Sunday Salon – Today’s Books

My reading today, so far has been just a short portion of Agatha Christie’s Autobiography and some more of A Change in Altitude by Anita Shreve. AC’s autobiography is very entertaining. At the moment I’m still in her childhood, so a long way to go yet. I’m reserving judgement for a while on A Change in Altitude. I always used to enjoy Anita Shreve’s books, but latterly I’ve found them not quite so much to my liking. This one is set in Kenya, a very different location and so far it’s quite depressing. I don’t think it’s going to lighten up much either.

Anyway, I’m putting these two books to one side for the rest of today and will be reading Quite Ugly One Morning by Christopher Brookmyre, because tomorrow I’m going to his Author Event in Livingston. I thought I’d get in the mood early. Quite Ugly was his debut novel in 1996. This is the synopsis from his website:

Yeah, yeah, the usual. A crime. A corpse. A killer. Heard it.

Except this stiff happens to be a Ponsonby, scion of a venerable Edinburgh medical clan, and the manner of his death speaks of unspeakable things.

Why is the body displayed like a slice of beef? How come his hands are digitally challenged? And if it’s not the corpse, what is that awful smell?

A post-Thatcherite nightmare of frightening plausibility, Quite Ugly One Morning is a wickedly entertaining and vivacious thriller, full of acerbic wit, cracking dialogue and villains both reputed and shell-suited.

Brookmyre’s books have such great titles, for example – One Fine Day in the Middle of the NightAll Fun and Games until Somebody Loses an Eye, and A Big Boy Did It and Ran Away. His latest book is Pandaemonium.

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