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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

Project library

My main project for Lockdown 3 was to overhaul my library. This proved both rewarding and challenging. I located books I never knew I had and a few I never wanted. I found some old favourites – like a beaten up paperback of Keith Waterhouse’s Our Song, a humorous bittersweet account of his [...]

March 23, 2021 // 0 Comments

On Chapel Sands/Laura Cumming

Laura Cummimg’s non-fiction book is the story of the abduction of a three year old girl from the beach at Chapel Sands, Lincolnshire. To say more would be a spoiler as Laura Cumming is the narrator and at the beginning of the book the relationship between her and the abducted girl is unclear. [...]

March 16, 2021 // 0 Comments

Presumed Innocent/Scott Turow

Scott Turow is an American best-selling author and this is his first novel published in 1987. It draws from his experience as a Public Attorney in Chicago and is very much a book by a lawyer for lawyers.  This said he has a gift for characterisation and writing. He was described to me by the [...]

February 25, 2021 // 0 Comments

Blood Orange/Harriet Tyce

This debut novel has been hanging about on my Kindle for some time. Harriet Tyce (author) It was recommended both by a good friend who is an art tutor and The Richard and Judy Show.  I fancied a page-turner after some demanding reading. My critical assessment is that it is indeed a page-turner but [...]

January 22, 2021 // 0 Comments

John le Carre

Although espionage is one of my favourite genres, I cannot list John le Carre’s novels amongst my favourites as the smoke and mirrors often left me confused. I preferred the dramatisations and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy remains one of the best productions I have seen on television. I can however [...]

December 15, 2020 // 0 Comments

Trio/William Boyd

A new William Boyd book is always a significant publishing event as he is one of Britain’s most popular novelists and you do not know what to expect. In a writing career that early on embraced drole colonialism in West Africa but has included espionage and a broad sweep of a life by journal in [...]

November 19, 2020 // 0 Comments

Daphne du Maurier

In the week there was a revealing documentary on Daphne du Maurier on PBS America entitled In Rebecca’s Footsteps. She was a complex character difficult to classify as a writer. The popular notion is of a historical romantic novelist in the style of Georgette Heyer or Philippa Gregory. In fact [...]

October 18, 2020 // 0 Comments

Legacy of Agatha Christie

Last Saturday there was a tribute on Channel 5 to Agatha Christie to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the publication of her first novel The Mysterious Affair at Styles.   The programme was narrated by Nigel Havers and various actors who had appeared in televised adaptations – and the [...]

October 14, 2020 // 0 Comments

Execution/SJ Parris

Publishing is very much a copy-cat business. Thus – when one writer comes up with a successful genre – rest assured it will not be long before another follows. CJ Sansom’s Matthew Shardlake novels set in the reign of Henry VIII are immensely popular. SJ Parris’ novels are in the [...]

October 3, 2020 // 0 Comments

Murder by Milk Bottle /Lynne Truss

This is Lynne Truss’ fourth novel in the Constable Twitten series and not the best. It is set in the her familiar milieu of 1950s Brighton where a series of murders are committed with a milk bottle. The novel has humour and a good sense of time and location but there are a number of weaknesses : [...]

August 26, 2020 // 0 Comments

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