lørdag den 31. oktober 2009

Spring Cleaning

Not quite the right season, is it? What I should give you is a story called “The Blue Vase”, but what you see is what you get today: My writing course exercise 1 (Dialogue; working title = breaking up).

”I am damn sorry, but I don´t really believe in all this any more.”

“What do you mean?”

Larry indicates the red farm bathed in the April sun. “This. Us.” I have never noticed before that his shoulders stoop.

I plant the spade in the vegetable patch and lean against the handle. Nearly two hundred square metres newly dug mould.

”Well, it doesn´t really swing any more, does it? What I mean is, what is left between us, except work, work, work?”

And now I am supposed to start crying or yelling.

“Liz, for crap´s sake … You must also have noticed that the spark has gone. “

“Nope.” I am not looking at him but the farmhouse with the freshly painted windows.

“Oh, it is just impossible to discuss with you!” He has run out of words, and he turns around while I pull the spade out of the ground.

Afterwards, I clean the spade before I continue my spring work.

And this was the tight and concise ending. But if you bother me, I may be persuaded to add the humorous one tomorrow.

fredag den 30. oktober 2009

Barbara Vine, A Dark-Adapted Eye (1986)

Review no 100!

This psychological thriller is the first one crime fiction writer Ruth Rendell wrote under the pen name Barbara Vine.

In the first chapter, the reader learns that Vera Hillyard, Faith´s aunt, was executed for murder several years before the story begins. Over the next three-hundred pages we get to know Faith´s family, her father John and his sisters Vera and Eden who seem to be such a close unity when Faith has to stay with them during the Second World War. Faith struggles to be accepted by the two formidable women, but on the whole in vain.

I have read this wonderful thriller before, but thoroughly enjoyed meeting the characters again. Rendell´s Wexford series is police procedural of high quality, but I love the Vine books even more. So bear with me, dear reader, but I plan to review (read: recommend) my favourites while I am participating in my new writing course.

It is difficult to say exactly what is so fascinating about Vera and Eden, these two complacent, self-absorbed women, but I think many of us have tried being the third wheel, struggling desperately to fit in, to say the right things and to win grudging praise from our idols. And later there is little Jamie, of course, “the catalyst who had brought it all about.”

No spoilers, but another aspect I admire is the rather open ending. Who is the sinner, who is sinned against?

Well, if you should not have grasped it yet: I think this book is fabulous!

onsdag den 28. oktober 2009

DJ´s Bait in the Box # 38

[This ´delicious´ bait box belongs to Bookwitch.]

This thriller is not the author´s debut, yet in some sense a beginning.

“There was one crumb of comfort for him. No one knew. If today the head cashier remarked upon Vera´s death, as he very likely might, as people would by reason of her sex among other things, I knew my father would present to him a bland, mildly interested face and utter some suitable platitude. He had, after all, to survive.”

The Rules:
If you recognize the quotation, or if you think you are able to guess who wrote it, please post a comment. Just leave a hint, do not spoil the fun by giving too much away. The book will be reviewed on Friday.

Til mine danske læsere.

Undskyld! Jeg burde oversætte indlægget til dansk, og jeg ved godt, jeg er blevet slem til at snyde jer på det sidste.

Men lige nu er jeg i gang med en ny omgang Saxo forfatterskole. Det er fantastisk spændende og lærerigt, men det kræver så meget tid og energi at få noget ud af det, og et af de få steder, jeg kan hugge en hæl og klippe en tå er på min blog. Så indtil videre regner jeg med kun at blogge på engelsk.

tirsdag den 27. oktober 2009

R.D. Wingfield, Night Frost (1992)

[Udgivet på dansk under titlen Nattens Frost i 1995]

This police procedural is the third in the series about Detective Inspector Jack Frost.

The main case at the beginning of this story is the disappearance of fifteen-year-old Paula Bartlett, but the Denton police force have their hands full with a series of burglaries from old women´s homes which later seems to escalate into murder cases. Furthermore, half the station is down with a nasty flu, but in this sea of trouble Jack Frost is his usual phlegmatic, untidy self.

