It’s getting colder outside, Christmas-scented candles are being lit and we’ve had the first proper snow of the year. It’s obviously time for two more cosy books!
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd
Publication date: 5th August 2002 (originally published in 1949)
I read my first Agatha Christie aged 9 and, twenty years later, I’ve now read all of them. I wrote my Masters’ thesis on her novels and I can bore people for hours about why I think that she has been unfairly maligned in terms of racism and sexism. Many a happy Sunday has been spent on the sofa watching David Suchet mince across the screen as Poirot and, had my over-enthusiastic ex-flatmate been quicker than me, the cat would have been called Aggie. In case it’s not clear, I love Agatha Christie* and I think they’re fabulous books for lazy afternoons – they’re short enough to read in one go and somehow reading about murder always makes my living room feel cosier. Make of that what you will…
Crooked House is my favourite Christie mystery and was one of the author’s favourites too. Its detective is Charles Hayward, whose fiancée won’t get married until the murderer of her grandfather is discovered. I love it because it’s genuinely chilling and unexpected whilst still being non-gory and cosy.
*Even I can’t defend Curtain. Really, I’ve got nothing.
Publisher: Persephone Books
Publication date: 23rd October 2008 (originally published in 1934).
I admit that this isn’t the best and most exciting photo, especially when you have to have superhuman eyesight to see what the book actually is, but bear with me. Persephone Books are all jacketed in dove grey, which looks lovely when you have several on a bookshelf, and each has a different end-paper and bookmark in a ‘fabric’ design chosen to compliment the book. They’re gorgeous, really.
Although many of the works re-printed by Persephone could be called ‘cosy’, Miss Buncle’s Book by DE Stevenson is one of my favourites. The story of Miss Buncle, an unmarried and impoverished lady in her 30s who writes a novel about her small village and its inhabitants as a way of making some money, the novel is charming, witty and well-written, much like Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day. If anyone would like to get me Miss Buncle Married for Christmas, that would be lovely, pleasethankyou.