>Weekly Geeks # 11. Historical Fiction

>[Remember to participate in my competition & try to win Sophie Hannah´s Little Face]

I decided to answer question 2: Do you have a favourite book that really pulled you back in time, or perhaps gave you a special interest in that period? My choice is not a single book, but a whole series:

Andrew Taylor, The Lydmouth Series (8 volumes published between 1994-2006)
This is a good and well-written crime series with engaging plots, but it would not be the same at all without the fictive Lydmouth environment and the British setting of the late 1940s and 50s (a period I am too young to have experienced but feel I recognize from literature and films). The books are not always cosy, however, as they give a fairly accurate view on the time rather than a picture postcard. In the first book, An Air that Kills, we are taken even further back in time when some local builders find the skeleton of a tiny baby which may date back to the Victorian era, a period when a pregnancy meant serious trouble to unmarried women.

Lydmouth is an enclosed little world populated with a manageable number of citizens, many of whom return in several books. Jill Francis, stubborn and dedicated journalist and one of the two main characters, is employed by an old friend, Philip Wemyss-Brown, editor of the Gazette, him and his wife being pillars of the local society where newcomers will be newcomers. She needs a fresh start after a hurtful love affair in London, and thinks quiet Lydmouth may be the answer.

Inspector Richard Thornhill, encumbered with mortgaged house, wife and children, is also new to Lydmouth, his wife´s home town. He tries to live up to the expectations and moral standard of the place, but obviously pretty young Jill, a successful and independent woman, seems more attractive than his slightly worn little housewife who worries about insignificant details such as threadbare socks, school uniforms and having a meal ready whenever it pleases her husband to return home in the evening.

For more information on this series you might visit Andrew Taylor´s homepage and go to “Lydmouth series” e.g. to read Martin Edwards´ very thorough introduction.

Weekly Geeks # 11 – historisk fiktion.
Jeg bestemte mig for at besvare denne uges spørgsmål 2: har du en yndlingsbog, som virkelig fører dig tilbage I tiden, eller måske gav dig en særlig interesser for denne periode? Jeg har ikke valgt en enkelt bog, men en hel serie.

Andrew Taylor, Lydmouth-serien (8 bind udgivet I perioden 1994-2006)
Her er tale om en fin og velskrevet krimiserie med spændende plots, men den ville på ingen måde være det samme uden det fiktive Lydmouth-miljø i 1940ernes og 50ernes England (en periode, jeg er for ung til at have oplevet, men som jeg føler jeg genkender fra litteratur og film). Bøgerne er ikke nødvendigvis hyggelige, da de giver et meget præcist indtryk af perioden, og ikke noget glansbillede. I første bind, De dødes måned, bliver vi bragt endnu længere tilbage i tiden, da nogle lokale bygningshåndværkere finder skelettet af et spædbarn, som muligvis stammer fra viktoriatiden, en tid hvor en graviditet betød alvorlige problemer for en ugift kvinde.

Lydmouth er en lukket lille verden, beboet af et overskueligt antal bysbørn, som ofte vender tilbage i adskillige af bøgerne. Jill Francis, vedholdende og engageret journalist og den ene af de to hovedpersoner, bliver ansat af en gammel ven, Philip Wemyss-Brown, redaktør for The Gazette. Wemyss-Brown-parret er solide amfundsstøtter i det lokale samfund, hvor man er tilflytter på livstid. Jill har brug for en frisk start efter et vanskeligt forhold i London, og forestiller sig, at fredelige Lydmouth må være svaret på hendes bønner.

Kriminalassistent Richard Thornhill, bebyrdet af hus og prioritetslån, kone og børn, er også ny i Lydmouth, hans kones fødeby. Han prøver at leve op til stedets forventninger og moral, men det står ret klart, at smarte unge Jill, succesrig og uafhængig kvinde, er mere tiltrækkende i hans øjne end hans lettere nedslidte lille husmor, som bekymrer sig om ubetydelige detaljer som hullede sokker, skoleuniformer og varm mad, uanset hvornår Thornhill kommer hjem om aftenen.

For flere oplysninger om serien, som kan læses og nydes for kærlighedshistoriens skyld, for beskrivelsen af efterkrigstidens England eller for forbrydelserne, er det en god idé at besøge Andrew Taylors egen hjemmeside og gå ind under ”Lydmouth series”, bl.a. for at læse Martin Edwards´ meget grundige introduktion.

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About Dorte Hummelshøj Jakobsen

I am a Danish teacher. In my spare time I read, write and review crime fiction.
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4 Responses to >Weekly Geeks # 11. Historical Fiction

  1. Louise says:

    >As usual a very interesting post from you, Dorte. I haven’t been able to do the Weekly Geeks assignments for some weeks now and I am afraid it will be a couple of months until I am back in full swing.This sounds like a good series and probably one I will recommend to my mother, who loves UK crime fiction more than I do, even though I also like to read one or two from time to time. But my mother is always on the lookout for something she hasn’t read before, and I do not recall seeing this author’s name before. However, if there is too much of a lovestory involved, she will probably not be too enthusiastic about it ;-)

  2. Dorte H says:

    >Louise, a woman must do what a woman must do! Blogging is a hobby, after all (though I think life would be much less complicated if I could do this for a living). I hope you will pop in now and then, though, because I really miss you when you are not around. I think your mother should like Taylor´s series for its cosy Britishness and fine plots. It is certainly crime first – if not I wouldn´t have bought all eight volumes :)

  3. >This does sound like a good series Dorte. I’m off to bookmooch to see what’s available. Thanks.

  4. Dorte H says:

    >I hope you are going to like it :) It is best if read in order as the main charcters develop quite a lot and have this problematic interrelationship, but the crimes are not connected in any way so it is not as important as for Jo Nesbø´s books.

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