The idea behind the Classic Comfort posts is that each featured writer chooses a favourite title from the classics – we’ll define ‘classic’ as pre-1940 – and a favourite comfort read, a book they always return to, for whatever reasons. As third book in each post, we’ll have one by the writer.
This week, we have crime writer Clare Chase, who has written – if I’ve counted correctly – fifteen books to date. Today, she’s here with two of her own favourite reads plus Mystery on Hidden Lane, the first in her Eve Mallow series.
Over to Clare:
Jamaica Inn by Daphne Du Maurier
I first read Jamaica Inn when I was a teenager but the thrill of it has stayed with me. I love it for the ominous atmosphere Du Maurier creates: the bleakness of the landscape, the lashing rain and driving wind. I feel the chill the heroine Mary feels each time I read it. And the grand revelation in the story still gives me goosebumps! The romance is fantastic too. The book made me realise how powerful and exciting storytelling can be.
The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths
This is the first Dr Ruth Galloway book, and the start of one of my favourite mystery series. The comfort comes partly from the regular characters. They’re all so well drawn and the fact that I can anticipate their reactions leaves me with a feeling of fond familiarity. There’s a lot of character-driven humour too. And finally, I love the escapism the books offer. In times of stress, it’s wonderful to lose myself in the puzzle and the atmospheric Norfolk setting, with its wide skies and lonely beaches.
Thank you, Clare – I love the Ruth Galloway books too; she’s such a relatable character, the way she juggles child care, work and counting calories like all the rest of us.
Clare’s book Mystery on Hidden Lane is the first in a long and very successful series, the Eve Mallow Mysteries. We get to know obituary writer Eve and her dachshund Gus, who steals the show on more than one occasion…
Here’s the blurb:
When Bernard Fitzpatrick drowns in a river close to his home, the village mourns a tragic accident… and amateur sleuth Eve Mallow is on the case.
Obituary writer Eve is looking forward to her new assignment, as well as spending a few days in the village of Saxford St Peter, walking the country lanes with her beloved dachshund Gus. But it turns out that it’s Bernard’s death that she’ll need to investigate, not his life. On the day she arrives, news breaks that the world-famous cellist was the victim of a grisly murder. Could this quaint English village be hiding a dark secret?
As Eve starts to interview Bernard’s friends and colleagues, she finds that he’d ruffled more than a few feathers. In fact, from the landlords of the Cross Keys Inn to his own seemingly devoted secretary, there’s barely a person in town who doesn’t have some reason to hate him… is one of the friendly villagers a cold-blooded killer?
Eve hoped Saxford St Peter would be the perfect escape from her busy city life. But there is darkness even in the most sunlit of settings. And when a second body is found, Eve realises she’s spoken to every single suspect. Her notebook contains all the clues she needs. But will she be able to crack the case and identify them… before they realise she’s on their trail and make her their next target?
Clare Chase writes classic mysteries. Her aim is to take readers away from it all via some armchair sleuthing in atmospheric locations.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Clare worked in settings as diverse as Littlehey Prison and the University of Cambridge, in her home city. She’s lived everywhere from the house of a lord to a slug-infested flat and finds the mid-terrace she currently occupies a good happy medium. As well as writing, Clare loves family time, art and architecture, cooking, and of course, reading other people’s books.
The blog will be on holiday in July, apart from possibly a photo post if I do anything scenic, but we’ll be back in August, when writer Rachel Sargeant will be here with her classic/comfort books and her own new release.
Those of you who have holidays coming up, have a great time, and exactly the same to everyone who’s holidaying at home (like me!) I’ll leave you with a lovely colourful selection of some of Clare’s books.