Saturday 21 February 2009

Saturday Selection - Gilbert Adair and Margie Orford

I first encountered Gilbert Adair’s fiction when I read A Closed Book some years ago – it was an intelligent and ingenious spin on the crime genre. More recently, Adair has mined the fertile ground of the classic Golden Age whodunit for two amusing and neatly constructed pastiches, The Act of Roger Murgatroyd and A Mysterious Affair of Style. Both featured an agreeable amateur sleuth, Evadene Mount.

Now Evadne has returned in And Then There was No One, sub-titled The Last of Evadne Mount. It involves the murder of a Booker Prize winning novelist during a Sherlock Holmes festival in Switzerland. The Faber blurb is rather witty and pretty much irresistible:

‘It’s a novel like no other, a hall of mirrors, a hole-in-one, a tour de force of stylistic brio and narrative ingenuity, a conjuring act which ends with the conjuror, or author, actually sawing himself in half’.


A little more conventional is the tag-line ‘A killer who won’t stop. An investigator who won’t give up’ which adorns Margie Orford’s first novel Like Clockwork (Atlantic). The author lives in Cape Town, and that is where the story is set. A profiler, Dr Clare Hart, does the detective work and, needless to say, ‘is drawn into the web of a brutal serial killer’. The material may be samey, but Michael Connelly has given the book a very positive blurb, which makes it seem rather tempting.

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