At the moment I’m reading A Small Town in Germany by Len Deighton for the 1968 Club which has been organised by Simon at Stuck in a Book and Kaggsy’s Bookish Ramblings. This week came around far too quickly for me, I had intended to read a few books for it, but here are a few that I’ve read previously.
A Cargo of Eagles by Margery Allingham
Consider the Lilies by Iain Crichton Smith
The Public Image by Muriel Spark
Mount Vernon Love Story by Mary Higgins Clark
Garden Open Tomorrow by Beverley Nichols
The Salzburg Connection by Helen MacInnes
It’s an eclectic mix I think you’ll agree. I hope to have A Small Town in Germany finished soon.
Mount Vernon Love Story by Mary Higgins Clark was first published in 1968 and it was the first book which Mary Higgins Clark wrote. She has since written a lot of crime novels but I haven’t read any of them so far. This was one of the many books which Peggy Ann brought for me from the US when she came to visit us last year.
As it says on the cover, this is a novel of George and Martha Washington. I knew nothing about Washington, beyond that he had made a wonderful estate called Mount Vernon which I would definitely go to visit – if we had that ‘beam me up Scottie’ gadget – but we don’t – so I won’t.
I have no idea how much is actually known about Washington and his private life, but I did think that this book wasn’t all that well written, I’m sure the author must have improved her writing skills since this one was published. I think maybe it was a lack of hard facts and imagination which led the author to say at one point that Washington appreciated that his wife always kept the house so clean and the furniture so well polished. I found that a bit bizarre, given the fact that it was a large household of slaves who did the housework!
I also found it hilarious that at meetings such as Continental Congresses he was very careful to put on a uniform, in fact being the only one there in uniform. I think despite that we were supposed to believe that Washington wasn’t personally ambitious, but of course – he was.
I was left wondering why Washington had such a bad relationship with his mother, and why he seemed only to be interested in women who were already married to his friends. A psychologist would have had a field day!
Peggy is now thinking about her journey back home to Pennsylvania, she only has a few more days here in Scotland with us. She has been trying to pack her bags and unfortunately she has discovered that she is now way over her baggage allowance.
She did go a bit crazy in the secondhand bookshops and charity shops, coupled with the fact that she packed far too many clothes (who doesn’t?) it was inevitable that she’d be in trouble. I think she said she has bought 54 books. You can read about her book dilemma here.
I’m feeling virtuous though because I’ve bought far fewer than she has, however, she did bring me a pile of books from the US, all by authors new to me, apart from Patricia Wentworth.
1. Case for Sergeant Beef by Leo Bruce
2. Mount Vernon Love Story by Mary Higgins Clark
3. Murder Scholastic by Janet Caird
4. The Sound of Insects by Mildred Davis
5. The Suspect by L.R. Wright
6. High Tide at Noon by Elisabeth Ogilvie
7. The Silent Pool by Patricia Wentworth
8. The Taste of Murder by Joanna Cannan
9. Daniel Plainway by Van Reid
These are all books which she thoroughly enjoyed reading herself so I have high hopes of them – when I can get around to reading them. I’m reading the Leo Bruce one now, I chose that one first as Eric Bown is a Leo Bruce fan, but I don’t know which one I should go for after that, any recommendations?