Zola: An Introduction to his books

By Victoria Best Penguin’s decision to publish some of the novels of Émile Zola that have not been in translation for more than a hundred years begs an introduction to this iconic writer of the working classes. When Zola came on the scene with his racy, sordid novels, he brought new life to the genre…

An Interview with Jill Dawson

One of a series of reviews republished from the Shiny Archive of Issue 1 to celebrate our 4th birthday Interview by Victoria Jill Dawson’s wonderful new novel, The Tell-Tale Heart,  recounts the story of Patrick, a womanising lecturer who has recently received a heart transplant. By chance he discovers the identity of his donor, and from that…

Murder on the Pilgrims Way by Julie Wassmer

Reviewed by Victoria If you are like me and enjoy the format of traditional cosy crime – an atmospheric setting, a great cast of possible suspects, a second body that arrives just at the right moment – then I can warmly recommend the new crime series by Julie Wassmer, (click here for the review of…

Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty

Reviewed by Victoria Apple Tree Yard may be billed as a thriller, but like all of Louise Doughty’s novels, it’s a story with more depth than you might anticipate. Yvonne Carmichael is a successful geneticist who happens one winter day to be reporting to a Standing Committee at the House of Lords. She is fifty-two,…