After many digressions Frost and his ambitious acolyte, Gilmore, stumble upon their perpetrators, but when Frost is around, the reader can rest assured that even the most simple police operation will turn into chaos or disaster.

An entertaining police procedural with a slovenly, disorganized DI who disregards the rules and the red tape, but is a good copper at heart, and always catches the villain in the end.

Perhaps I should also mention that in my opinion the books are far better than the rather ordinary TV series.

mandag den 26. oktober 2009

D for Dexter

For this week´s alphabet meme I considered titles with the word death in them, but there are far too many.

Instead I decided to call attention to the very best twentieth century D: Colin Dexter, the author of thirteen novels (correct me if the number is wrong) about Chief Inspector Morse, plus some short stories.

Here is my review of Colin Dexter´s debut: Last Bus to Woodstock.

Here you see my heterogeneous collection of Dexter´s novels. Yes, I am a collector. No, I won´t pay a penny extra to get them all from the same publisher.

And now it is your turn: what is it that makes us love the old, grumpy and querulous detective so much?

lørdag den 24. oktober 2009

The Blue Vase

Weekend post.

As my readers seemed to enjoy participating in my September game by offering ideas for a story about these shoes, I will try to do something similar in October. So here you have a blue vase.

Where might that story take place?
Who are the main characters?
What may have happened to the vase and why?

Send me your ideas or personal wishes, whims and idiosyncrasies in a comment, and I shall try to include as many of them as possible in my next story. Flash, short story or novel? – well, that depends on your ideas.

fredag den 23. oktober 2009

Helen Fitzgerald, Dead Lovely (2007)

This thriller is the author´s debut. Helen Fitzgerald grew up in Australia, but has made her career as a writer in Glasgow.

As the bait quotation shows, we are told on the very first page that Krissie, the main character, cheats on her best friend and eventually kills her. Their friendship started to go wrong when Sarah wanted a child badly, and Krissie got pregnant by accident. As you may have guessed by now, the friends are very different: Sarah is the cautious little housewife, Krissie experiments with this and that, and is hardly ready to settle down with a baby.

And after this introduction, the question why Krissie killed her friend is answered over three hundred pages told by a handful of different characters who are clearly on collision course. This grizzly murder should not be funny, nevertheless it is.

A fast read, but refreshing and quite entertaining. Should I call it light noir, or noir light?

torsdag den 22. oktober 2009

Anthony Gilbert, No Dust in the Attic (1962)

This British author´s real name was Lucy Beatrice Malleson (1899-1973).

Janice Grey is on the run from her husband, the charming but criminal Pat Grey. She fears that he and his gang are not only involved in burglary, but also murder.

This is traditional British crime, one of a long series about the red-haired lawyer and detective Arthur Crook. Janice contacts him because she has no idea whom to trust. Earlier I have read and enjoyed A Nice Cup of Tea (1950) and Night Encounter (1968), but this story seemed boring and naïve, and Crook´s impressive, final spurt was far from convincing.

But small wonder that the quality is uneven considering that the author wrote fifty novels about the same sleuth, plus several other crime novels.

Anthony Gilbert, Farligt Vidne (1974)

Forfatterens rigtige navn er Lucy Beatrice Malleson (1899-1973).

Janice Grey er på flugt fra sin mand, den charmerende men kriminelle Pat Grey. Hun frygter, at han og hans bande ikke kun er indblandet i butiksindbrud, men måske også er involveret i mord.

Dette er en traditionel britisk krimi om den rødhårede sagfører og detektiv, Arthur Crook, som Janice henvender sig til, fordi hun ikke aner, hvem hun kan stole på. Jeg har tidligere læst og nydt Døden tager på udflugt (1973) og Dobbeltmord (1973) af Gilbert, men denne bog forekom mig kedelig og naiv, og Crooks imponerende slutspurt er langt fra overbevisende.

