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30 april 2021

Enola Holmes is Sherlock's smarter sister, as people with Netflix probably know. Being me, I found it easier to start reading Enola's adventures once I'd heard of her.     read more

28 april 2021

As you can tell from the indexes here, I don't read much general fiction, and still less of the contemporary-realist general fiction that still constitutes a big part of publishers' lists. I'm not even sure where I learned about Dorthe Nors' Mirror, Shoulder, Signal: it wasn't in Denmark, it wasn't in The New Yorker, it wasn't the Pushkin Press catalogue or word of mouth or word of Facebook. It was probably along one of those wave fronts of Amazon recommendations that are so easy to surf you end up a long way from where you started with no idea of the intermediate steps.     read more

26 april 2021

A guy drifts into a small town. He meets a woman unhappily married to a much older, wealthy, abusive man. He gains the man's trust and the woman's love – and the next step would appear to be how to get rid of the husband and appropriate his fortune. If this wasn't France in 1956, you'd think it was California in 1934 or 1946, and the premise of James M. Cain's novel Postman Always Rings Twice and Tay Garnett's film adaptation.     read more

23 april 2021

Han van Meegeren is the rare art forger whose work is pretty good in its own right – even, and especially, his forgeries. That work, insofar as it comes on the market (much is still held by the museums that unwittingly bought it) can command a premium on the art market, as long as collectors can be sure they're getting genuine forgeries and not fake forgeries. The project of Jonathan Lopez's 2008 Man Who Made Vermeers – retitled in its 2020 movie tie-in edition as The Last Vermeer – is to scrape the phony glamour away from van Meegeren's reputation and see him unvarnished, as a really bad guy.     read more

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