Even though Agatha Raisin loathes amateur dramatics, her friend Mrs. Bloxby, the vicar's wife, has persuaded her to support the local pantomime. Stifling a yawn at the production of Babes in the Woods, Agatha watches as the baker, playing an ogre, struts and threatens on the stage. Then a trapdoor opens… followed by a scream and then silence. Surely, this isn't the way the scene was rehearsed?
"Great story, awful narration"
Guy Burgess is the most important, complex and fascinating of 'The Cambridge Spies' - the group of British men recruited to pass intelligence to the Soviets during World War Two and the Cold War. Burgess' story takes us from his student days in 1930s Cambridge, where he was first approached by Soviet scouts, through his daring infiltration of the BBC and the British government to his final escape to Russia and lonely, tragic-comic exile there.
Having shot someone in the chaos of 1963 Berlin, Joe Wilderness finds himself locked up, with little chance of escape. But an official pardon through his father-in-law, Burne-Jones, a senior agent at MI6, means he is free to go. His newest operation will take him back to Berlin, now the dividing line between the West and the Soviets. When the Russians started building the Berlin Wall in 1961, two 'Unfortunate Englishmen' were trapped on opposite sides. In 1965 there is a plan to exchange the prisoners on Berlin’s bridge of spies.
On the Psychic Hotline, Allison speaks with an Englishman whose daughter is in big trouble. When Allison meets him, she learns that his daughter has been arrested for a murder she can't remember. Allison also discovers that his hundred-year-old house has a dangerous entity living within...and it's not the first time something bad has happened here. Allison enlists the help of her new friend, Ivy Tanner, a Hollywood actress, to get to the bottom of the haunting of the house on Mockingbird Lane.
"Short But Definitely Sweet"
Matthew's relentless wit and insight is front and center as we bounce between England and the United States, experiencing one hilarious, and sometimes poignant, tale after another - from escaping the clutches of the law to the pain and joy of parenthood, discovering the dangers of real ale and the agony of not being heard, whilst savoring a fiery dessert, the glamour of show business, the awkwardness of nakedness, and the utter wrongness of a Jesus piñata!
Six days into their search for a man who put a .32-caliber bullet into a South African antique dealer, neither Kramer of the Murder Squad nor his Bantu assistant, Zondi, has a single lead in the case. On the seventh day, Mrs. Digby-Smith opens the trunk of her car and discovers the hideous, tied-up corpse of her younger brother. Two violent crimes - seemingly unconnected. But as Kramer and Zondi pursue their investigation, startling connections turn up in the sordid underworld of Terkkersburg and in the secret, unresolved enmities of World War II.
"His best one so far."
Inspired by breathtaking views, and dreaming of finding love and romance in the mountains, Tony Hawks impulsively buys a house in the French Pyrenees. Here he imagines he will finally fulfil his childhood fantasy of mastering the piano, untroubled by the problems of the world. However, Tony's account of stumbling into the world of overseas home ownership is perhaps best heard as a useful manual of how not to go about buying a house abroad.
"Not as funny as previous books"
The debut of Marshal Salvatore Guarnaccia of the Carabinieri, a Sicilian, stationed in Florence. It is just before Christmas and the marshal wants to go South to spend the holiday with his wife and family, but first he must recover from the flu (which has left the Florentine caribinieri short-handed) and also solve a murder.
On a bleak Christmas morning, Sewa Tribal Police Officer Heather English patrols a desolate canyon on the Arizona reservation. Back in Kansas, her father, the sheriff of Benteen County, is lonely enough with no family around to go in to work at his office. On the way, Sheriff English calms a wild incident in a church parking lot. Then he hears of a death threat. The crèche, at the center of the town’s largest holiday yard display, has been desecrated, and its owner plans to kill the neighbors he suspects are responsible.
"Didn't work for Me."
Attending the Yaqui tribe's Easter Ceremonies in Tucson should be a dream come true for a Cheyenne-wannabe-shaman like Mad Dog. But immediately after his arrival, he is accused of being a witch. Moments later a policeman is murdered, and suddenly Mad Dog is the target of a city-wide manhunt. Mad Dog's niece, Heather English, comes to Tucson to try to arrange a peaceful surrender or clear her uncle by finding the real killer.
"A fun way to make the miles pass"
As spring comes to quiet Benteen County, Kansas, so do murder and bombs. When a man dies with an arrow in his back, the prime suspect is Sheriff English's brother, Mad Dog, who must find a link between the unlikely mix of arrows and bombs.
Even though Agatha Raisin loathes Christmas panto, her friend, Mrs Bloxby, the vicar's wife, has persuaded her to support the local am dram society in their festive offering. Stifling a yawn at the production of Babes in the Wood, Agatha watches the baker playing an ogre strut and threaten onstage until a trapdoor opens, followed by a scream and silence! Surely this wasn't the way the scene was rehearsed. When it turns out the local baker had been murdered most horribly, Agatha puts her team of detectives on the case.
Sleepy Benteen County, Kansas, turns frantic on election day. The radical religious right is out to unseat Sheriff English, better known as Englishman, after his deputy accidentally rams into a school bus carrying the Benteen County teen choir.
It is 1958, and in a squalid flat in Moscow, double-agent Guy Burgess is hiding from the world. When he is visited by actress Coral Browne, he is overjoyed to see someone from his former life in England. Starved for information, Burgess interrogates her about English society gossip, and cajoles her into taking home measurements for a new pinstripe suit from his London tailor.
Americans have long been fascinated with the oddness of the British, but the English, says literary critic Terry Eagleton, find their transatlantic neighbors just as strange. Only an alien race would admiringly refer to a colleague as "aggressive," use superlatives to describe everything from one's pet dog to one's rock collection, or speak frequently of being "empowered."
The Diary of Nobody (1892) created a cultural icon, an English archetype. Anxious, accident-prone, occasionally waspish, Charles Pooter has come to epitomize English suburban life. His diary chronicles encounters with difficult tradesmen, the delights of home improvements, small parties, minor embarrassments, and problems with his troublesome son. The suburban world he inhabits is hilariously and painfully familiar in its small-mindedness and its essential decency.
"Hilarious and Suprebly Read"
Alan Bennett's three classic BBC Radio full-cast dramas: Kafka's Dick, Forty Years On, and An Englishman Abroad.
"A very English voice"
The Metamorphosis begins as its protagonist, Gregor Samsa, wakes up one morning to find that he has become a huge insect. This change is understandably difficult for Gregor, not to mention his family and business. It ends up costing him his life.
"Kafka is STILL the Man!"