Eftersom forfatteren skrev halvtreds romaner bare om Arthur Crook, er det måske ikke så underligt, at kvaliteten svinger.

onsdag den 21. oktober 2009

DJ´s Bait in the Box # 37

[This week´s bait box - a porcupine bird? - belongs to Dawn, She is Too Fond of Books, and it may tell you more about the characters of the book than you think]

This thriller is the author´s debut.

“I discovered the next piece of me at the bottom of a cliff, where I dragged Sarah´s dead body, bumping her head from rock to rock. Sarah, my best friend since we were little girls, who I´d betrayed and murdered.

And then, in the darkness of my parents´ attic, I found the rest of me.”

The Rules:
If you recognize the quotation, or if you think you are able to guess who wrote it, please post a comment. Just leave a hint, do not spoil the fun by giving too much away. The book will be reviewed on Friday.

tirsdag den 20. oktober 2009

C for Christie, Cleeves, Craig. II

This is a ´recycled post´from October the 9th.

I have decided to join
Kerrie´s crime-related alphabet game instead of the Scandinavian one (because very few of these participants blog about books).

Jeg tror, forfatteren Agatha Christie taler for sig selv.
I think author Agatha Christie is known to all my visitors.

Men kender du også Ann Cleeves, forfatter til den herlige Vera Stanhope-serie, og Shetland-kvartetten?

But do you also know Ann Cleeves, author of the brilliant Vera Stanhope series and the Shetland Quartet?

Eller hvad med Elizabeth Spann Craig, amerikansk forfatter, som har skrevet hygge-krimien Pretty is as Pretty Dies?

Or what about American writer Elizabeth Spann Craig who writes the cozy Myrtle Clover series?

You can find Elizabeth´s great blog here.

søndag den 18. oktober 2009

P.D. James Revisited II

As mentioned yesterday, Unnatural Causes takes place in Suffolk, in a small community where everybody knows everybody else.

All the residents and weekend guests of Monksmere Head are writers of some kind; romance, crime, non-fiction, literary critics, plus the orphaned and crippled little typist. And of course these greater or lesser artists have their little quirks, their allies and their enemies.

In many ways this novel can be compared to Dorothy Sayers´ The Five Red Herrings (1931) which takes place in a colony of temperamental Scottish painters. I remember that I found the story a bit confusing, but I fell for the expression ´a red herring´ which was new to me then. (Not 1931, but mid1980s, probably). And as usual, I was impressed by Sayers´ solution.

Another variation of the artistic circle is Caroline Graham´s Written in Blood, an Inspector Barnaby novel from 1994. A famous artist agrees to visit Midsomer Worthy´s Writer´s Circle, somewhat surprisingly, and a death takes place. Again, the key to the plot is the interrelationship among the writers.

Do you remember similar examples of murder among a small circle of artists? Do you like this kind of setting?

lørdag den 17. oktober 2009

P.D. James Revisited.

My current read is an old Chief Inspector Dalgliesh novel. No, wait, Superintendent Dalgliesh. I have read it many years ago, but it is one of the few early works of the great P.D. James I didn´t own so I bought it earlier this year.

Read the first lines of Unnatural Causes (1967)

"The corpse without hands lay in the bottom of a small sailing dinghy drifting just within sight of the Suffolk coast. It was the body of a middle-aged man, a dapper little cadaver, its shroud a dark pin-striped suit with fitted the narrow body as elegantly in death as it had in life."

