June reviews

TV and film

Picard: Season 1
***** I watched because I’d been asked for a Picard fic by one of my auction winners. Anyway, I was hooked, and binge watched.

Vera Season 4 ***** Continues to be one of my favourites, partly because of the location and partly because she’s a competent cop and quite different from the average TV cop.

Sleuths, spies and sorcerers: Andrew Marr. **** Interesting critique of and support for genre fiction. Three programmes. They were a repeat, and I think they’ve now disappeared from catch-up TV but I did find them enjoyable.

Dispatches: Coronavirus: Did the government get it wrong? **** Good but not outstanding.


The excellent

A Killer’s Wife by Victor Methos*****
I couldn’t put this down. Very exciting and surprising thriller. A serial killer’s wife (who had no idea of his activities) later becomes a public prosecutor. She is then drawn into an investigation of seemingly copycat crimes.

Slippery Creatures by KJ Charles***** Delightful story set in London between the wars. There’s some mm romance and some spying skulduggery. No HEA as yet, but there are sequels to come.

The Prisoner of Zenda by Anthony Hope (1894)***** – This was a re-read before reading the KJ Charles book (see below). I’ll post at greater length about the two books.

Without a Trace by RJ Scott***** (Lancaster Falls Bk 2). As gripping as the first, with well developed characters in this portrayal of undercurrents and betrayals in a small town.

The very good

Sparks Fly by Clare London****
Nice story with a computer hacking mystery underpinning the mm romance, presented as a serial in the author’s newsletter. Not a format I often turn to, but I enjoyed this.

The Killing Code by JD Kirk**** Another ‘tartan noir’. Very competent writing but somehow after the first book I didn’t really warm further to the characters. I bought three so I read three…

Lessons in following a poisonous trail by Charlie Cochrane****
Nice Cambridge Fellows episode where it isn’t really clear for some time whether people have been poisoned or not, and why.

The Henchmen of Zenda by KJ Charles**** I’ll be posting at greater length about this and the original Anthony Hope novel.

I perhaps ought to point out that the difference, for me, between five and four stars is whether I’d re-read the book rather than any difference in quality.

The acceptable.

Deadly Obsession by DS Butler*** Police procedural with some loose ends and some unlikely police behaviour leading to danger for the hero, etc. Acceptable but I won’t be following the series.

Salt Lane by William Shaw*** (DS Alexandra Cupidi 1.) Gripping story but I didn’t care enough about the detective or her family to follow the series. There were plotholes and a strange lack of thought by some police officers which landed them in more trouble than necessary.


Constable on the Hill by Nicholas Rhea. This is the book the TV Heartbeat was based on, but it lacked the charm of the TV adaptation and I got bored. Also, the ‘hero’ was full of the attitudes and prejudices of the time and was therefore not someone I liked.

I appear not to have read any short stories in June, and the same goes for fanfic though I have, I think, read a few drabbles and ficlets in friends’ blogs. I’ve been too busy writing…

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