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Articles by Melanie Gay

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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

Jilly Cooper/Tackle!

My first boyfriend Nick was an aspiring journo and Fulham fan. One day Jilly Cooper then a witty columnist for The Sunday Times granted him an interview in her Fulham home. She was pleased to hear that Fulham had won. I read that she is a football fan now supporting Leeds United. Now aged 86 she is [...]

November 18, 2023 // 0 Comments

Shot with Crimson/Nicola Upson

Novels about Daphne du Maurier are becoming as popular as her own novels. The latest features Josephine Tey, Scottish crime writer best known for Daughter of Time, Alfred Hitchcock and wife Alma and even two appearances by Daphne herself. The story begins in Milton House a country home near [...]

November 12, 2023 // 0 Comments

Olive Kitteridge (HBO)

It’s always an interesting discussion as to whether the book – or the film of it – is better. I reviewed Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Stroud on this website in May 2017. It’s a collection of short stories set in Maine which won the writer the Pulitzer Prize. The HBO film version [...]

November 3, 2023 // 0 Comments

Desert Star – Michael Connolly

Desert Star is the latest Michael Connolly novel in the Harry Bosch series. Harry Bosch was in previous novels a left-field Los Angeles police detective.  Now retired, aged 70, he joins the unsolved crime unit run by current detective Renee Ballard. They investigate two crimes. One is the murder [...]

October 4, 2023 // 0 Comments

April in Spain/John Banville

John Banville is an established Irish writer of both criminal and general fiction. This novel is a blend of the two. The story is of the Eire State Pathologist John Quirke going on holiday with his Austrian psychoanalyst wife Evelyn to San Sebastián. There, by chance, he recognised April, a friend [...]

September 12, 2023 // 0 Comments

Tender is the Night/F. Scott Fitzgerald

I tend to read in themes and this year these have been contemporary Irish authors like Colm Toibin, Sebastian Barry, Joseph O’Connor and John Banville and classic American writers of the early twentieth century like Edith Wharton, Ernest Hemingway and now Scott Fitzgerald. My other reason for [...]

July 12, 2023 // 0 Comments

The Age of Innocence/Edith Wharton

Having enjoyed The Reef I moved onto Edith Wharton’s best-known work The Age of Innocence. Published in 1920 when she was 58 it won her the Pulitzer prize , the first woman to achieve this. The central character is Archer Newland, a young and rich lawyer, and the novel is set in the Gilded Age of [...]

May 25, 2023 // 0 Comments

April in Spain/John Banville

John Banville is an Irish writer who has won the Booker Prize for The Sea and written murder mystery novels under the pseudonym Benjamin Black. This novel has a double narrator – psychopath hitman Terry Tice and retired Dublin pathologist John Quirke – and a double setting – [...]

May 9, 2023 // 0 Comments

The Reef / Edith Wharton

Edith Wharton the first female writer to win the Pulitzer Prize for Age of Innocence is a novelist of whom I have heard but not read. The Reef was written by her in 1912. The story is of George Darrow , a 37 year old diplomat , travelling to see his fiancée the widow Anna Leath in France. She [...]

April 19, 2023 // 0 Comments

The Heath /Hunter Davies

The Heath is a vade mecum by writer and journalist Hunter Davies of a year in the life of Hampstead Heath (2019-2020). The author, born in Cumbria, has lived most of his life in Hampstead and is therefore well-qualified to give this well written, enthusiastic and informative account. He covers the [...]

April 19, 2023 // 0 Comments

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