Never let it be said that I’m an old fart (unless you are one of my children and actually know me)! Or that I have my head firmly rooted in the more violent, harder extremes of the crime fiction genre. I’m a sensitive guy who likes nothing more than a stroll through leafy woodland, sprinkled with bluebells whilst reciting poetry out loud, before returning home to bake some delicious muffins for the family.
A couple of recent additions to the library, before the shutters came down on book buying were two legal mysteries by Sarah Caudwell. Despite over 20 years reading in the genre, this was a lady unknown to me, until a couple of mentions on some of the regular blogs I visit, piqued my interest.
I don’t read enough female authors and I haven’t read many books with a legal bent, other than the occasional Grisham book, (does that count?) so an opportunity arose to kill two birds with the one stone.
Sarah Caudwell died prematurely from cancer at the age of 60 in 2000. She had penned 4 books in total in the Hilary Tamar series; the last of which was published posthumously in the UK, a couple of years after her death.
Martin Edwards, former solicitor turned full-time novelist has an interesting piece on Caudwell on his website. The link is here.
Back to the books and the first two in the series and on the shelf are as follows;
Thus Was Adonis Murdered
How could poor young barrister Julia Larwood have guessed that her hard-won night of passion would end in murder? This humorous murder mystery features the worldly, yet principled, young set of legal experts created by Sarah Caudwell - Cantrip, Ragwort, Julia and Serena.
The Shortest Way To Hades
It seemed the perfect way to avoid three million in taxes on a five-million-pound estate: change the trust arrangement. Everyone in the family agreed to support the heiress, ravishing raven-haired Camilla Galloway, in her court petition - except dreary Cousin Deirdre, who suddenly demanded a small fortune for her signature. Then Deirdre had a terrible accident. That was when the young London barristers handling the trust - Cantrip, Selena, Timothy, Ragwort, and Julia - summoned their Oxford friend Professor Hilary Tamar to Lincoln's Inn. Julia thinks it's murder. Hilary demurs. Why didn't the heiress die? But when the accidents escalate and they learn of the naked lunch at Uncle Rupert's, Hilary the Scholar embarks on the most perilous quest of all: the truth....
A full list of her Hilary Tamar books, courtesy of Fantastic Fiction are as follows:
1. Thus Was Adonis Murdered (1981)
2. The Shortest Way To Hades (1984)
3. The Sirens Sang Of Murder (1989)4. The Sibyl In Her Grave (2000)
I'm not too sure when I will push my crime fiction boundaries and get to these, maybe next year.
Sarah Caudwell's new to me as well. I read about two books by women authors every month though not necessarily in crime fiction. Of late it's been early westerns and the classics.ReplyDelete
Hope you enjoyed the recent holiday, Prashant! I'm trying to improve my ration of women, but I don't think it will be by reading classics or westerns.Delete
As you know, I'm a big fan (I'm swankily assuming I'm one of the blogs you mention!) and will shortly be featuring her again. I was very glad to be pointed in the direction of Martin's piece - I hadn't seen it before and it told me a lot I didn't know, so thank you! The books will NOT be your usual type of thing, but I hope you might enjoy them in a light kind of way....ReplyDelete
Moira, your swank is appropriate. I'll look forward to your feature, which will undoubtedly precede my review by many months.Delete
I’m a sensitive guy who likes nothing more than a stroll through leafy woodland, sprinkled with bluebells whilst reciting poetry out loud, before returning home to bake some delicious muffins for the family.ReplyDelete
*snort* I don't know if that's true or not but it did make me laugh.
I own all three of her books. Sarah at Crimepieces reviewed her and put her on my radar. Thanks for reminding me of her. My tbr pile has gotten so out of control that I can't even remember what's in it anymore. I wish you would read more female crime writers next year because that's an area I'm lacking in as well. My problem is that I like a lot of dark crime fiction and that often leads me to a lot of men writers who do that one thing well.
Keishon, well I live about a quarter of a mile from a place called Bluebell Woods and I have been known to walk the dogs up there a time or two........but poetry and muffins.......all lies I'm afraid!Delete
2014, I will try and get to a few more female authors than this year. There aren't that many on the dark side though or at least ones I'm familiar with. Megan Abbott, I need to read - on the pile, Vicki Hendricks ditto, I've only read Miami Purity, some more on pile....Christa Faust - nothing......
Christa Faust Money Shot was excellent.Delete
Money Shot goes on the list, for when the embargo gets lifted!Delete
Col - Really? Muffins? Oh, that's rich! So glad you've gotten these books, and I do hope you'll like them. Delicious humour in my opinion and some great characters. Oh, and do tell us your favourite muffin recipe will you? ;-)ReplyDelete
Margot, sorry to disappoint. A figment of my infertile imagination, I'm afraid. Perhaps if I did, you would have a closer tie to one of your recent poisoning posts, my family are better if I stay out of the kitchen.ReplyDelete
I properly cook twice a year for Mother's Day and my wife's birthday. The other 363 days, I'm clearing up after my efforts!
Looking forward to Sarah Caudwell book 1, early next year!
I read the first one in this series and was lukewarm about it. But I have the three others, and all the good reviews I have read lately have encouraged me to read the second one. Maybe in 2014.ReplyDelete
I hope that I enjoy the first more than you. I had a look at some of the reviews on Amazon and from what I can tell the last one was the most disappointing for a lot of readers. I probably won't get that far anyway.Delete