I alternate the heavier tomes with more fun or thrilling reads (not that thought-provoking bookys aren’t fun or thrilling, but you know what I mean…), so here are some recommended books for this weekend. They slide oh so smoothly down your reading chords in just a matter of hours! And I’ve even associate some drinks for each one of them (because it’s the weekend!).
Paula Daly: Keep Your Friends Close
Natty and Sean married young but have a good marriage and a hotel business they have worked very hard to build. Natty is perhaps getting a little too absorbed in running the business and the family, but Sean seems to understand. Or does he? When their daughter suffers an accident on a school trip and Natty rushes to her side, her friend Eve steps in to help the family back home. But Eve turns out to be a femme fatale in the guise of a friend, who manages to make Sean fall in love with her and drives a wedge between Natty and her family. Daly is so good at creating situations we can all somehow relate to, even if her characters are not all that sympathetic. Despite some elements which strain credibility, the odd plot-hole and an ending I did not quite agree with, this was a real page-turner and a tense, if somewhat cynical lesson in psychology.
Drink: Campari Orange, refreshing and initially sweet, but with a tinge of bitter
Cathy Ace: The Corpse with the Platinum Hair
A fourth outing for criminologist Cait Morgan, this time in that temple of decadence known as Las Vegas. Invited for birthday celebrations at a private members’ club, Cait and her boyfriend Bud become embroiled in a classic locked room mystery when there is a power cut, a murder and a security meltdown meaning that they and ten possible suspects are all locked for 12 hours in a luxurious but deadly restaurant. A detailed review will be coming up on Crime Fiction Lover.
Drink: The theme of the night is Russian and plenty of caviar is being served, so what else can we team that up with but ice-cold vodka?
Anne Fine: Taking the Devil’s Advice
Fine does more than just Killer Cat children’s books. Her books for grown-ups shed an uncompromising light into the flaws and dark recesses of the human psyche. This story of a marriage and a divorce – alternating between ‘his and her’ version of events – is brutally funny and mercilessly analytic, although none of the characters emerge unscathed.
[I discovered this one thanks to Sophie Hannah on Twitter. I owe quite a few reads to her, Stav Sherez and Eva Dolan. It pays to follow good writers, you see, because they are always, invariably, good readers as well!]
Drink: Tequila shots, with plenty of salt to rub into the wounds
13 thoughts on “Friday Fun: Three Quick Reads by Women Writers”
Brilliant recommendations, Marina, thank you! I really like the sound of all three of these. I’m currently listening to The Two Faces of January by Patricia Highsmith in Audiobook – it’s brilliant, have you read it? I think it would be right up your street. x
It’s just been filmed too, hasn’t it? I love Patricia Highsmith, even if she is quite unsettling.
Marina Sofia – Oh, I’m so glad you mentioned both the Ace and the Daly. I’ve been wanting to read them but just haven’t yet. I really must move them from my ‘want to read’ TBR to my ‘really will read’ TBR…
Ah, you have those multiple TBR piles too? I’d also add my ‘bought and will get round to it eventually’, as well as the groaning ‘wishlist of distant possibilities’.
These sound like some great reads and I like the drink recommendations that come with them 🙂
Do I sound too pickled to you…? Don’t want to develop a reputation…
Thanks, Marina Sofia–like you I need to alternate serious and light reads.
Do try Anne Fine’s ‘Telling Liddy’, as good an exploration of the relationship between sisters as I know.
I’ve heard about that too. I don’t have a sister so that’s why I chose this book first, but I’m certainly going to read more Anne Fine.
I am interested in Cathy Ace because she is a Canadian author (and female author is a plus too). I look forward to the review at Crime Fiction Lover. I liked Margot’s comments on the different TBR piles. I think I have about six levels.
The Anne Fine book is one for me so thanks for passing this recommendation on. I only know her from her children/YA books such as Madame Doubtfire and Telling Liddy but this one sounds right up my street.