Thursday 14 April 2011

Losing Sleep!

There I was thinking I hadn’t read anything I wanted to recommend over the past few weeks and suddenly I’m bowled over by not one, but two books one after another.

Thanks to hydra for recommending The Coroner’s Lunch by Colin Cotterill on her blog a while back. Intrigued, I bought it. And I am so glad I did. The characters – oh the characters!

I read too many so-so books and eke out those by authors I love and now thanks to hydra, I’ve found an author to add to my loved list. And I was practically dancing round the room when I found out that there are seven more novels in Colin Cotterill’s Dr Siri Paiboun mysteries. SEVEN!!! It felt like Christmas – or it will do once I start adding them to my collection, if you can call one a collection…

Siri is a 72 year old Coroner in Laos and he is one of the most endearing characters I’ve read in a long time. Dr Siri isn’t just my cup of tea, he’s the whole flipping teapot!

Colin Cotterill also has a damn fine website here. See if you can find the naked bookseller if you visit. I spent far too much time there wandering round enjoying myself. Not because of the naked bookseller I hasten to add.

Also my cup of tea - John Harding’s Florence and Giles. I’ve read all his previous books so knew this was going to be good – what I didn’t expect were shivers down my spine.

Florence and Giles is a hugely atmospheric book set in 1890s America and told from the perspective of 12 year old orphan Florence in her own imaginative language.

You soon get into Florence’s flow and some of her phrases are just breathtakingly beautiful. You even start thinking in Florencespeak. The tension builds as Florence strives to protect her little brother Giles from the new governess who appears to possess supernatural powers.

It’s hard to know how to describe Florence and Giles – sinister, charming, spooky, Gothic – none of those words do it justice, but all I can say is that I know a book is doing its job when I wake up in the night and find I’m scared to open my eyes. It isn’t often a book gets under my skin like that. I loved it!

So there we have it, not one but two books that have kept me from my sleep because I just couldn’t put them down.


  1. It is exciting when you discover a 'new' author you like has written several books.

  2. Thanks for these Teresa, will have a look. I'm like that with P.G. Wodehouse. I know I'll always have more of his books to read as there's so many.

  3. Thank you for sharing your book reviews with us. I shall hunt the books out.

  4. Me too! I've had a run of mediocre books recently, and it's good to have some recommendations.

  5. Thanks for the 'heads up', Teresa. I've noted the authors, and added them to my own lengthy list.

  6. I've added them to my list too - spooky and gothic sounds good to me, though I might not be able to read it at night!

  7. Yes indeed, Patsy!

    Great isn't it, Suzy, knowing there are more.

    Hope you enjoy them, Jarmara.

    Mediocre - yes, Frances, that sums up several books I'd read recently until I got to these two!

    You're welcome, Martin.

    It's so well written, Karen, you feel you are there and experience things along with Florence!

  8. These books sound really compelling. I want to add them to my list for holiday reading. I feel like a good fright at the moment!

  9. Wow - two wonderful recommendations, Teresa. Thank for that, as it's always good to find new authors.

  10. I like a good fright too, Joanna. Not like the one I had last night though - large spider landing on my book pile!!

    I'm going to treat myself to two more Dr Siri books, Rosemary :-)

  11. Oooh, more for the pile - thanks for the recommendations.


  12. I love a nice pile of books, Suzanne :-) The more on it the merrier xx

  13. Oh dear two more books to keep me from my writing. Thank you, I think, Teresa, for recommending them! Discipline where art thou?! I get into a good book (reading is definitely my favourite, favourite hobby and I love all kinds of books)and nothing else gets done. Tips please x

  14. Keep reading and call it research, Sue! That's my excuse!

  15. So glad you like the Dr Siri mysteries. I am also hooked on Elizabeth Peters' Amelia Peabody books, about a Victorian Egyptologist, her demonically handsome husband and hyper-intelligent young son, written rather tongue-in cheek but very well researched as Peters is a professor of Egyptology herself. I must try John Harding. Never read anything by him. I have ten books on my shelf waiting to be read. I must keep away from 3 for 2 book offers!

  16. I am so grateful to you, hydra, for putting me on to Dr Siri. I was hopping round with glee when I realised how many more books there are in the series.
    I'll have a look at Elizabeth Peters, thank you!
    Have you read any of Barbara Cleverly's Joe Sandilands books? The ones set in India are a great read.
    Those 3 for 2 offers are too good to miss :-)