May 2010 book log

Books for May 2010:

25) Edward Marston — The Railway Detective (Inspector Robert Colbeck series, book 1)(logged with brief notes 8 May)
26) David Llewellyn — Trace Memory (Torchwood book 5) (reviewed earlier today)
27) Edward Marston — The Excursion Train (Inspector Robert Colbeck series, book 2) (logged 11 May)

28) Edward Marston(– The Railway Viaduct (Inspector Robert Colbeck series, book 3)

Another Victorian era police procedural set in the early days of the railways. This time Inspector Colbeck and Sergeant Leeming are called in to investigate a murder on the Sankey Viaduct, but their hunt for the murderer takes them to the construction site for a new railway line in France. The construction company is British, but the navvies come from all over Europe, adding a new dimension to the problems of investigating murder.

I thought the first book in this series suffered from a bad case of “my research, let me show you it”, but here the background material is seamlessly woven in to provide some wonderful world-building. Lots of fun, and I’m looking forward to the next one.

29) Alexander McCall Smith — Blue Shoes and Happiness
7th in the No 1 Ladies Detective Agency series, but the first one I’ve read (although I did catch several episodes of the BBC adaptation). Gentle, funny detective novel set in the capital of Botswana, written by someone who’s white but who knows the country and culture from the inside. Precious Ramotswe’s cases tend to the small when viewed from an outside perspective, but they’re often life-changing from the point of view of the people involved. The author uses this to the full, and always treats both his main cast and his bit characters with warmth and humanity. I definitely want to find a few more titles from this series.

Started but haven’t finished yet: The Heyday by Bamber Gascoigne.

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