David Mitchell's books tend to get rave reviews and The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet is no exception. It sounded fantastic, however when I started reading it I found myself struggling to find a way in. After a couple of attempts, I had to throw in the towel and move on.
Michael Bond, the famed creator of Paddington Bear, also has a string of delightful detective novels to his name. The Monsieur Pamplemousse series isn't a touch on Wodehouse, but is proving entertaining enough. I lost interest in the The Carbon Footprint (*) and called it quits at around the halfway mark, but The French Solution was very good (****) and I'm also enjoying The Militant Midwives (****).
Memorable lines from Monsieur Pamplemousse and the French Connection
Afterwards he was to realise that even a spider's web has to start somewhere.
'Life, Aristride,' began the Director, 'is not all champagne and boules'
... (Aristride) 'I imagine in Russia they probably use the phrase "vodka and onions".'
'It is said that God smiles when he looks down on people and sees them making plans.'
The same flowers were in bloom, confirming his initial suspicions that they were probably vacuumed every morning rather than watered.
'He has an important day ahead of him tomorrow and he needs all his faculties.'