A cadaver without hands in a remote place, and I am hooked.
What about you? What are these little tricks that make a book into something you cannot put down?

fredag den 16. oktober 2009

D for drømme (D for Dreams)

[Old house with new roof]

Som mange af mine læsere ved, er min store drøm at blive krimiforfatter. Denne uge har jeg holdt fri fra arbejde (desværre ikke fra at rette stile), og fra min blog. I stedet har jeg skrevet fiction:

Lørdag-søndag: en historisk novelle, Familie-legenden (2500 ord – dansk)

Mandag: flash fiction, Casualty (625 ord – engelsk)

Tirsdag: flash fiction, Alley Cats (300 ord – engelsk)

Onsdag: flash fiction, Ups and Downs (100 ord – engelsk)

Torsdag: flash fiction, The Attack (400 ord – engelsk)

Fredag: flash fiction, Sweet Childhood Memories (en kladde på foreløbig 470 ord – engelsk).

D for Dreams.
As many of my readers will know, my dream is to become a published crime fiction writer.
This week has been a week off work (but not essays, unfortunately) and off blogging. Instead I have been writing fiction:

Weekend: a historical short story, The Family Legend (2500 words in Danish).

Monday: flash fiction, Casualty (625 words in English)

Tuesday: flash fiction, Alley Cats (300 words in English)

Wednesday: flash fiction, Ups and Downs (100 words in English)

Thursday: flash fiction, The Attack (400 words in English).

Friday: flash fiction, Sweet Childhood Memories (first draft of 470 words – English).

torsdag den 15. oktober 2009

October Joys

I finished marking essays this afternoon, and now I could have done something about the washing, but then you would never have seen how wonderful our wood is right now, how my husband spends several days every year, or how my daughters spent Sunday afternoon.

lørdag den 10. oktober 2009


Just wanted to tell you I am taking the next week off. Not that I am going anywhere; I have just decided that my autumn holiday should also be a holiday from my blog because I know how many hours I spend reading, writing my post, visiting around a hundred fabulous blogs, commenting, discussing etc.

I love it all, but this week I am going to try to write fiction instead.

See you – and I know I am going to regret this because I will miss you all horribly. But I will be back soon!

Michael Robotham, Drowning Man aka Lost (2005)

[Ikke oversat til dansk]

This thriller is Australian writer Robotham´s second. Again it takes place in London, and the psychologist Joe O´Loughlin features, but this time the main protagonist is DI Vincent Ruiz (second fiddle in the first novel).

Robotham succeeds in catching the reader from page one. Vincent Ruiz survives but has lost his memory and has a hard time convincing the police (and some quite insistent criminals) that he is not just pretending.

It seems that the shooting incident is related to a little girl who disappeared three years earlier in what is a variation of a closed room case. Though a paedophile has been imprisoned, Ruiz has never been able to let this case go, especially because there was no body. Is little Mickey really alive, or is this only wishful thinking by Ruiz and her desparate mother? Ánd how important are his own childhood experiences for his involvement in this case?

I did enjoy the story quite a lot, but to be honest I don´t need any more conspiracy-like plots right now. (Robotham, Stieg Larsson, even Louise Penny has a touch of it).

Language: I read Robotham´s debut in Danish, and liked it, but reading him in English is far better!

fredag den 9. oktober 2009

C for Christie, Cleeves, Craig.

Jeg tror, forfatteren Agatha Christie taler for sig selv.
I think author Agatha Christie is known to all my visitors.

Men kender du også Ann Cleeves, forfatter til den herlige Vera Stanhope-serie, og Shetland-kvartetten?

But do you also know Ann Cleeves, author of the brilliant Vera Stanhope series and the Shetland Quartet?

Eller hvad med Elizabeth Spann Craig, amerikansk forfatter, som har skrevet hygge-krimien Pretty is as Pretty Dies?

Or what about American writer Elizabeth Spann Craig who writes the cozy Myrtle Clover series?

You can find Elizabeth´s great blog here.

torsdag den 8. oktober 2009

Count Down

No, this is not our cottage. Ours is larger, and perhaps also more luxurious. This one is an old fisherman´s cottage near the harbour - cozy, isn´t it?

