The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books by Martin Edwards

Reviewed by Harriet Here at Shiny we love our classic crime, and we have been delighted to review a number of excellent novels that have recently made available through the British Library’s Crime Classics series. The editor of the series is of course the indefatigable Martin Edwards, who also manages to be a bestselling author,…

Can You Hear Me? by Elena Varvello

Translated by Alex Valente Reviewed by Annabel Can you hear me? is no ordinary psychological thriller – to pigeonhole it into that sub-genre would be to ignore large parts of this atmospheric and intense novel. Alongside the central mystery is a coming of age story and the two themes mesh together seamlessly. It is also…

Separation Sally Emerson

Separation by Sally Emerson

Reviewed by Harriet I have to admit I’d never heard of Sally Emerson before the publishers offered me a couple of their recent reprints. Though she’s till around and still writing, her six novels were published between 1980 and 2001; since then she has concentrated on travel writing, journalism and anthologising. Separation was published in…

Questions for Louise Welsh about Plague Times Trilogy

Questions by Annabel Annabel: When you began writing these books, had you already planned a trilogy? Had you ever thought that A Lovely Way to Burn could be a standalone novel, ending on a possible hopeful note for its heroine, Stevie? Louise: I knew from the first strike of the keyboard that Plague Times would…

No Dominion by Louise Welsh

Reviewed by Annabel No Dominion is the concluding part of Louise Welsh’s Plague Times Trilogy – a dystopian tale of a pandemic and its aftermath. Although Welsh asserts in the Q&A we did (see here) that you can read the novels in any order, I think you’d probably want to read one or other, or…

Listening In Jenny Eclair

Listening In by Jenny Eclair

Review by Laura Marriott Listening In is a collection of 24 short stories from comedian and writer Jenny Eclair. Her last literary outing was the well-received novel Moving, reviewed on Shiny New Books here. Running at around 10 pages per story it is perfect bed time reading. Black and white illustrations by the author are…

Rapture Iliazd

Rapture by Iliazd

Translated by Thomas J. Kitson Reviewed by Karen Langley The early 20th century was a time of great change and upheaval; it produced wars and revolutions, but also a great flowering of experimentation in the creative arts. The whole of Europe was affected, but a particularly distinctive strand was seen in Russia, and the avant…

Clockwork Orange Anthony Burgess

Anthony Burgess Centenary – a Reading List

Written by Rob Spence Anthony Burgess, whose centenary is celebrated this year, remarked ruefully on more than one occasion that he produced as many novels in a year as E.M. Forster managed in a long lifetime. Yet if Burgess is known at all by the general public, it is as the author of A Clockwork…

Clockwork Orange Anthony Burgess

Five Fascinating Facts about… Anthony Burgess

Compiled by Annabel Researching Burgess for this article, I found so many nuggets, I could easily have compiled a list of fifty facts – or even more! It was difficult to restrict it to just five, but I have managed that by picking those that particularly appealed to me! For a more serious take on…

Swing Time Zadie Smith

Swing Time by Zadie Smith (pbk)

Reviewed by Lucy Unwin Great dancers make the most complicated moves look effortless, and great writers have you swinging through their work like a dance. Zadie Smith skips easily from London, to New York, to West Africa in her latest novel, without missing a beat. She tells the stories of myriad women, through the eyes…

The Hours Before Dawn by Celia Fremlin

Reviewed by Harriet Soon after midnight she would wake; and again at half past two; and again at four. As the months went by, I found myself quite distracted by lack of sleep; my eyes would fall shut while I peeled the potatoes or ironed shirts. I remember one night sitting on the bottom step…

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead (pbk)

Reviewed by Lucy Unwin This is not a historical novel. Not just because the facts of slavery in pre-Civil War America are strained through the wonderful, allegorical, imagination of an expert story-teller (the railroad of the title is not the metaphor of history books, but real steam trains in real tunnels). But also because it’s…

Holding by Graham Norton (pbk)

Reviewed by Laura Marriott The first thing one does after finishing Holding is breathe a sigh of relief. When a well-known personality branches into fiction there is always the fear that they will not be very good; that maybe they have been given a book deal because of their celebrity and social media following. This…

Excessively Diverted: Austen Books into Movies

By Diana Cheng To wrap up a week of Jane Austen celebration, here’s an annotated list of adaptations of her works on both the small and big screens, productions that Jane would have approved. She would have been pleased to see her writing being transposed into another art medium two hundred years later, something that…