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Tuesday October 31, 2017

Books in October

  • Sidney Chambers and the Perils of the Night by James Runcie
    BOM-SC&ThePerilsOfTheNight.jpg The second book of short stories in the Grantchester mysteries written in 2013 , set in 1955/61. By now it is clear how much the "Granchester" TV series has diverged from the books. Here Sidney makes up his mind about his love life - after only 10 years it appears, if my arithmetic is correct. Clearly he has some lasting connection with Amanda but it does not seem able to be translated into the sort of life together that a clergyman could feasibly have.
    • The Perils of the Night (January 1955)
    • Love and Arson (August)
    • Unholy Week (Good Friday)
    • The Hat Trick (a Saturday in mid May)
    • The Uncertainty Principle Uncertainty Principle (April 1961)
    • Appointment in Berlin (July)

  • Cast Iron by Peter May
    BOM-CastIron.jpg At last I have read it - the final book in the Enzo series.
    Excellent as I expected.
    All the more so as the answer to the whole enigma was "pretty obvious". I must say I do like all the clues to be hiding in plain site - it means the plot is totally feasible - not riddled with red herrings or information that you were never told ["ah - I 'ave been so blind - an imbecile" etc].
    Much anticipating his next book, wherever that takes us.

  • The Girl in the Spiders Web and .. Who Takes an eye for an Eye by David Lagercrantz [read by Saul Reichlin]
    BOM-TheGirlInTheSpidersWeb.jpg BOM-TheGirlWhoTakesAnEyeForAnEye.jpg So these are the 4th and 5th novels in the Millennium series, focusing on the characters Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist. It's not written by the series' creator and author of the first three Millennium books, Stieg Larsson, as he died of a heart attack in 2004 - before they were released I think.
    I was interested enough to read (listen to) them but despite the author saying he did not seek to imitate Larsson's style, they retain many aspects of the detailed and rather dull style of the originals. One thing I did note is that apparently Lagercrantz did not like or understand Blomkvist's apparent magnetic attraction for all women and he "tried to tone it down" - which I can only applaud; I have to say I thought much of the original plots were some kind of ageing journo's fantasies with respect to success with women as well as getting the "perfect" scoop.
    A second interesting point is that apparently Larsson's partner, possesses an unfinished fourth manuscript of the Millennium series - which would be interesting. I guess it needs editing - although in my opinion, the first 3 could have done with a bit more editing before publication.

  • Paul Temple and the Madison Mystery by Francis Durbridge BOM-PaulTempleMadisonMystery.jpg
    Returning from America by ocean liner, the Temples enjoy the company of their fellow passengers, only to find one of them dead the next morning - and when Paul and Steve get home to London, Sir Graham is waiting to plunge them into one of their most thrilling and dangerous adventures, the pursuit of a ruthless international gang of counterfeiters. As knives fly and bombs explode, the key to the puzzle seems to lie in a coin on the end of a watch-chain...
    This was a new production for BBC Radio 4 starring Crawford Logan and Gerda Stevenson, using the original scripts, vintage sound effects and much of the original incidental music from an original lost archive 1949 production. As far as possible, it is a technical and stylistic replica of how that production might have sounded had its recording survived.

  • A Case for Paul Temple by Francis Durbridge BOM-ACaseForPaulTemple.jpg
    After listening to the above - I had something of a Paul Temple fest - with the same series of re-recorded productions, starring Crawford Logan and Gerda Stevenson, using the original scripts etc. from this missing 1946 production.
    Post-war London is buzzing with speculation about the deaths of ten young drug addicts within the space of just one week. The police are desperate to cut off supplies of heroin and cocaine to the capital, but they are struggling. So Sir Graham Forbes turns to Paul Temple. By fast car and police launch, on deserted houseboats and midnight beaches, in dodgy East End pubs and smart West End restaurants, braving booby traps, bullets and blazing houses, Paul and Steve pursue the ruthless and feared drug dealer known only as 'Valentine'.

  • Paul Temple and Steve by Francis Durbridge BOM-PaulTempleAndSteve.jpg
    Enlisted by Sir Graham Forbes of Scotland Yard to help track down the mysterious Dr Belasco, Paul and Steve find clues in cigarette lighters and bodies in shrubberies, dance the night away in louche Latin American night clubs, meet sinister manservants and suspicious foreigners, and have their lives threatened at every turn. Just as well Steve remembered to bring along her revolver as well as her ration book...
    This yet another new production for BBC Radio 4 starring Crawford Logan and Gerda Stevenson and using the original scripts, vintage sound effects and much of the incidental music from the missing 1947 production.

  • Paul Temple Intervenes by Francis Durbridge BOM-PaulTempleIntervenes.jpg
    Now this recording is the original - broadcast on the 30th October 1942, and apparently it is the oldest full length drama to remain in the BBC archives. It stars Carl Bernard as Paul Temple and and Bernadette Hodgson as Steve.
    The murder of well-known American Myron Harwood, found dead in a small country lane, heralds the start of a series of celebrity murders. Each time, the body is found with a small, square piece of white cardboard bearing the inscription 'The Marquis'. When the eighth victim, a girl, is picked out of the river with the same card attached to her dress, a note from Paul Temple is delivered to Sir Graham Forbes. The message reads: 'Is it true what they say about Rita?' Rita Cartwright was a private detective investigating the Marquis murders - and now she too has ended up dead. With the police baffled and the Home Secretary specially requesting his involvement, Paul Temple has no choice but to intervene...
    Even more interesting to me is that this clearly is a very early recording - a different kind of production altogether then the later series (with Peter Coke), and it is the basis for the later 1947 production Paul Temple and Steve discussed above. The Marquis became Dr Belasco and apart from a gender change of some characters, the general sequence and plotting is the same.

Posted by Christina at 11:21 PM. Category: Books of the Month