And the point of today´s post? Well, this blogger needs a holiday - one day to go, and I will have plenty of time to sleep, read, write, relax, correct those essays, enjoy some time with my family and ... for a whole week.

onsdag den 7. oktober 2009

DJ´s Bait in the Box # 36

[Denne bog er desværre ikke oversat til dansk]

Using her last coins, my daughter bought this book in the airport and gave it to me. As you can see, it came in its own bait box. It is the author´s second, and I think it has traveled farther than I ever have.

“People are shouting and shining torches in my eyes. In the meantime, I´m hugging this big yellow-painted buoy like it´s Marilyn Monroe. A very fat Marilyn Monroe, after she took all the pills and went to seed. …

A guy with a really thick moustache and pizza breath is panting in my ear. He´s wearing a life vest and trying to peel my fingers away from the buoy. I´m too cold to move. He wraps his arms around my chest and pulls me backwards through the water. More people, silhouetted against the lights, take hold of my arms, lifting me on to the deck.

´Jesus, look at his leg!´ someone says.

´He´s been shot.´

Who are they talking about?”

The Rules:
If you recognize the quotation, or if you think you are able to guess who wrote it, please post a comment. Just leave a hint, do not spoil the fun by giving too much away.
The books will be reviewed on Saturdays in the future (as Friday is ABC day).

tirsdag den 6. oktober 2009

Fischer´s Formula

Else Fischer, Hvorfor døde Anette (1959).

Instead of posting an ordinary review of this crime novel (one of my bargains of last week), I will try to review Else Fischer´s authorship. Several of her crime novels for adults were published even before I was born so the ten or so that I own have all been bought second-hand. They have not been translated into English, and she died in 1976.

On the whole, I like her Danish ´puzzles´, but they have one ´flaw´ in common: Fischer tends to follow a formula which is far too easy to recognize when you have read a few of them.

The main character is a young girl, usually very pretty, who visits or moves to a new environment. She gets caught up in something which seems to be suicide or an accident, and for some reason she lies about her name, her movements or her past (white lies which don´t seem to matter). Later it is clear that a murder has been committed, the police are involved, and our young girl is not really able to get out of her lies (often because she feels she must protect a brother or male friend, or something happens to interrupt her confession to the police).

Other common tricks are the girl lending her coat and scarf to another girl (who is attacked by the murderer soon after), the girl wanting to get in touch with an important witness (who is invariably killed before she has a chance to speak to him) etc.

The other female characters may seem friendly in the beginning, but later they are suspicious or jealous of our damsel in distress. The three-four young men all seem to be interested in her, but usually one of them is the murderer, one just wants to worm secrets out of her, and only one is genuinely interested in her and tries to save her.

And the environment: either a remote cottage or an ordinary (large) family house which is at some point isolated because of storm, snow, or a power cut.

So why read Else Fischer at all? Well, each story is entertaining enough – and you never know exactly who the murderer is.

Have you come across other crime authors who tend to use a formula?

mandag den 5. oktober 2009

Martin McDonagh, The Beauty Queen of Leenane (1996)

[Denne bog er ikke oversat til dansk]

This Irish work is not traditional crime, but drama. The reason why I have decided to write a short review is that this story about an old, ailing mother and her fortyish daughter is an excellent psychological thriller.

The whole drama takes place in a rural cottage in County Galway, and the best way to give you an impression of the main characters is probably through a somewhat long quotation:

Mag: I do be scared, Maureen. I be scared what if me hand shook and I was to pour it over me hand. And with you at Mary Pender´s, then where would I be?

Maureen: You´re just a hypochondriac is what you are.

Mag: I´d be lying on the floor and I´m not a hypochondriac.

Maureen: You are too and everybody knows that you are. Full well.

Mag: Don´t I have a urine infection if I´m such a hypochondriac?

Maureen: I can´t see how a urine infection prevents you pouring a mug of Complan or tidying up the house a bit when I´m away. It wouldn´t kill you.

Mag: (
pause) Me bad back.

Maureen: Your bad back.

Mag: And me bad hand. (
Mag holds up her shriveled hand for a second.)

