Monday, 6 February 2012
Coming home from the Canaries
Many thanks for your comments whilst I was away - apologies again for the delaying in publishing them. I'm now back in Britain, and as I look out of the window, there is fog, ice and traces of yesterday's snowfall. All a far cry from life last week, when I was on a cruise around the Canaries and it was about 25 degrees warmer.
Islands fascinate me, but I've never visited the Canaries before, and I can't recall coming across a book set there. There must be one, surely? Or more, given that Tenerife and Lanzarote are such popular destinations? If you know of any mysteries set in the Canaries, please do let me know.
I'd also be interested to know recommendations generally of good mysteries set on islands. My own list would be topped by And Then There Were None. It's a long time since I read The Skull Beneath the Skin by P.D. James, but I did find it less satisfying than her best books. Panic Party by Anthony Berkeley has its merits, and of course Ann Cleeves, with her Shetland Quartet, has captured the fascinating yet sometimes claustrophobic nature of island life very effectively. A very clever and little known book by Eileen Dewhurst, Death in Candie Gardens, has a splendid setting in Guernsey, where Eileen used to stay with the widow of the late thriller writer Desmond Bagley. And Chris Ewan is soon to publish a new book set on the Isle of Man, which I will feature here before long.
Other ports of call included Agadir, in Morocco, a place I found interesting but less so than Marrakech. Of the Canaries, I think my favourite was Lanzarote, with a trip to some fascinating places designed by Cesar Manrique, including the amazing grotto (second picture from the top; others feature Lanzarote, Tenerife, Gran Canaria, the lovely La Palma and Agadir.) But the stand-out destination was one I'll mention in a separate post tomorrow.