“Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “Prose both scabrous and poetic.” – Publishers Weekly. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

On A Clare Day You Can See Forever

Here at Crime Always Pays, we’re particularly fond of Cora Harrison (right). Maybe it’s because her new novel, My Lady Judge, is set in the Burren in the beautiful County Clare, and we have fond memories of a childhood holiday spent in the Burren, when we leapt from one haystack onto another and only got semi-impaled on a buried pitchfork. Ah, those were the days. Or maybe it’s just because the rather lovely Ms Harrison is rather lovely, and lovely people are becoming a rarity these days. More importantly, Sarah Weinman seems to like Cora Harrison too, if her review in the Baltimore Sun is anything to go by:
“This enchanting historical mystery was first released in the United Kingdom last spring to rave reviews, which will only be echoed here. Harrison, a veteran novelist for children, steps into the adult realm with a confident voice, a strong heroine in the form of the eponymous Mara and an unusual-for-mystery realm in the form of an enclosed medieval kingdom off the coast of Ireland. The bloodthirsty justice administered by the barbaric English doesn’t apply as Mara educates her young charges in more civil applications of the law. That is, until her trusted assistant Colman disappears and is later found dead on the top of a mountain, and the kingdom’s seeming indifference reveals the victim’s duplicitous nature and the community’s web of secrets. Mara – who at 36 is both a grandmother and the object of romantic intentions – sifts through truth and lies with a combination of feminine intuition and well-reasoned deduction. The old-fashioned appeal of Harrison’s prose opens up a new world while harkening back to the way writers like Ellis Peters fashioned their historical mysteries.”
Very nice indeed, especially as it comes hard on the heels of the rather lovely Ms Harrison being nominated a ‘notable’ September release by the American Booksellers Association. Feel free to jump aboard, people – there’s a rather lovely bandwagon leaving these here parts …

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