Sunday, 23 April 2017

Escaping in books

I've been hiding away in books a lot lately. Well, who wouldn't? Usually the settings are nicer and the manners better - if you read as much Golden Age crime as I do, that is. My latest reads have been a 1930s crime novel and a couple of 1970s science fiction TV tie-ins.

Murder of a Lady was a Christmas gift (my Amazon wishlist keeps my family happy!) but I've only just got round to reading it. I hadn't read any of Anthony Wynne's novels before this one, but it doesn't leave me enthused to read more.


According to the introduction, Wynne was a specialist in the 'locked room' mystery. While I like crime novels that present something of a mental challenge, such as Freeman Wills Crofts' intricately-plotted stories, this one dragged rather. Most of the characters were pretty awful in some way, to the point where I wasn't too worried what happened to most of them, and Wynne's tone seemed rather patronising towards the Scottish aristocrats involved in the case. I didn't get the weapon quite right, but I'd half-worked out the solution from the first murder. Waiting for the detective to solve it became a bit of a bore. At least the cover is nice - those lovely steamers still do tour round the coast of Scotland, I believe.

A complete change from crime novels, aside from also being a bit of pure escapism, is these novelisations of the television programme UFO, written by a man called Robert Miall. I've never heard of him, but would guess that's the pen name for a ghost writer. The books are far from works of high literature, but then they're not supposed to be, they're pulpy TV tie-ins and in that respect hit the spot perfectly. The sexism annoys me a little; UFO had a female-run Moonbase, but everything in these books is told from the perspective of a variety of male characters, and the attractiveness of the female ones is mentioned more or less constantly. It's a fairly small annoyance for me, though, and hasn't put me off the books.
 In case you're wondering about the backdrop, it's some vintage crepe I bought. No, I still can't sew. I have a terrible habit of shopping online when I get a bit stressed at work, and with two deadlines a month now instead of one, I'm developing a bad habit of cheering myself up with Stuff. Still, this isn't a huge piece of cloth...

13 comments :

  1. Such a shame the first book didn't live up to its cover!!

    I like the fabric. One day you'll transform it into something. It will keep.

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    1. I do like reading them, though. It's nice to get a fuller picture of what was available years ago - and to realise why Agatha Christie and Dorothy L sayers stood out.

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  2. That fabric is gorgeous!
    I vaguely remember seeing UFO on the TV as a kid. Although it's not my genre I'd have bought those paperbacks, they have a great look. xxx

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    1. UFO is oddly bleak for something late 60s and so colourful. Its aliens are relentless and unknowable.

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  3. I love escaping in books! Shame about the 1930s crime novel not living up to its cover. The UFO books sound intriguing, but I'm hearing you on the sexism thing. Love the fabric, what will you do with it? xxx

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    1. I've no idea, but I've found an Etsy seller with a load of the same fabric! Seriously tempted to treat myself come payday...

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  4. Wonderful fabric! Not even a cushion cover, maybe?

    I have a few 'old' crime/detective novels to read on my shelf and can't wait to get started after I've read what's on my TBR pile...

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    1. It's too light in weight to be a cushion cover (plus my living room is mostly red/cream/dark wood and rather Edwardian). It shall be my incentive to learn to sew.

      Ah, the good old reading pile! Every home should have one.

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  5. Books are the best & healthiest way to escape!
    UFO looks seriously 70's.
    I bet my fabric stash is bigger than yours! Fabric does make quick & gorgeous backdrops for photos though!

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    1. Books and travelling, though I'm reluctant to book a holiday till I know which magazines I'll be in after May. Augh. I'm definitely keeping OPM but the other one I'm doing is up in the air, and it's driving me nuts. I need to know when all my deadlines are going to fall.

      My fabric stash is tiny, so I do not doubt that yours is larger. Throw in my yarn stash, though... I have *crates* of the stuff. Must knit faster.

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  6. Hope you do think of something to make with the fabric, it's lovely.
    I don't recall UFO at all, but the book covers are great! xx

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  7. I am woefully behind on my reading. I purchased Stephen King's It as my October read, but for some unknown reason, it smells really peculiar. Andy and myself joke it's the smell of death and decay, a scratch and sniff Stephen King book, hehe! Consequently I am rather reluctant to pick it up and it was brand new too, I went into a proper bookshop and everything.

    I love the covers of those old paperbacks, the UFO ones are so of their time xxx

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  8. I felt the same about Murder of a Lady. I remember I watched UFO but I can't remember a thing about it!

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