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* Katharine McMahon

The Crimson Rooms
In London in the 1920s, a nation struggles to meet the challenges of life after war, men trying to rebuild broken lives, women demanding professional equality. McMahon's novel combines astute observation of the period with a clever approach to the whodunnit.

* Michael Simkins

Detour de France: An Englishman in Search of a Continental Education: Simkins, actor and writer, broadly fails in his mission to convince us he is a bumbling know-nothing lost in a foreign country, but recounts with humour and charm his journeys around France. It is easy to skip the bits you know or suspect won't appeal, but some encounters and experiences are a delight. He's insane and wrong in his loathing for andouillettes, for example, but it still makes for an entertaining story

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