I Just Had to Read it!!!!
Death Comes to Pemberley - PD James http://www.randomhouse.com/features/pdjames/
Last winter I saw PD James being interviewed on TV about writing this book. It seems it has always been an ambition of hers to write something in the style of Jane Austen / as a tribute to her. I too am a big JA fan and I was thrilled by the idea of a book which picks up sometime after the "happily ever after" of Darcy marrying Elizabeth Bennett - and even more exciting - taking it down the route of a murder mystery!! What's not to like?? PD James is in her 90s, but she is still so spry and quick witted and, once you read the book, there is no denying so much skill in her writing. She has found something quite close to JA's voice, although I felt as if she slipped out of it a little as the story wore on, but this could also be attributed to the details of the crime scene, evidence & trial - which is so unlike the drawing room manners & etiquette which JA's tales are usually built around. She gives us a fascinating glimpse into the (fairly primitive) detective skills and justice system of the regency period.
I recommend this book, as I really enjoyed it, I felt torn away when I wasn't reading it and was very happy with it's revelations and conclusion, but I am not sure I liked having Darcy explain (in PDJ's book) what he meant by his words & actions in JA's book - and I think other Austen fans might get infuriated by this too. Look out for the TV adaptation of this which I believe is being screened this winter.
Alison Wonderland - Helen SmithThis was an e-book which I just had to download - the reviews for it made me so curious!! Alison is a sleuth living in London, she has a psychic postman, she has an eccentric best friend who believes in magic, a neighbor who writes her love poems ... it is all very odd but beautifully written. Helen paints vivid, detailed pictures and there is conspiracy and oddness all around her central character Alison, yet she carries on as if it is normal and 'goes about her day job'.
If you have read anything by Faye Weldon, you may notice a similarity of style. This was an intriguing book, and I don't regret reading it, but I probably wouldn't pick out another of Helen's books to read, it wasn't my type of story.
Film : Sunshine on Leith
I loved loved this film!! I went along expecting a comedy, which it delivered, but in a milder, feelgood way. There are fabulous anthems in this film (I ... who only knew 2 Proclaimers songs loved the music), there is pathos which makes the 'happy' more heightened and the dramatic backdrop of Edinburgh is awesome! I feel sure this beautiful city will have more tourists as a result of this film. I knew Jane Horrocks could sing, but I was really impressed (as a big fan of Misfits) with Antonia Thomas's singing. Heartily recommend this.