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, it’s Sue Shepherd, who writes contemporary romance as herself, and crime fiction as S.E. Shepherd. Her recently published crime novel Swindled has one of those characters you love to hate… but more about that later.
Over to Sue:
And Then There Were None, by Agatha Christie.
Ten strangers on a bleak island, cut off from the mainland, each accused of a previous crime. Followed by a series of murders based around a macabre rhyme. What’s not to enjoy? This is Christie at her best. In fact, in the author’s notes, she says herself (about writing it) – It was well received and reviewed, but the person who was really pleased with it was myself, for I knew better than any critic how difficult it had been. I’ve read it many times and of course I know full well who the killer is. But I enjoy keeping track of where everybody is at crucial times. It’s a masterpiece in murder mystery. I must point out that the book had two previous titles, which are considered offensive now, so I will stick to the modern title used above. Title controversy aside, it is, without doubt, an expertly crafted story.
Life after Life, by Kate Atkinson.
I have no idea how many times I’ve read this ‘what if’ novel. Atkinson has a wonderful way of writing, which simply carries you along with ease. Quite a fan of exploring infinite possibilities, I love how one small change can lead to a fresh start and a different direction for Ursula. Reading this cleverly written book is absolutely the epitome of comfort. I have been known to read it in a bubble bath – just to add to the sheer decadence and pleasure.
Thank you, Sue! And Then There Were None is one of my favourite Agatha Christie books too, and I enjoyed the film a few years ago as well – though I have to confess I’ve never read Life After Life. One for my tbr list.
Sue’s novel Swindled is published by Hobeck Books, and tells the story of Vincent, Lottie and Hannah. It’s Vincent you’ll love to hate… Here’s the blurb:
‘He’s out there somewhere. He’s taken everything from me, and … I hate him!’
Beautiful, but a little spoilt, Lottie Thorogood leads a charmed life. Returning home from horse riding one day, she finds a stranger, drinking tea in the family drawing room – a stranger who will change her life, forever.
After a bad decision cut short her police career, Hannah Sandlin is desperate to make her mark as a private investigator. She knows she has the skills, but why won’t anyone take her seriously? She’s about to become embroiled in a mystery that will finally put those skills to the test and prove her doubters wrong. It will also bring her a friend for life.
Vincent Rocchino has spent his life charming the ladies, fleecing them and fleeing when things turn sour. How long can he keep running before his past catches up with him?
Sue Shepherd was born in Harrow, she then spend several years living in Hertfordshire before taking a leap of faith across The Solent to the picturesque Isle of Wight. Sue lives with her husband, two sons, and their two dogs, a Standard Poodle named Forrest, and a Cavachon called Sky.
Sue’s passions in life are her family, writing, the seaside and all the beautiful purple things her sons have bought her over the years.
Now writing under the name S E Shepherd, Sue’s first suspense novel, Swindled, Book 1 in The Sandlin PI Series was published in September 2021 by Hobeck Books.
Sue has also written three RomComs, ‘Doesn’t Everyone Have a Secret?’ which reached the top ten UK Kindle chart in 2015, ‘Love Them and Leave Them’ and ‘Can’t Get You Out of My Head’.
Ask Sue to plan too far in advance and you’ll give her the heebie-jeebies, and she’d prefer you not to mention Christmas until at least November!
You can find out more about Sue and her books on Facebook and Twitter. And for audiobook fans, Swindled is available on your usual audio platform from April 1st.
Next month, we’re having writer Louise Mangos with her choice of books.