Bookish news – & some treats to look forward to

I mentioned in my last post that I love publishers who reprint out of print classics that have slipped under the radar for whatever reason. Now with e-books, it’s even easier for a canny publisher to bring back an author’s backlist without the thought of being left with a warehouse full of unsold hard copies. I discovered Martin Edwards through his wonderful Lake District series. He also wrote an earlier series featuring Liverpool lawyer Harry Devlin but most of the titles have been out of print for some time. I borrowed Waterloo Sunset from work & enjoyed it very much & Arcturus Classics have recently reprinted the first in the series, All the Lonely People. Now, Andrews UK have reprinted most of the rest of the series as POD paperbacks & e-books. Distinguished crime writers have contributed new Introductions & Martin has written a “Making Of” feature for each title & there’s a teaser chapter of the next book in the series. All the details are here at Martin’s blog.

Martin’s blog also reminded me of Bello, Pan Macmillan’s new e-book imprint. They have some fantastic authors, including Josephine Bell, a mystery novelist I read in the dim dark past but would love to read more of her books. She also wrote historical novels which are part of the new Bello list as well. Other authors include Vita Sackville-West, Eva Ibbotson, R C Sherriff (author of the terrific Persephone reprint, The Hopkins Manuscript), Francis Durbridge & Lillian Beckwith. I’m especially interested in the Lillian Beckwith books as I love stories set in Scotland & her memoirs & novels set in the Hebrides have been out of print for some time.

I’m reading Susanna Kearsley’s novel The Shadowy Horses at the moment. I read all her books as they were published but this was an especial favourite & I recently read a rave review (I can’t remember where now) that made me long to read it again. It’s just as good as I remember & looking at Fantastic Fiction to find out when it was published (easier than going back in my e-book), I discovered that Susanna has a new book due out next March called The Firebird. Tantalisingly that’s all I can find out about it. There’s no blurb on Amazon & nothing on Susanna’s website.

O Douglas is another of my recent favourites, discovered thanks to Greyladies in Edinburgh. They’re publishing two new books next month & one of them is by O Douglas, The Day of Small Things. I think it’s a sequel to The Proper Place which I enjoyed & reviewed here.

Finally, two books that I’ve pre-ordered & can’t wait to get my hands on. Michael Slater’s biography of Charles Dickens was published a few years ago & I loved it. Now, he’s written a book (published in September) about Dickens’s relationship with Nelly Ternan, The Great Charles Dickens Scandal. He not only describes the relationship between Dickens & Nelly & the lengths Dickens went to to keep it a secret but also discusses how the relationship was finally revealed & the many intrigues that accompanied each revelation.

Maggie Lane has been writing about Jane Austen for many years & her thoughts are always insightful & beautifully expressed. Her new book (published in October), Understanding Austen, was the result of a series of articles she wrote for Jane Austen’s Regency World magazine. The articles explored some of Austen’s favourite words which express her ideas about human worth – elegance, openness, fortitude. It’s sure to send me back to reread at least one of the novels.

Well, I can never say I have nothing to read & nothing to look forward to!

14 thoughts on “Bookish news – & some treats to look forward to

  1. Erika, those covers are very reminiscent of Pan covers of the 70s, aren't they? Victoria Holt was another Pan author, I think, & her covers were just as lurid! I've never read any of JB's historical fiction but I do remember reading a few of her mysteries so I'm looking forward to trying more of her books.

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  2. The heir is a wonderul story, isn't it? I read it a few years ago when Hesperus reprinted it. I have vague memories of reading some Lillian Beckwith many years ago & I know Hannah Gordon read the audio books but it's been years & I'm looking forward to reading her again. Not sure when I'll get to it though (haven't even bought the e-books yet) so don't hold your breath!

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  3. Gosh Lilian Beckwith is a blast from the past! Just the mention takes me back to my aunt's house in Northern Ireland, where I whiled away wet days during my annual summer holiday there working my way through the book shelves! She was a fan of Lilian Beckwith and had all the books and I must admit that I did enjoy them.
    Also loved Victoria Holt's books at around the same time (early 70's when I was about 12 or 13)- I was interested to see that some of those have been reprinted although at first glance they don't seem to have aged as well as Mary Stewart!
    Hope Phoebe and Lucky are doing well – my three felines are thoroughly fed up of the almost constant rain: the two boys Marlow and Merlin still make mad dashes out when I get home from work but are yelling to get in again about 30 seconds later (they do have litter trays in case you are thinking they need a toilet break!)

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  4. I love Lilian Beckwith's books. Laugh out loud funny, yet endearingly sweet.

    Based on your previous post, I downloaded some of Fergus Hume's mysteries. I read Mystery of a Hansom Cab years ago but didn't realize he'd written more mysteries.

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  5. The little bit I know about The Firebird is that it features Robbie from The Shadowy Horses and is somehow linked to The Winter Sea as well! Can not wait to be able to read it!!

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  6. I loved Lillian Beckwith! O Douglas is a favorite of mine. Day of small things is a great little book. The reprints are nice but I love finding the old copies online. I've found several that we're first editions for practically nothing. Alibris had quite a lot of O Douglas. Nice post Lyn!

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  7. I just started reading Susanna Kearsley this year but have loved everything I've read by her. The Shadowy Horses is definitely my favourite so far and I'm thrilled she has a new book on the horizon! I've also recently started reading O Douglas's books. The university library here has a good collection so it has been easy to track most of them down and I've quite enjoyed the four I've read (Taken by the Hand being my favourite so far).

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  8. I'm looking forward to reading some LB. Fergus Hume wrote a lot of books but I don't think any of them made him much money. I'll be interested to know what you think of them, Joan.

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  9. I loved Victoria Holt too but I'm not sure I could read them again now! Maybe as I haven't read LB before, I'll be coming to them fresh.
    Phoebe & Lucky are well. They had their flu vaccination on Monday & were very sleepy & off their food for a day or so. Back to normal now. They're enjoying having me at home (I'm on holidays for a couple of weeks) although they could just be enjoying having the heater on in the middle of the day!

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  10. That sounds wonderful, Marg. TSH & TWS are my favourites of her books mostly because they're set in Scotland & have such a strong historical theme. We'll just have to sit on our hands for a while.

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  11. It's good to know that you enjoyed DOST, Peggy Ann. I'm looking forward to reading it.It's good to see LB getting a new lease of life with Bello.

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  12. SK is one of my favourite contemporary writers so I'm thrilled to know there's a new book out soon too. TSH & Winter Sea are my favourites but I alos loved Rose Garden which I read late last year. O Douglas is a newer favourite but I'm enjoying her books too when I can get hold of them.

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