Read Unto us a Son is Given by Donna Leon. I’m a big fan of these books set in Venice. The stories are quite simple but the setting in Venice is great escapism and at this stage I feel like I know the family well and she mentions the meals they’re having and he walks around Venice and you can imagine what it’s like. I was in Venice for a long weekend a few years ago so it brings back nice memories. The story was about a gay man who adopts a younger man as his son and then unfortunately dies. I will check if she’s written another one as this one was written in 2019 she seems to write one a year.
Finished Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel. I'd read Wolf Hall the first in the trilogy and found it hard going, but this was more enjoyable, it was easier to read and more interesting as it was about Anne Boleyn and how Cromwell managed to get rid of her for Henry the Eighth. It was a very cruel time, but I suppose life was very cheap then and death was always close by. I'd read books about her before and watched the Tudors and felt some sympathy for Anne, but in this book I didn't really. I going to try get the third book in the trilogy from the library and finish the story. I think the last one will deal with his other wives and how Cromwell got his comeuppance in the end. I only recently copped that the Cromwell in her books is different to one that caused such trouble here in Ireland. This Cromwell is Thomas Cromwell, I wonder was Oliver any relation?
Have read Still Life by Louise Penny. It was only all right don't think I'll bother reading any more of hers. I didn't find myself getting interested in the story or the people involved. It was a whodunnit, set in a small village in Quebec, Canada. It was a bit far fetched and unlikely. She was killed by a bow and arrow and everyone in the story could have a been a suspect. There was also a story running through it about a junior office and her relationship with the main Detective that was never fully explored or finished. Maybe it will continue in her next book, but I don't think I'll be following it up.
My latest read was A Most Wanted Man by John Le Carre. I have a liking for spy stories and I've read most of John Le Carre's books. I saw this in the library when I was picking up some books and didn't recognise it so I took it out. When I started it I realised I had seen it on TV or as a film not sure which but I couldn't really remember the story so I read it through anyway. I enjoyed it, it was set in Hamburg and was about the rendition of prisoners, it was written in 2008. The man in question is from Chechnya and it was about his lawyer trying to get him a German passport and asylum in Germany. His father was Russian and had "accumulated" a lot of money from his time in the Russian army and left it to his son who now wanted to claim it, but not for himself, but for Muslim Charities. He just wanted enough money to become a doctor. I enjoyed it. I've read all the books in the series about Slough House written by Mike Herron which are excellent. A more up-to-date series of spy novels set in London, well worth a read if you like spy books.
I've finished Rules for Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson. I really enjoyed this book and would easily have read it in one sitting if I had the time. It was obviously written by a book lover and a lover of crime novels. It's about a man, Malcolm Kershaw, who runs a book store in Boston. Years earlier he had written a blog of the Ten Perfect Murders, i.e. books where the murderer gets away with it. Then the FBI come to see him as she thinks someone is following the list and committing the murders as they are committed in the books. Naturally there are twists along the way. It is narrated by Malcolm, so it is told, and the plot revealed from his point of view. I thought it was very clever. There's loads of names and plots of books dropped into the story and I'd read some of them so it made it more enjoyable. Would recommend it. In an earlier post I said I would mention any Irish names or places in a novel I was reading, as I find it is fairly common. I'd forgotten, but even though this book is set in Boston, there are no Irish mentions in it except he occasionally drinks Guinness!
The last book I read was Long Bright River by Liz Moore. It was good, about a female police officer in Philadelphia. It was a hard and a sad read in places as it was about her younger sister who was living on the streets as a junkie and she had gone missing while prostitutes in the area her sister was squatting, were being murdered. All the family were from an Irish background with Irish names so the author must also have Irish connections. Would recommend it.
Have finished a Michael Connolly novel, The Late Show. I've read a lot of the Harry Bosch novels by him and also like the Mickey Haller novels. This is a new departure for him with a new female detective Renee Ballard. It was good about corruption in LAPD. It could have been a Harry Bosch story but I suppose he wanted to try out new characters. I think he's written a second one with this character, will try to get it out.
Just read the final book in the the trilogy about Thomas Cromwell, by Hilary Mantel. The other two were, Wolf Hall, Bring up the Bodies and her third is the Mirror and the Light. It's a doorstopper of a book 883 pages. But I enjoyed it, I found it easy to read luckily she gave a Cast of Characters List at the front to I could keep track of all the characters. I like reading books on history topics and this is mostly based on facts, except for some minor characters. What strikes me is how cruel they were and how casually they beheaded, burned and thought up ingenious ways of torturing and killing people, and the number of women who died in childbirth.
I always thought there was no relation with Oliver Cromwell, but there is, his nephew was Oliver Cromwell's great grandfather.
There was some mentions of Ireland in connection with there being a danger that it could be the back door for an invasion by the French.
Have finished The Cutting Place by Jane Casey. She is a Dublin born writer living in London. Her main character is a female detective with Irish parents called Maeve Kerrigan. I like her as a character and the stories are good. Always enjoy reading her books.
Have finished reading the 7th book in the series about Slough House, the spy novels by Mick Herron. I really enjoy these books and hate when I get to the end. This was was just as good as the other six. There’s always plenty of action, and one of the characters and sometimes more than one, die and so he brings in new characters. Would highly recommend. But try reading in sequence starting with Slow Horses. The writing is very good and he brings in current issues and UK politics.
That sounds interesting I will have to check it out. I have read a fair few of his Harry Bosch novels and a few others but not the one you mentioned with the new character so will have to get that next time I am buying some new books.
My latest read was, A Song for the Dark Ages by Ian Rankin, his latest (as far as I know). It was good, but I thought the ending was a bit weak. Enjoyed getting to it though. Rebus has retired and his daughter who leaves up in the far north of Scotland is in trouble, her partner has gone missing so John goes up there to visit her and, of course, has to get involved in the investigation, which in a very loose way, ties into an investigation currently being undertaken by his old 'comrade' Siobhan Clarke. I read most of the Rebus books and the earlier ones are good so it was nice to "catch up" with him.
I've just finished the Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton. It was good, an unusual book. Set in the 17th century. The East India Company was exporting spices from Africa to Amsterdam. The action took place on board one of their vessels. It took 8 months to sail from South Africa to Amsterdam. It set itself up as a sort of ghost story, about a devil/demon seeking revenge who has lured his victims on board to exact that revenge. It was an interesting read and was definitely a bit creepy in parts. It was something along the lines of The Terror, which I only saw on TV but didn't read it. I would recommend.
Finished Tana French's crime drama The Secret Place. Really enjoyed this one and a bit different as while it is a who done it murder mystery with all the action taking place over the course of one day it is also a coming of age story too in many ways.