Archive for June 4, 2009


Posted: June 4, 2009 in Uncategorized


Karen of Euro Crime produced an excellent suggested shortlist for the Duncan Lawrie International Dagger Award here.

You can read another review of the Stieg Larsson here.

Interestingly the Karin Alvtegen and the Stieg Larsson were both translated by Reg Keeland. 

I have read and reviewed four out of the six books and would find it virtually impossible to choose a winner from those, but I suspect the battle will be between a couple of Swedish books that have already won prizes in Scandinavia; Echoes From The Dead and The Girl Who Played with Fire.
But I feel Alone In Berlin [Every Man Dies Alone in the USA] by Hans Fallada is a beautifully constructed quite exceptional book that should be compulsory reading both in our schools and universities. It would not do any harm for those greedy politicians who are bringing our parliamentary democracy into disrepute to read it as well.

It is a difficult choice. 

Who do you think will win? You can find a full list of  eligible books here

[photograph taken at Budleigh Salterton on Monday, proving it isn’t always raining in Devon]


Sixty nine years ago today the Dunkirk evacuation was completed and Winston Churchill gave his “we shall fight on the beaches……we shall never surrender” speech. 

Four years later.

Sixty five years ago today Rome became the first Axis capital to fall to Allied Armies after fierce battles over many months at Monte Cassino and Anzio. Italy may have changed sides after the fall of Sicily, but this was still the city where Mussolini had strutted and boasted of a new Roman Empire.

[“I would rather see Italians terrify the world with their aggressiveness than charm it with their guitars” Mussolini 1937]

Two days later on the 6th of June 1944 the D Day invasion of Normandy took place and the Italian theatre of war was relegated to a side show. The multinational forces in Italy became a forgotten army and their hard fought victories became a footnote in history compared to Normandy.
As we prepare to remember the sixty fifth anniversary of D Day I think we should also remember the brave men who fought all the way from El Alamein or took part in Operation Torch and then battled on to Tunisia, Sicily, and Italy.