Classic Comfort Reads… with Rae Sargeant

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 Rae Sargeant, who also writes as Rachel Sargeant. Her first novel with Hobeck Books was published last Tuesday. I started it on Friday, and it’s one of those books you really don’t want to put down. More about it later, and meanwhile, over to Rachel:


(Rachel’s own image)

Precious Bane by Mary Webb.
Unexpectedly, my favourite book. I say ‘unexpectedly’ for two reasons. One: I only read it because I was living in Shropshire and wanted to know about this celebrated local author. Two: As a romance, it is not the genre this cold-hearted crime reader normally chooses. But it hooked me. It’s written in a dialect of nineteenth century country people which takes a bit of getting used to but ultimately works well. I love the blossoming relationship between Prue and Kester, two intelligent, compassionate people in a cruel, narrow-minded community. Nearly one hundred years after publication, the wry humour still works.


One Good Turn by Kate Atkinson
This was another accidental read, only picked up when I’d run out of books away from home. Private investigator Jackson Brodie witnesses a road rage incident when he’s queuing for an Edinburgh Fringe show. The author takes us into the heads of other witnesses, too, and we follow this motley bunch as they go about their apparently separate lives, dancing to their very different tunes. But, of course, the author eventually brings them together in a perfect symphony of comedy and crime. I didn’t see the ending coming and just thinking about it puts a big grin on my face.

Thank you, Rachel – I’d never heard of Precious Bane, but it sounds intriguing!

Rachel’s new release Her Deadly Friend is the first in the Gleveham Killers Suspense series to be published by Hobeck Books. Here’s the blurb:

Rachel signing copies at Painswick Rococo Garden.

Her Deadly Friend – the closer she gets, the more people die

The Suspect
Bullied by Steph Lewis at school, then betrayed by her lover, Amy Ashby still seethes with fury. Despite the decades-old resentment, she’s on the hunt for a new man and a fresh start. This time for keeps.

The Stalker
When both women are stalked by a figure from their shared past, danger threatens.

The Detective
Now Detective Inspector, Steph follows a tip-off to her old rival. After quarrels exploded beyond the playground and changed lives forever, she vowed never to see Amy again. But that was then.

The Deaths
Murder rocks the city. First one, then another. The body count reaches five, and all Steph’s leads point to Amy. But is Steph obsessed with a schoolgirl vendetta or closing in on a deadly killer?

Under the name Rae Sargeant, Rachel writes the Gleveham Killers Suspense series, published by Hobeck Books. Her Deadly Friend is the first title. As Rachel Sargeant, she writes psychological thrillers and crime fiction with HarperCollins.

Rachel grew up in Lincolnshire, studied at Aberystwyth University, spent several years living in Germany and now lives in Gloucestershire with her family. Her hobbies are swimming, watching amateur theatre, and visiting country houses and coffee shops. She loves reading in a range of genres and chats about books on her monthly blog.

You can find out more about Rachel on her website, on Twitter, Facebook and BookBub.

Next month’s Classic Comfort post will be by historical fiction writer Jane Cable. I’ll leave you with an image of Rachel’s blog tour, which is still ongoing – have a look at what the bloggers are saying about the book!

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