technology is very real.
I’ve not included Tales of Empire in my eleven book reviews because it’s hardly an unbiased review. I published this book which is a very short collection of stories, one by me and three by other authors. Have a look about at what I say about the other three and then buy it. It’s only 99p.
Somehow (probably because it was so recent that I didn’t really think of it as being last year) I completely forgot to include Sisters at the Edge of the World, Ailish Sinclair’s stunning novel of Bronze Age Scotland. Almost impossible to categorise, I can only say that it is brilliant. Read it.