Maureen: (
quietly) Feck … (Irritated.) I´ll get your Complan so if it´s such a big job! From now and ´till doomsday! The one thing I ask you to do. Do you see Annette or Margo coming pouring your Complan or buying your oul cod in butter sauce for the week?

Mag: No.

Maureen: No is right, you don´t. And carrying it up that hill. And still I´m not appreciated.

Mag: You
are appreciated, Maureen.

Maureen: I´m not appreciated.

Mag: I´ll give me Complan another go so, and give it a good stir for meself.

Maureen: Ah, forget your Complan. I´m expected to do everything else, I suppose that one on top of it won´t hurt. Just a … just a blessed fecking skivvy is all I´m thought of!

Mag: You´re not, Maureen.

Maureen slams a couple of cupboard doors after finishing with the shopping and sits at the table, after dragging its chair back loudly. Pause.

Mag: Me porridge, Maureen, I haven´t had, will you be getting? No, in a minute, Maureen, have a rest for yourself …

Even my 18-19-year-old students loved this, and several of them admitted that they had been reading ahead! A horrible story about the relationship between mother and daughter, with a strong element of pitch-dark, Irish humour.

søndag den 4. oktober 2009

Stieg Larsson Day

American covers 1 + 2, and the first French cover (weird, isn´t it?)

Three Danish covers - conspiracy & playing hide-and-seek, perhaps.

Three Swedish covers. Focus on Lisbeth Salander, rather sinister colours.

And finally, the British ones which imitate the Swedish style to some extent.

For the very interesting Spanish covers, visit Jose´s blog - thank you, Jose, for taking part in the fun!

lørdag den 3. oktober 2009

Stieg Larsson, The Girl who Kicked the Hornet´s Nest (2009)

The third and final volume of this Swedish trilogy begins where volume two stopped with Lisbeth Salander, the girl who nearly kicked the bucket. Are you ready for several hundred pages of excitement?

Again, Larsson does not try to hide his agenda: he wants to do more than write a crime story, this time by adding short sections about amazons, women who voluntarily leave the kitchen in order to fight.

The real action begins with Lisbeth Salander being admitted to Sahlgrenska Hospital in Gothenburg after the dramatic clash with her father, leaving both of them badly hurt. At the same time a frustrated Mikael Blomkvist in handcuffs rages against the police because they did not listen to his warnings about the danger of Robert Niedermann, a cynical, murderous juggernaut. With Lisbeth put out of action, Blomkvist must try to enlighten the police with regard to what really happened while they were chasing an innocent woman.

A few words about the plot: an extensive conspiration, carried out over several years by a group associated with Säpo, the Swedish security service. Mikael Blomkvist, Erika Berger, Dragan Armanskij and others fight to unravel it all to prevent Lisbeth from being committed to a mental hospital again.

There is no doubt that Larsson is a fount of knowledge within the areas he writes about, e.g. editing a magazine and uncovering political scandals, but sometimes he forgets to show, not tell. So what makes the reader swallow one chapter after the other, is the new and different Pippi Longstocking character, Lisbeth Salander, and a handful of other strong women who are allowed to fend for themselves without having to be rescued and held in hand by the male characters all the time.

Stieg Larsson, Luftkastellet der blev sprængt (2007).
Det tredje og formodentlig sidste bind i serien om Mikael Blomkvist og Lisbeth Salander. Næsten syv hundrede siders spænding.

Igen lægger Larsson ikke skjul på, at han vil mere end fortælle en kriminalhistorie, denne gang ved at indlægge afsnit om amazoner, altså kvinder som frivilligt forlader kødgryderne for at slås.
Den egentlige handling begynder imidlertid, hvor bind to slap: Lisbeth Salander bliver indlagt på Sahlgrenska Sygehus i Göteborg efter det dramatiske opgør med sin far, sønderskudt og tapet sammen med isoleringstape for at forhindre forblødning, mens lægerne kæmper for hendes liv.
Samtidig raser Mikael Blomkvist, iført håndjern, fordi det svenske politi ikke tog hans advarsel om, at de var på vej ud til Robert Niedermann, en kynisk morder i kampvognsklasse, alvorligt. Mens Lisbeth ligger brak, må Blomkvist i gang med en længere historie til politiet om hvad der virkelig er foregået, mens de har brugt tiden på at eftersøge hende.

