The Au Pairby Emma Rous is a book I borrowed from my mum. Set in England, it’s a mystery with lots of twists and turns. Seraphine Mayes and her twin brother Danny are known as the summer-born Summerbournes: the first set of summer twins to be born at Summerbourne House. But on the day they are born, their mother throws herself to her death, the au pair of the older sibling Edwin flees from the house, and the village is full of whispers of cloaked figures and a stolen baby.
Now twenty-five and mourning the death of her father, Seraphine uncovers a photo from the day of her birth that shows her parents posing with just one baby. Is it Seraphine or Danny? And where is the other twin? Seraphine becomes fixated with the mystery of her birth and can’t shake the thought that something is not quite right. So she sets off to investigate, opening a whole vault of secrets that someone doesn’t want uncovered. Continue reading →
Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James is a continuation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, but with a difference–it’s all about a murder. The action takes place six years after Elizabeth and Mr Darcy’s marriage. They are now the parents of two boys and set to host an annual ball. Jane and Mr Bingley arrive at Pemberley and join Colonel Fitzwilliam and Darcy’s sister, Georgiana. On the eve of the ball the peace at Pemberley is disturbed when a hysterical Lydia Wickham arrives unannounced, screaming that her husband George Wickham is dead.
Something sinister has happened in the woods near Pemberley which will drag Wickham back into Darcy and Elizabeth’s lives.
If you’re reading a crime novel set in a small Australian country town you can be sure of a few things: the story will take place against a harsh, unforgiving natural landscape; there will be a bevy of local characters with secrets to hide–from hard-drinking farmers to small town gossips; everyone will know everyone in town and there will be a couple of long standing feuds; and there will be something bad that happened in the past which is somehow connected to this latest crime. That’s not to say that these books aren’t a pleasure to read, I just often see this pattern.
Perhaps that’s why it took me so long to pick up The Dry by Jane Harper. It was the book on everyone’s lips in 2016, winning rave reviews from critics and racing up the bestsellers chart. Booksellers and book lovers embraced this debut and you would have had to be living under a rock to not have heard about it. It has also been optioned for the screen by Reese Witherspoon. Even now, The Dry is still picking up accolades, the recent being Jane Harper winning the British Crime Writers’ Association Gold Dagger award for the best crime novel of the year. Continue reading →