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Articles by Melanie Gay

About Melanie Gay

A former literary agent with three published novels of her own, Melanie retains her life-long love of the written word and recently mastered the Kindle. She is currently writing a historical novel set in 17th Century Britain and Holland. More Posts

After the Party/Cressida Connolly

I can probably as I am one say this without being ravaged in social media but After the Party is very much a woman’s novel. It features at its heart the relationship between 3 sisters and covers subjects such as food, rearing children and middle class county socialising, all more likely to engage [...]

June 24, 2018 // 0 Comments

Greeks Bearing Gifts /Philip Kerr

I had occasion to seek the advice of a friend who is a loss adjuster to be informed that he was on a remote Greek island investigating a claim. Coincidentally Bernie Gunther, in the latest Philip Kerr novel, is doing exactly the same. I drew this coincidence to my friend’s attention to be [...]

June 22, 2018 // 0 Comments

Dead if you don’t/Peter James

It is significant that this crime novel by the popular Brighton writer was recommended to me by the former Chief Constable of Sussex. It is clear that James has a close relationship with the police force which benefits both. The police explain procedure and criminal background and he represents the [...]

June 14, 2018 // 0 Comments

The Kites/Romain Cary

Very often a fictional account can be more gripping than factual historical one and this is certainly the case with Romain Cary’s story of Ludo Fleury, a young man growing up in Normandy during the last war. Both his parents perished in World War One and he is brought up by his uncle a builder of [...]

June 9, 2018 // 0 Comments

The Story of the Jews/Volumes 1 & 2 – Simon Schama

Famously during the premier of Exodus the American humourist Mort Sahl stood up and said: “Let my people go.” I felt much the same in reading Simon Schama’s two mighty tomes. There is no doubt that it is work of considerable and detailed scholarship but detailed is the key word. [...]

March 1, 2018 // 0 Comments

A Good Read

For many years the book programme on Radio 4 A Good Read was a source of enjoyable recommendation but like many a broadcast on the BBC its direction has been blown away by the headwinds of feminist dogma. On yesterday’s programme the first contributor Jayde Adams, a comedian, freely admitted [...]

February 14, 2018 // 0 Comments

Keith Waterhouse/ Renaissance Man

I have always been a fan of Keith Waterhouse who passed away aged 81 in 2009. He was a massive talent, a polymath of all forms of writing. He made his name with Willis Hall as a scriptwriter for David Frost forming a collaboration with Ned Sherrin the first producer of  That Was the Week That [...]

January 19, 2018 // 0 Comments

Slow Horses/Mick Herron

The espionage novel is always changing form. We have had the public school adventurer like Bulldog Drummond or Richard Hannay, the glamourous agent James Bond, the working class anti-hero Harry Palmer created by Len Deighton and then John Le Carre. Mick Herron is in the Len Deighton/John Le Carre [...]

January 13, 2018 // 0 Comments

The Dreams of Bethany Mellmoth/ William Boyd

I always read a William Boyd novel after publication – I am not alone as he is one of our most popular writers. Yet he is hard to classify. You could say he is a humorous author, which he is, but he writes espionage too. One of my favourites Any Human Heart is an account of a rich life, [...]

December 25, 2017 // 0 Comments

The Impostor/Javier Cercas

This is a many layered, intriguing “story”. I deliberately use inverted commas as it recounts the life of Enric Marco, who fought with the Republicans and was deported to Flossenburg concentration camp. Except all this was fabricated by Marco who for 50 years was no more than a garage [...]

December 20, 2017 // 0 Comments

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