FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Name your top novels and why
Murder on the Orient Express by Dame Agatha Christie
I love all of her work being a great lover of puzzles generally, which is effectively what she wrote. This tale is not only one of her best known works but I’m fascinated with the way Poirot deals with this case. The theme behind the novel is whether a murder can ever be justified and also what Poirot considers to be justice.
Nemesis by Dame Agatha Christie
This is probably my favourite Miss Marple novel (they’re all good). I like the theme, which is it is never too late for justice to be done and the innocent exonerated. Great adaptation with Joan Hickson on the BBC and for me she is the definitive Marple. I also like how this links back to A Carribean Mystery. I have a soft spot for characters that link up in this way. I see it as character development, which I love to read as well as write. Characters have to change for there to be a story. Also with this novel is the premise just because something looks respectable, it doesn’t mean it is.
The Inimitable Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse (who is the clear winner of the Give Him A Knighthood In The Nick of Time Award).
This is a bit of an oddball of a book in that the sixteen stories are linked meaning there is a novel element but equally each of the sixteen can be read individually. Contains one of the best short stories ever in The Great Sermon Handicap. Admire the prose, laugh at the characters and their situations and wonder at how Wodehouse could produce superbly funny work continually for decades. See this book as a test - if you don’t laugh, you have got a heart of stone.
Cocktail Time by P.G. Wodehouse
First published in 1958, this has my favourite character, the marvellous Uncle Fred who is something of a trial to his long suffering nephew, Pongo Twistleton. I love the idea of older folks being the “rebels” and giving the youngsters a decent run for their money, which Uncle Fred never fails to do. This story shows how attempts to ban novels always backfire, always leads to increased sales so who benefits? The author and publisher! Not the person seeking the ban!