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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

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

Underneath the Streets

Underneath the Streets is a political thriller by Adam Macqueen who was for many years a contributor to Private Eye.    The central character is a male prostitute called Tommy Wildeblood who perchance investigates the death of a rent boy in Hampstead Heath. The trail leads him to Devon and to [...]

July 20, 2020 // 0 Comments

American Pastoral/Philip Roth

Readers may recall that I kept this book by my loo as an aid to constipation. Occasionally when a passage of writing engrossed me it moved location but before long was back in its place of residence. It’s problem is that it is long, over-detailed, wordy and there is no narrational time arc. [...]

July 7, 2020 // 0 Comments

The Mystery of Henri Pick/ David Foenkinos

The Mystery of Henri Pick is all the reading rage in France. David Foenkinos It is the story of a manuscript discovered in a library in Cruzon, Brittany, which has a section devoted to unpublished works by wannabe writers. A young editress of the publishing house Grassset called Delphine sees her [...]

June 15, 2020 // 0 Comments

Hitler’s Peace/Philip Kerr

Philip Kerr died a few years ago. So I was both surprised and grateful for this posthumous publication. The story is that the Nazis realised that by 1943 they could not win WW2 and devised a plot to assassinate the Big Three (Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin) at the Tehran Conference. At the same [...]

May 18, 2020 // 0 Comments

Philip Roth/aid to constipation

I am reading Philip Roth’s American Pastoral. To be more exact I’m reading it on the loo and finding it beneficial to the mild constipation from which I suffer. It’s a mighty tome and like many of Roth’s novels about his upbringing in Newark, New Jersey. The story  is of a magnificent [...]

April 25, 2020 // 0 Comments

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