#FridayReads 2022-02-18 ‘Death In The Sunshine’ and ‘Talking To The Dead’

This week, I’m turning to a life of crime with stories by two English writers, one of whom has set her story in Florida, while the other has chosen South Wales. They’re both the first book in a series. The one in Florida has only just been published. The one in Wales is now been followed by another five books.

I’m hoping that I’ve found to new-to-me authors with series that I can read my way through with growing enjoyment

‘Death In The Sunshine‘ by Steph Broadribb (2022)

‘Death In The Sunshine’ has been heavily pushed by Amazon, which is also the publisher via their Thomas & Mercer imprint. It’s scheduled for publication on 1st March but was available this month for free as part of Amazon’s ‘First Reads’ program.

I picked it because I was curious to see how close it comes to being a gif on Richard Osman’s ‘The Thursday Murder Club’. Like Osmond’s book, the four amateur sleuth’s investigating a murder are all residents at an upscale retirement community. The difference is that all of the characters are retired police detectives and retired here means over fifty-five so it’s not really another book about old people. ‘Murder In The Sunshine’ is set in Florida so culturally it’s a long way away from Osman’s quintessentially English story.

I haven’t read a Steph Broadribb book before. I’m encouraged by the fact that this is her seventh novel and the first book in her second series, so she ought to have found her feet by now. I’m a little doubtful about the style of writing. Steph Broadribb has chosen to tell her story in the third person present tense. That takes some getting used to. It makes me feel like I’m reading a screenplay. I can see that it has the benefit of immediacy but I think doing a whole novel that way is a challenge to the reader as well as the writer.

‘Talking To The Dead’ by Harry Bingham, (2012)

I bought ‘Talking To The Dead’ back in 2013 when it was almost fresh off the press. It’s spent nearly nine years sitting in my TBR pile and I have no idea why I haven’t gotten to it before now.

Sophie Rundle as DC Fiona Griffiths in ‘Talking To The Dead’

I’m attracted to the book because it has a young female lead who is brilliant but a little challenged and because it’s set in South Wales which I hope will give it a distinctive flavour.

I’m encouraged by the fact that, while ‘Talking To The Dead’ has been languishing on my shelves, shamefully neglected, Harry Bingham has written another five books in the series and this book has been turned into a two hour TV drama starring Sophie Rundle.

Once I’ve read the book, I’ll take a look at the TV version.

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