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Chester Ghost hunters filming new season of Amazon Prime documentary in Chester. Crewe Mum's urgent warning after beloved pet cat is nearly killed from 'oil drowning' in Crewe. Crime Teen who stabbed Yousef Makki to death can finally be named on week of his 18th birthday. And yes, it served its purpose by being something to read at those times when the doorstop of the nex This Mask Noir title from the literary Serpent's Tail imprint has been sat in a pile of books I've intended to read for about half a decade and very nearly got donated to a book sale last week until I realised that it was written by THE Stella Duffy, was in fact a British feminist lesbian mystery novel written in the mid 90s and really sounded like the kind of book I should be reading after all.

This really shouldn't surprise anyone even vaguely familiar with the quality of Duffy's literary work, and I'm not talking about the kind of genre bollocks that the literary John Banville churns out as Benjamin Black either, Calendar Girl has a very interesting protagonist or three and a compelling narrative voice that drags you in to the mystery of September and The Girl With the Kelly McGillis body and spins a forgive the colloquialism, I've been immersing myself in my adopted Aussie culture of late ripping yarn filled with psychological insights, hot sex and strong female friendships.

AND I just discovered there's four more of them. Happy days. View 2 comments. Saz is ok, but the story lacked reality. Some things seemed to happen because the story had to move along. The end was no surpise really. Very well paced and plotted, with awkward as hell dialogue in parts; a very interesting examination of how little we can know the people we think we know intimately.

Maggie's first-person narration was chilling, if a little on the nose, and takes the reader through a gauntlet of certainties about her and The Woman with the Kelly McGillis Body, most of which end up being proved false in one sense or another. It's good noir, and good misdirection, and intertwines subtly with the main third-person p Very well paced and plotted, with awkward as hell dialogue in parts; a very interesting examination of how little we can know the people we think we know intimately. It's good noir, and good misdirection, and intertwines subtly with the main third-person private detective storyline.

I'm fairly new to the tart noir genre, but the similarities between Anabel Donald's Alex Tanner and Saz Martin as obvious: the eighties-nineties woman liked working out, liked having noticeable hair, and loved her answering machine. These are surface things, of course, but there's a likeness in spikiness, forcefulness, confidence and forwardness that links them indelibly.

I first read this almost twenty years ago. It was the author's first novel. I guess I must have liked it back then because I've kept it. Anyway second time around I enjoyed it again. It introduces a young lesbian private eye, Saz Martin and the case she gets involved in has her travelling between London and New York. She manages the two different voices very well. Saz's chapters are in the third person, whereas the other main character is in first person. It's an unusual style but very readable a I first read this almost twenty years ago. It's an unusual style but very readable and all in all a good mystery as well.

Jan 20, Kylie rated it really liked it. It took a little bit to get into this, with alternating narrators, 1st and 3rd person , that were so jarringly different. But once I settled in, this was excellent. Saz is a great character, I look forward to reading her in more books. Jan 23, Varrunamitra rated it really liked it.

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This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Jul 06, Dane Divine rated it it was amazing Shelves: favourites-so-far.

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I loved this when I read it. Great story. May 12, Kin rated it did not like it. Aug 04, Wayne Spiceland rated it liked it Shelves: lesbian-mystery. Intriguing mystery and format. Two parallel stories unfold, but, as parallel lines meet in infinity, here, they draw closer much faster. London detective Saz Martin is hired to find mystery woman "September" by a man with whom she the mystery woman has dinner every other Friday, but whose name he doesn't even know. The two stories become more and Intriguing mystery and format. The two stories become more and more closely entwined, eventually merging in whatis definitely not a "happily ever after" ending.

The writing is sassy and insightful, wry and hip, at times, introspective and moody. It's Raymond Chandler, updated a few decades, and with 2 x chromosomes. And, while the conclusion may be a bit of a downer, it's a helluva a lot of fun getting there. The romantic in me wonders if, after Maggie has enough time to mourn here late lover, she might hook up with Saz.

Not too likely, I know. Just sayin' Definitely recommended. Oct 16, Ruth rated it it was ok Shelves: crime-modern.


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This was a recommendation from a reference book regarding crime fiction. I had high hopes especially as The Times felt that it is "Fast, witty and clever..

Not for the first time, I wonder at the reviewers at The Times. I can't agree with any of the hyperbole. The pace is fast with 2 differing POVs but really..

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The San Francisco Examiner even go c The San Francisco Examiner even goes so far as to say "The downbeat denouement packs an unexpected, morbid wallop. There are some disturbing relationships and I found the plot to be rather mundane. There are some typos which should have been found before issuing the book. Not recommended to the normal crew. Once it was in there, it had to drive much further in until it could be finally drawn out the other side and the wound cleaned to heal.

Dec 07, Kirsty Darbyshire added it. The dual viewpoint means that the reader is ahead of Saz in the inv I'm back at the beginning of the Saz Martin series finding out where Saz started avoiding her Enterprise Allowance officer mainly. Nov 17, Klava reads rated it really liked it.

Il tutto accompagnato da un erotismo gradevole e mai volgare. May 10, Amy Scissors rated it liked it Shelves: books-read-in I liked this novel well enough, and will look for Duffy's other novels. I wish the characters were developed a bit further, however. Although, I have complained about the flat feeling characters of all the books I have read recently so perhaps it's just me. I enjoyed the intertwining narrative and the mystery wraps up pretty neatly at the end.

Nov 18, GloriaGloom rated it liked it Shelves: inglesi-irlandesi.

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Questi tre elementi danno vita a un noir di deliziosa fattura. Feb 15, Carol Jean rated it liked it. Interesting reading, though I didn't think the shifting point of view approach worked. Some of the techniques her sleuth Saz uses to solve the case are a bit iffy and there's too much coincidence, really. Dec 16, Vanessab rated it liked it.

Well, this detective is a young, gay woman who has a great deal about her. I enjoyed the tale. It romps along from two different points of view to a satisfying if predictable conclusion. May 20, Megan added it Shelves: lesbian-mystery. It has a creative structure, to be sure, with alternating chapters from the point of view of the detective, Saz Martin, and Maggie Simpson, a comedian who figures heavily in the story. But once the reader sees the way the wind blows—after less than a third of the novel—it becomes obvious that the author is drawing out the story in order for the two parts to come together.