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dyinglightstuartmacbride40365_f.jpgI am developing a great fondness for crime novels and thrillers set in Scotland, often referred to as Tartan Noir; I especially love Christopher Brookmyre.

When looking for something suitable before Mr B’s next novel, I came across Stuart MacBride, largely by accident and simply because I liked the look of the paperback cover for his first novel, Cold Granite. I enjoyed it so much that I had ordered the sequel before finishing it.

Dying Light is once again set in Aberdeen and features DS Logan Macrae; things are not going well for him in this novel and he has been assigned to work with DI Steel in the “Screw-up Squad”. I won’t go into the plot, but it is gruesome and very satisfying. I particularly enjoy the dark humour which runs through the story and found myself giggling more than once. I love the reminder that almost everything we see on TV crime is English or US law and that there is no right to counsel in Scotland until after the police interview is complete, so asking for your lawyer is a bit redundant.

I can highly recommend this, and am looking forward the the third book in the series which should be with us soon.

As I mentioned before, the Book God was very generous on the birthday present front, especially considering that Christmas wasn’t that long ago. From the list thoughtfully provided by me he chose:

Beware of Pity – I have a couple of Stefan Zweig books already, including one on Mary, Queen of Scots (or MQS for short), but rather fancied this because of an article in (I think) Slightly Foxed – and it has a lovely Klimt cover;

Whale – I have been fascinated by whales of all sorts since I was small, and have adopted an orca through the Whale & Dolpin Conservation Society for almost 10 years, so I’m really looking forward to exploring their place in world culture. This looks like a really interesting series, though I think I’ll avoid the book on cockroaches!

David Rizzio & MQS – murder at Holyrood! Kind of speaks for itself and just irresistible to me – no books on 16th century for Christmas this year;

The Thistle & the Rose – given that it’s 300 years since the Union and that I’m a Scot married to an Englishman, I suspect that this topic will loom large in purchases during the coming year. Plus I really like Allan Massie – I enjoyed his contributions to the excellent programme on John Buchan which BBC Four showed over the holiday season.

My esteemed friend the Hon. Mrs W. was also kind enough to buy me a small token to add to my ever-growing Bloomsbury pile – Hyde Park Gate News – which has miraculously survived being unwrapped in a central London watering hole on the eve of my birthday, surrounded by the remains of very sticky cocktails.

It was my birthday at the end of last month so the Book God and I headed to Glasgow for the first visit in a number of years. We had a great time, and bought some more books to add to the presents the BG had kindly bought me before we left.

I didn’t get much reading done while we were there but the trip was relaxing nonetheless, though I’m now forbidden from starting any sentence with “I remember when this used to be…..”

Bride of the Book God

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Scottish, in my fifties, love books but not always able to find the time to read them as much as I would like. I’m based in London and happily married to the Book God.

I also blog at Bride of the Screen God (all about movies and TV) and The Dowager Bride, if you are interested in ramblings about stuff of little consequence

If you would like to get in touch you can contact me at brideofthebookgod (at) btinternet (dot) com.

The Sunday


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February 2007