Three gorgeous women who 10 years ago travelled as friends and returned as business partners, fostering relationships with traditional artists in West Bengal and South Africa to promote their traditional skills responsibly and fairly to a wider audience.
As soon as Rebecca Fletcher (my reader in crime – so sorry) mentioned “The Christie Affair” my tiny Marple senses began tingling. “What?” I screeched “As in AGATHA CHRISTIE!???? WE HAVE TO REVIEW THIS ONE!!!!!!!!” “Well, yes, but you haven’t read it yet, you might not like it…” replied a very calming Rebecca F. My voice dropped several tones “I will love it”.
I did. Oh – is that a spoiler alert? Drat. I shall let the mistress of new books and literary knowledge tell you about it but my goodness I really enjoyed it – another slow starter that actually made me furious to begin with and almost closed the book permanently but continued (my love of Agatha Christie knows no bounds) and was extremely very grateful. What a fantastic, cleverly written book. Or maybe I hated it (this is just to retain an air of mystery ok?).
The book reimagines the period when Christie went missing so this led our lady detectiving minds to consider “The Big Four” as our second pick (actually Rebecca F’s 13 year Christie aficionado daughter suggested it) as the first book published after Agatha’s mysterious 11 day disappearance. It is very different to her other books and we have had a gay old time coming up with conspiracy theories worthy of poor Hastings.
The final book is probably the best Mother’s Day present suggestion ever. Buy it for yourself – and your mother – and anyone who loves books and music actually.
Mantle, January 2022
‘I wonder now if Agatha had a plan. A writer, after all, she would have carefully considered every line of prose she wrote and every possibility to spring from her next movement. When I picture her at her desk, I don’t see a woman in a fugue state or on the verge of amnesia. I see the kind of determination you only recognize if you’ve felt it yourself.’
The crime writer Agatha Christie disappeared from her home in Berkshire on Friday 3rd December 1926, in what proved to be the perfect tabloid drama. She was missing for eleven days.
In a brilliant reimagining of the days following Agatha’s disappearance, The Christie Affair follows Nan O’Dea, mistress to Agatha’s husband, in a story of love, loss, betrayal and revenge. Agatha’s world of country house weekends and literary fame couldn’t be more different from Nan’s tough London upbringing and the life she dreamed of in Ireland which ended in tragedy. So, what could mistress and wife possibly have in common? Why is Nan hellbent on destroying Agatha’s marriage and what if the writer’s disappearance wasn’t the only mystery to unravel?
Published in 1927
‘If one man does not make a move, the other must, and by permitting the adversary to make the attack one learns something about him.’
A thriller from the queen of crime herself. Christie’s most beloved detective Hercule Poirot becomes involved in the world of international crime and espionage when he tries to uncover the truth about the ‘4’. Narrated by trusty sidekick Captain Hastings, who is home on a surprise visit from Argentina, a man arrives at Poirot’s apartment covered in dust and babbling about world domination and a criminal organisation named the Big Four. A murdered chess Grand Master, suspicious deaths, a man they call ‘the destroyer’ and plenty of smoke and mirrors, has Poirot met his match this time in a duel to the death?
This month’s third choice is perhaps a tad off-piste but it does promise a little work for the grey cells.
Headline Home December 2021
‘Music isn’t just sonorous air. Millions of people, over millenia, have drawn robust hope through music. Hope that can be directed into other things: action, activism, inspiration, consolation, even survival.’
2020 was the year in which everything turned upside down with Covid-19. For broadcaster, writer and violinist, Clemency Burton-Hill, it was also the year she suffered a catastrophic brain haemorrhage which left her in a coma for 17 days and unable to speak, write, walk or even move the right side of her body when she came round. For anyone who has ever sought solace in a piece of music, be it pop, dance, folk, rock, jazz or classical, you’ll know the power of being transported, lifted or held by a favourite song or bars. Having lived and breathed music for as long as she could remember, music became a source of hope during Clemency’s road to recovery.
Following the success of her first and much-loved collection, Year of Wonder, Clemency continues to demystify and curateclassical music for all in Another Year of Wonder – Classical Music for Every Day. She’s the perfect guide. There’s no formality, no pretention or pomp – Clemency just shares a piece of music to listen to each day, ‘simply from my heart to yours.’ It’s a heartfelt eclectic mix which offers a little space to pause in the hum of everyday life to remember, to fall in love again or discover something new, to think, to feel as you listen.
Head over to the fabulous Ibbi to see their stunning new range of Kantha Throws just arrived, their beautiful glass hobnail jugs (these are the two items I own from them that get the most “where did you get this from?” questions! They also have gorgeous colourful ceramics, candlesticks, jewellery – a veritable bazaar of joy xxx