Friday, 7 December 2012

Lady Susan by Jane Austin

One of her 'minor works', Lady Susan is very different in style and content from the main Austin novels.  It's fun and irreverent, and the main character, Lady Susan is delightfully scandalous.  Written as a series of letters between the main characters, Jane Austin develops her characters and simple plot wonderfully.  It isn't a particularly long story - as she says herself, it would be ridiculous to continue the correspondence once several of the characters meet up.  I'm not aware that it's been made into a film, but I think it would be fascinating to see what a skilled playwright could do with the material provided.  Unfortunately, given the nature of our society, it is unlikely someone could produce anything as subtle as Jane Austin's writing, and because of the attitudes of Lady Susan, any modern production would probably be X-rated.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Blue Lightning by Ann Cleeves

I'm not usually one to buy a Mystery novel, though I like TV mystery programs well enough.  I think what makes me hesitate is that once I've read it, I probably won't read it again - leaving an unloved book on my bookshelf!  If someone lends me one, though, I mostly enjoy it.
Blue Lightning is the second book by Ann Cleeves I've read (I know one of her neighbours who lent me the books!) and they are well worth a read.  This one is the last in a series set in Shetland, the islands at the very north of Scotland for those outside the UK.  I haven't read the others, but like most mysteries, it stands alone fairly well.  If you like a good back-story to the mystery and a landscape setting with lots of atmosphere, these are definitely books to seek out.  The characters are pretty down to earth and the story itself should keep you guessing until the very end.  If you read the whole series, you'll probably find yourself deeply invested in the main detective character, Perez, and this book, set on his home island of Fair Isle, will only increase that.
Look for this and other mysteries on askmeaboutbooks.co.uk and enjoy reading!