Ann Cleves, the author of the very good Vera and Shetland crime series has started a new venture based in North Devon with Detective Matthew Venn as the chief protagonist. The first book ‘The Long Call’ is promising, based in very real locations, and with interesting characters and plot. There are many sub-plots, a chief one being Venn’s own upbringing and his falling out with his family. Indeed the powerful first scene sees him hovering outside his own father’s funeral. Ann Cleves says she feels nervous introducing a new character to us, and hopes we will like him despite his weaknesses. She need have no fear. She is on to another winner, a real result for her consistently good writing.
Now here’s a book I couldn’t resist and which was bought on our recent house-hunting expedition to Clitheroe in Lancashire. We were having a lovely lunch in the Holmes Mill complex when I saw this. If you haven’t been there you should. Longest bar in Britain, one of the best food and deli selections I have encountered, hotel, restaurant, cafe, cinema and much else. I have read from cover to cover and it makes me even more determined to get back to Lancashire as quickly as possible. Each insert features a foodie location and a recipe or recipes from the owners. Clitheroe has become renowned over the last decade as a top eating destination lauded by the likes of Grace Dent of The Guardian – she can’t be wrong can she? There are so many pubs and restaurants in and around Clitheroe that feature that my mouth waters at the prospect of living there. Book was good too.