As usual, a quick placeholder in case I don’t get around to writing something a bit more detailed about the last few books read.
45) Lillian Stewart Carl — Ashes to Ashes
Paranormal romance mystery, written as a contemporary in 1990. I originally bought this about 12 or 13 years ago because of the Blake’s 7 connection. Carl was active in the fandom (including writing fanfic), and the book includes a character who could be played by one of the B7 actors, and several direct references. It’s an odd one for me — I think it’s well written, but it also has several things I find annoying, not least the very heavy on-page Scots accent of one of the lead characters, which sometimes comes over to me as exactly the sort of “parading the pet noble savage” that the character himself complains about at one point. Compare and contrast with “The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie”, which I liked in part because the Scottish characters sounded Scottish without the author beating the reader over the head with it.
46) Agatha Christie — The ABC Murders (audiobook)
Abridged audiobook on 3 CDs, read by Hugh Fraser (Hastings in the ITV series). A serial killer challenges Poirot to a deadly game, by killing his victims in alphabetical order and sending Poirot a taunting letter with a clue shortly before each murder. I’d read this years ago and completely forgotten the plot, but had obviously retained enough subconscious memory to pick up the clues first time through. They’re very well planted. A very enjoyable way to spend a few hours.
47) Nancy Mitford — Don’t Tell Alfred
I’ve long enjoyed “The pursuit of love” and “Love in a cold climate”, so when I saw this in Oxfam a couple of weeks ago, I grabbed it. It’s set a couple of decades later, and tells how Fanny’s life changes when her husband is appointed as the British Ambassador to France. I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as the first two, but it’s still a hilarious tale of life in the English upper classes.