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.