Happy New Year one and all. Let’s all hope that this year is decidedly less plague-ridden than the last.

Well that’s started well…

I thought I might begin with a “what I did over the holidays”-style post, which always seems to go down well*. This will take the form of three Reading Recommendations, as follows *ahem*:


by Lisa Jewell is a masterclass in the art of slow-burn crime novels: cunningly adding layers of tension and twists, building to a very satisfying crescendo of betrayal, manipulation, and warped love.

Told from multiple viewpoints, we’re drawn into the life of Tallulah, a teenaged mother with a wallflower complex, struggling to juggle family life, her childhood sweetheart, their one-year-old son, and college. And then she and her boyfriend go out on a “date night”, and never return…

I have to admit that I’m new to Lisa Jewell’s writing, but I can guarantee I’ll be reading a lot more of it. And soon. There’s a reason she’s a million-copy bestselling author (as it says on the shiny yellow strip).


by Liam McIllvaney is the sequel to his award winning 2018 hit, THE QUAKER.

It’s 1975 and DI Duncan McCormack is dragged away from his mission to arrest Glasgow’s nasty crime boss and tasked with investigating the brutal murder of a man who’s been dumped in a rubbish tip instead. Gripping, twisted, and bristling with atmosphere and memorable characters, THE HERETIC cements Liam’s position as a crime writer at the top of his game. He also has a very good beard, and that counts for a lot in these troubled times.

If it helps, Fiona’s just finished THE QUAKER and says she’s looking forward to getting stuck into this one after she’s read Bob Mortimer’s Autobiography, AND AWAY (which I can also recommend).


by Andrew Taylor is a proper historical romp of a novel. Now, I’ve been a big fan of Andrew Taylor’s writing for years, and this, his latest, is another magnificent instalment in his James Marwood series.

Set during the reign of Charles II, it’s wonderfully evocative – mixing deadly plots, witchcraft, secrets, and genuine menace. This is historical crime fiction at it’s very, very best.

You don’t have to have read the whole series to enjoy this one (it’s the fifth Marwood novel), but I would recommend giving them all a go, because they’re pretty gosh-darn good. And you don’t hear fulsome praise like that very often, do you?

* at least, it always did with my primary school teachers