Leffland, Ella. Rumors of Peace.

NY: Harper, 1979.

Leffland is a highly regarded novelist of slender output — five novels in thirty years, and nothing at all in more than a decade. This one, her third, has recently been republished (and marketed as a “classic”), but I came across it when it first appeared and I remember enjoying it very much, so when I came across a mention of the book in another review, I decided it was time for a re-read.

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Sansom, C. J. Revelation.

NY: Viking. 2008.

This fourth novel about the adventures of Matthew Shardlake, barrister in Tudor London, is well up to the high standard set by its predecessors — and yet it’s somewhat different from what came before. Shardlake’s earlier investigations were involved directly with politics, first working for Thomas Cromwell, then becoming involved in the aftermath of the revolt in the North. This story, though, is more like a modern police procedural, dealing as it does with a serial killer.

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Published in: on 13 September 2011 at 2:34 am  Leave a Comment  
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Davies, Robertson. The Rebel Angels.

NY: Viking, 1982.

Canada, being a small nation, hasn’t produced that many first-rate literary minds, but among those she has Davies leads the pack. He was a Shakespearean actor, a playwright, a newspaper editor, a professor of English, a busy novelist, and head of a graduate college in Toronto, and it’s the latter two careers that figure most in this first volume of a satirical trilogy. (Davies did a number of trilogies.) There are three narrators who take turns leading the reader through events and we see each of them through the eyes of the other two, which makes the whole story exist in multiple dimensions.

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Haddon, Mark. A Spot of Bother.

NY: Doubleday, 2006.

I was very impressed with Haddon’s first novel, the award-winning Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. This one is about as different as it’s possible to be, and it’s also pretty impressive. George Hall is in his sixties, a retired builder of playground equipment, who has always been a little off-center in his method of dealing with life. Mostly, he tries to ignore things that make him uncomfortable — even more than your typical Englishman. Things like potential jetliner crashes and the possibility of dying of cancer.

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Published in: on 10 April 2011 at 5:49 pm  Leave a Comment  
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