Tag Archives: Serpent’s Tail

Calendar Girl – Stella Duffy

Having read ‘The Room of Lost Things’ earlier in the year I had wanted to read some of the other novels that Stella Duffy had done, and as I was seeing her at the London Literary Festival two nights on the trot I thought it might be the perfect time. After umming and ahhhing which one I went with (naturally the first) one of her crime novels. I like a bit of crime.

‘Calendar Girls’ is told in alternating (bar in the middle) characters stories. In one we are reading about Saz Martin and her life as a Private Detective, well that’s what she is trying to be although she’s avoiding the Enterprise Allowance people like the plague. However a new case has come up that looks to turn her business around, if only things were that easy. John Clark is looking for a woman, a woman he has had dinner with on Fridays on and off for a while, a woman he has lent money to, a woman who has disappeared and a woman who he knows nothing about, he called her ‘September’. How will she find this woman, where will it take her (New York actually), what was she up to and why has she disappeared?

The other part of the story is told by stand up comedienne Maggie, who meets ‘the girl with the Kelly McGillis body’ a mysterious secretive woman she moves in with and falls in love with, what secrets does she hide? How are Maggie and Saz’s stories connected? You’ll have to read the book to find out.

This is a great crime novel… hang on this is a great novel. It’s intelligent (some mentions of Daphne’s Rebecca), in some places witty (Nancy Drew mentions), well paced and most importantly has characters you care about. Some crimes novels just have dead nobody’s on a slab in the morgue that you know nothing about and don’t really care about, you just want to know who the killer is. I really enjoyed this and have read it quickly as I like the two women so much both of them slightly messed up and flawed and both human stories that made them more real. Now I have found Saz Martin I am looking forward to the next five mysteries she gets involved with and plan on joining her for the thrill.

2 Comments

Filed under Review, Serpent's Tail, Stella Duffy

Service Wash – Rupert Smith

One of the regulars at Polari is Rupert Smith and I decided that I should give one of his books a go, and Service Wash was the first on the list in Amazon. So I bought the book a few weeks ago and have been waiting for the perfect time to sit back and enjoy it, and after the Holocaust and beheading of Anne Boleyn I thought it was time for a book about celebrity.

I would just like to say I love the cover, though it has nothing to do with the actual story, I just think it’s a brilliant retro cheeky cover. Sorry I digress. This is the story of Eileen Weathers (who would be played fabulously by Ann Mitchell of Widows fame) who is like a younger Vera Duckworth kind of soap legend. She is at the peak of her fame and writing an autobiography that’s going seriously wrong, so Six Books part fo the soap franchise hire Paul Mackrell to ghost write it, Paul isn’t having much luck with literature and so decides to give it a go. What follows is a farce of mayhem, money and murder.

I really enjoyed this novel it made a nice break to have a book on the go that made me laugh and was all about the complexities and materialism of celebrity not some harrowing complex tale of loss love and betrayal – which I love you just need a break sometimes. Some people call this throwaway literature or a ‘good holiday read’ I call it entertainment as it entertained me for a good several hours.

Smith writes this book with a knowing edge, he has indeed ghost written an autobiography, written several TV-tie-in books and other novels you feel there is a lot of him in Paul. I would recommend this when you want some frivolous fun.

1 Comment

Filed under Review, Rupert Smith, Serpent's Tail