Thursday, 31 July 2014

Today I'm channelling... JK Rowling

"It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default."
JK Rowling, 49 today

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Today I'm channelling... Henry Ford

"Thinking is the hardest work there is. Which is probably why so few people engage in it."
Henry Ford, born today 1863

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Monday, 28 July 2014

Today I'm channelling... Beatrix Potter

"It is said that the effect of eating too much lettuce is soporific."
Beatrix Potter, born today 1866

Friday, 25 July 2014

Today I'm channelling... Maya Angelou

"If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be."
Maya Angelou

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Today I'm channelling... Amelia Earhart

"Women must pay for everything. They do get more glory than men for comparable feats, but they also get more notoriety when they crash."
Amelia Earhart, born today 1897

Wednesday, 23 July 2014


Every week I get dozens of requests on twitter. They all go something like this: "I loved book that you recommended, what should I read next?". These last few weeks, though, I have noticed a trend; almost everyone is looking for their next sunlounger thriller. Something "a bit murdery" as my friend, writer Sali Hughes, put it. Something smart, quite possibly female-focussed, loaded with suspense. And maybe the odd body. Or two. Could be that everyone's looking for a Gone Girl replacement, or perhaps the sunny surroundings dilute the darkness that lies at their heart.

There are plenty more where these came from, but these are the authors I'll be turning to first...

Tana French

The multi-award-winning French has the dubious honour of being crime writing's best kept secret. French counts Ian Rankin amongst her many in-the-know fans who praise her subtle psychological thrillers.

My favourite: Start with her creepy debut In the Woods
Her Latest: The Secret Place (out 28 August)

Lesley Glaister

I've had a crush on Glaister since I read her sinister first novel Trick or Treat. It's still one of my favourites, but you can't go far wrong with any of the twelve novels she's published since. Crime writers Erin Kelly and Sophie Hannah cite her modern gothic as an influence.

My favourite: her second novel, Honour Thy Father
Her Latest: Little Egypt 

Erin Kelly

The author of The Poison Tree is great on the complexities of family ties, always with a sinister undertone. Kelly is also the coauthor of the Broadchurch novel, out this autumn.

My favourite: Kelly's fans adore The Poison Tree, but I prefer her slightly darker follow up, The Sick Rose
Her Latest: The Ties That Bind

Harriet Lane

Not at all murdery but still wonderfully unsettling, Lane excels at the kind of elegantly simple scenes that make you question everything.

My favourite: Lane's debut Alys, Always is a masterclass in understated suspense.
Her Latest: Her

Lauren Beukes

The highest body count by far and probably not for the queasy, Beukes' science fiction roots are in evidence in the time-shifting supernatural serial killers she excels at.

My favourite: Beukes first foray into crime was a runaway hit for good reason, The Shining Girls
Latest: Broken Monsters (out 31 July)

Patricia Highsmith

Let's not forget the woman - or one of them - who started it all. Highsmith and, with her, Daphne du Maurier, are the true godmothers of psychological suspense.

My favourite: Not her most critically acclaimed, but if you've read all the Ripleys, start with Deep Water

Today I'm channelling... Jo Brand

"I never, ever take into account the consequences of my actions, until it's too late."
Jo Brand, 57 today

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Today I'm channelling... Arthur Schopenhauer

"Talent hits a target no-one else can hit. Genius hits a target no-one else can see."
Arthur Schopenhauer

Monday, 21 July 2014

Today I'm channelling... Ernest Hemingway

"Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut."
Ernest Hemingway, born today 1899

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Today I'm channelling... Phyllis Diller

"I wanted to become me, totally me. The more me, the better. I instinctively knew this, and I was right."
Phyllis Diller, born today 1917

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Today I'm channelling... Barbara Stanwyck

"Egotism - usually just a case of mistaken nonentity."
Barbara Stanwyck, born today 1907

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Today I'm channelling... Arianna Huffington

"I do not try to dance better than anyone else. I only try to dance better than myself."
Arianna Huffington, 64 today

Monday, 14 July 2014

Friday, 11 July 2014

Today I'm channelling... Malala

"One book, one pen, one child, one teacher can change the world."
Malala, 17 tomorrow

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Today I'm channelling... Mary McLeod Bethune

"Invest in the human soul. Who knows, it might be a diamond in the rough."
Mary McLeod Bethune, born today 1875

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Today I'm channelling... Courtney Love

"I don't mean to be a diva, but sometimes you wake up and you're Barbara Streisand."
Courtney Love, 50 today

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Monday, 7 July 2014

Today I'm channelling... Frida Kahlo

"Feet, what do I need you for when I have wings to fly?"
Frida Kahlo, born July 6th, 1907

Friday, 4 July 2014

Today I'm channelling... Paul Smith

"You can find inspiration in everything - and if you can't, look again."
Paul Smith, 68 tomorrow

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Today I'm channelling... Herman Hesse

"Happiness is a how, not a what. A talent, not an object."
Herman Hesse, born today 1877