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24 November 2009

My Own, Little, Personal Zeitgeist

Emerald Noir continues to exercise the nation.
Today, overwhelmed at last by a genre that fits uneasily
with my giddy temperament, I published a series of
reflections on the character of Gina Rafferty,
energetic heroine of Alan Glynn's
"Winterland".


"My theory is that people who don't like mystery stories are anarchists."
Rex Stout once declaimed.

Got it in one, m'dear. It's not that I don't like a good mystery...
it's just that I cannot unravel the genre from that of the thriller
and once the detective and ganster threads get woven in
I find myself totally bamboozled.

After a mis-spent youth reading every writer from
Poe to Greene under the desk at school I became
besotted with Henry James and Joseph Conrad
and never looked back.
During my first visit to Rome recently, the image of
"Daisy Miller"
flitted across my mind as hordes of tourists
queued to view the Coliseum.
Once acquired, a taste for comedy of manners
leaves little room for any other genre.

I have to admit that I did, just once, read a thriller.
Presented with a new husband and the lively library
of books which accompanied his arrival, I set about
studying my new position with almost scientific zeal.
I read a Dick Francis. Heaven only knows what it was
about and I found the shenanigans in the racing yard
puzzling to the point of being very stressful indeed.

I am delighted to report that I have read
"Winterland" several times in the past few weeks.
I find it crystal clear and highly entertaining.

Just goes to show what a little study will do...

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