Recently I asked Sharp what she was reading. Her reply:
I’m reading a real mix of things at the moment. The first is an e-thology of short stories by Graham Smith, Harry Charters Chronicles, which all feature a noir alcoholic gumshoe in the mould of Marlowe and Spade. Laconic and wisecracking – as well as hard drinking – Harry Charters dispenses rough justice rather than the legal kind. He shouldn’t be a sympathetic character, but he is not without his own brand of charm. Graham Smith is a comparatively new writer, and although this sometimes shows in the prose, his enthusiasm and characterisation shine through. It kept me turning the pages to the end.Visit Zoë Sharp's website.
The next on the reading pile is Sue Grafton’s V is for Vengeance. I confess that although I was an avid follower of Grafton’s PI Kinsey Millhone from the beginning of the alphabet series to about N or M, I’ve fallen way behind with the later books. I’ve been asked to moderate a panel at CrimeFest in May with Ms Grafton, so I’m bringing my reading up to date. This has been a great opportunity to catch up with tales of the California private eye and remind myself what I’ve been missing. I’m not usually a fan of mixed first and third person, and I have to say that I preferred the sections when Kinsey was front and centre, but the writer carried off the intertwined narratives with her usual aplomb.
Lastly, is The Etymologicon by Mark Forsyth, which I received for Christmas and have been dipping into ever since. It’s tagged as ‘a circular stroll through the hidden connections of the English language’ and it’s certainly that. If you want to know what is the longest grammatically correct sentence containing only one word, or why you should be afraid of money, or the connection between Botox and sausages, this is the book for you. Mark Forsyth imparts all this in a highly entertaining style. The perfect gift – especially for yourself.
The Page 69 Test: Fifth Victim.