August is the month when everyone decides to take a holiday – after all nothing ever happens except for a constant state of sweat and damp armpits (I am not speaking from personal experience AT ALL). In Death at the Seaside, PI Kate Shakleton feels the same and she decides to take a well-earned break and visit her childhood friend Alma in Whitby. Whitby has bittersweet memories for Kate and when she passes the jewellers where her long-ago fiancé bought her ring from, she doesn’t think anything will come of the visit other than seeing Mr Philips, the proprietor and the man who served her all those years ago. Instead she finds him murdered on the floor.
What is better: to pretend to feel guilt for something you did as a way of coming to terms with what you did or to cheerfully admit that you are a murderer and feel no guilt at all? This was what the BBC’s adaptation of Agatha Christie’s And Then there Were None eventually boiled down to. Over three nights, as people were being murdered it became less of a whodunit and more of an examination of guilt and the various ways people handle their guilt.
‘I abhorred weakness of any kind but most particularly in my tea.’
I first started reading Deanna Raybourn’s books when I was in University (back when Facebook wasn’t really a thing). I just happened to be in a Waterstones bookshop in the crime section (my love of crime goes way back, way, way back) and saw a book with an interesting cover and blurb. Since then I have read everything she has written but this, A Curious Beginning is the first in a brand new series and I was a little cautious. Could Victoria Speedwell be as dear to be as Lady Julia Grey has become? Would I enjoy’s Victoria’s adventures as much as I enjoyed Lady Julia’s?
The answer to both of them is a emphatic yes.
Robert Galbraith’s newest Cormoran Strike book, Career of Evil was released yesterday (woop woop – I LOVE those books) and to celebrate the publisher teamed up with The Crime Vault to create a bespoke detective experience for fans. Of course I entered and amazingly I won! I had to turn up at a location in Hackney at the right time and solve a mystery as quickly as possible. The top two teams would win a dedicated and signed copy of Career of Evil.
While I love any and all signed books and have a collection threatening to overwhelm me, this was a particularly epic prize because Robert Galbraith is the pseudonym of none other than JK Rowling. Safe to say I really, really wanted to win.