Plottet i meget korte træk: en omfattende konspiration, udført over en længere årrække af en gruppe med tilknytning til Säpo, Sveriges hemmelige politi. Mikael Blomkvist, Erika Berger, Dragan Armanskij med flere kæmper for at trævle hele redeligheden op, før Lisbeth risikerer at blive tvangsindlagt på en psykiatrisk afdeling igen.

Stieg Larsson har tydeligvis stor viden om de områder han beskæftiger sig med, bl.a. at redigere et tidsskrift, afdække politiske skandaler mm, men af og til forklarer han næsten mere end nødvendigt (telling, not showing). Det der driver historien fremad, og får læseren til at sluge det ene kapitel efter det andet, er i høj grad Pippi Langstrømpe-figuren Lisbeth Salander, og en håndfuld andre, stærke kvinder, som får lov at klare sig selv uden hele tiden at skulle reddes og holdes i hånden af de mandlige aktører.

fredag den 2. oktober 2009

Liza Cody, Dupe (1980)

[Photo: first and second volume of the Danish series]

This British novel is the first of six Anna Lee books and also the author´s debut.

Anna Lee, the youngest and only female detective working for Brierly Security, is quite surprised when Brierly lets her look into a case of death. This is possibly because her skeptical employer is certain that twenty-two-year-old Deirdre´s death was an accident which means that Anna´s meddling cannot cause much harm.

It is quite difficult for Anna to gather information about Deirdre´s life as she did not only keep large parts of her life secret to her parents, but also to her two flat mates. Deirdre dreamed about a career within the film business, but her ´friends´ did not believe her stories about the famous film people she had met. And of course the story involves a serious crime, but no more about the plot here.

Anna Lee is a charming protagonist, a single girl who lives in a flat above her friends Selwyn (lazy and awkward poet) and Bea (his generous, hard-working wife). Anna knows how to handle cars and electrical equipment, and she is excellent at worming people´s secrets out of them.

Entertaining series with a likeable and convincing main character. To some extent it may be compared to Sue Grafton´s alphabet series.

Liza Cody, Snydt (1992).
Denne britiske krimi er den første af seks om Anna Lee, og samtidig forfatterens debut.

Anna Lee, yngste og eneste kvindelige detektiv ansat på Brierly Security, får til sin egen overraskelse lov til at påtage sig en sag om et dødsfald. Muligvis fordi hendes skeptiske chef er sikker på, 22-årige Deirdres død skyldes en ulykke, og så kan det vel ikke gøre den store skade, at Anna stikker sin næse i sagen.

Det viser sig hurtigt, at det er usædvanlig svært at samle oplysninger om Deirdres liv, da hun ikke bare har holdt stort set alt hemmeligt for sine forældre, men også for de to piger, hun delte lejlighed med. Hendes store drøm var at komme indenfor i filmbranchen, men ´veninderne´ tror ikke meget på historierne om de kendte filmfolk, hun har mødt. Og selvfølgelig ligger der noget kriminelt bag, men ikke mere om plottet her.

Anna Lee er et forfriskende bekendtskab, en enlig ung pige som bor til leje hos vennerne Selwyn (doven og ubehjælpsom digter) og Bea (hans gavmilde, hårdtarbejdende kone). Anna er god til biler og elektriske apparater, og fremragende til at snakke hemmeligheder ud af andre mennesker.

Underholdende serie med en tiltalende og overbevisende hovedperson. Den kan til en vis grad sammenlignes med Sue Graftons alfabet-serie.