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Paul Oldham

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2023 Reading Goal

80% complete! Paul Oldham has read 42 of 52 books.

LiestoTell (Paperback) 3 stars

A good read but not so sure about the plot

3 stars

This is the third of the DI Clare Mackay books and it's a fine and easy read. My only reservation is that the central plot behind it is ... implausible, both in execution and final outcome. But it's nicely woven together all the same.

Charity Ends at Home (Paperback, 2003, Ulverscroft Large Print) 4 stars

A mystery set in the quiet and respectable market town of Flaxborough and featuring the …

Purbright and Teatime - what a team

4 stars

Book 5 of the Flaxborough chronicles and we're now into the late 60s and so there's even the mention of a computer. Watson was really getting into his stride by this book with a pleasing plot and some engaging characters.

Hopjoy Was Here (Hardcover, 2002, Black Dagger Crime) 4 stars

The third of the Flaxborough novels

3 stars

This one shows its age a bit: references to WWII, Philby and the cold war, a woman described as a nymphomaniac (a term I've not heard in a long while); but it's an entertaining plot with a neat twist in the end. And Colin Watson books are just an easy and entertaining read - I read this one completely today.

Coffin, Scarcely Used (Paperback, 2005, Ulverscroft Large Print) 5 stars

An introduction to Flaxborough

4 stars

I've been a fan of Colin Watson's Flaxborough novels since I was first introduced to them via the dramatisation of a couple of them on BBC Radio 4. This is the first, where we meet Purbright and Love for the first time and get to know the fictitious Lincolnshire town.

Lucilla Teatime, perhaps my favourite character, comes later in the series but it's still a good read.

Going Postal (Paperback, 2005, HarperTorch) 5 stars

Suddenly, condemned arch-swindler Moist von Lipwig found himself with a noose around his neck and …

Worth the re-read

3 stars

I confess that 'Going Postal' was never one of my favourite of the Discworld novels but re-reading it for the first time (I think) since I first bought it revealed some nice bits of Pratchett humour which I'd forgotten. The passing references to the gods particularly amused me. I'm still not convinced that Moist von Lipwig is one of his best heroes but I do have 'Making Money' to hand, which also features him, so I'll give that a go and see if Terry can convince me.

Maid (2023, HarperCollins Publishers Limited) 3 stars

You don't see her, but she sees you ...

5 stars

This is touted as a whodunnit but to be honest, although it is, it's much more about the style of it. It's written in the first person and our hero is ... special ... as becomes increasingly clear as the book progresses and you grow to love her, despite her weirdness.

If I had a criticism, although it's only a small one, there's a final twist in the tail which I didn't think really fitted well with the rest of the narrative and it wasn't really needed, but this shouldn't distract you from what is a very fine, if rather different, novel.

The Satsuma Complex (2022, Simon & Schuster, Limited) 3 stars

Not bad for a celeb author

3 stars

I'm always suspicious of celeb authors ... but then of course there's Richard Osman.

As for Mortimer he does an OK job to be honest. There's a slightly unlikely hero, a plausible plot, a twist which in truth I did see coming, and it all works out all right in the end so that's no bad thing. So yeah, worth a read.

Down the Hatch (2021, Creative Media Partners, LLC) 3 stars

Winton finds the right tone

3 stars

This is the third book in the series starring the Bodger and to my mind the best. He's lost the serious elements, which he didn't handle well in 'We Joined The Navy' and toned down the sexism too. It's still very much a period read but it's a lot better and more enjoyable.

Also book 26 of 52 and we're not yet at the end of June so that's good news.

Djinn Rummy (Paperback, 1995, Orbit) 2 stars

If this is the sort of thing you like ...

2 stars

... then you'll probably like it rather more than I did. Easy reading but just not funny which, given it's meant to be "a work of comic genius" is a bit of a disappointment.

On the plus side it did only cost me £1 from a second hand bookshop in Ballater. On the down side I did buy two more of his books at the same time ...