Thursday, 26 May 2016

BLOG TOUR: Mystery & Mayhem [Where the Crime Club Writes]

Welcome to the 19th stop on the blog tour for Mystery Mayhem, a wonderful collection of short stories bursting with crime, detectives, and intrigue. If you're new and have been following this blog tour, then hello and welcome to Lost in a Library! For my stop on the tour, we're going to get a glimpse into Part 3 of The Crime Club's 'Where I Write' series.

Caroline Lawrence
I write in my study in my riverside flat in Battersea, London.

Robin Stevens
I'm lucky enough to be able to write anywhere! I used to write on my commute to work, squashed up next to businessmen in suits (who couldn't work out why on earth I was writing about awful murders), and so I learned to stop worrying about my surroundings. These days, though, I usually write in a cafe, or at my desk in my flat!

Kate Pankhurst

I write and illustrate from my studio space in Leeds with my sniffer dog Olive. The studios used to be a huge spinning mill and the space provides lots of inspiration for writing mystery stories. There are abandoned rooms, a staircase with a resident bat and lots of atmospheric creaky noises. I share the space with other people in creative jobs, an upholsterer, stained glass window maker a knitting expert – and Norman. Norman is eighty seven and is still making curtains! Perhaps my next mystery will be something to do with a terrible plot involving stolen net curtains?

Katherine Woodfine


I write anywhere and everywhere. Some days I'll work at one of the many coffee shops near where I live, in central London; other days I'll head to the British Library to write in one of the reading rooms - an amazing place for doing research.

Sometimes though I'll stay at home to work. Here's a picture of my desk - I like to have lots of visual inspiration around me when I write, hence the pin board which is an ever-changing collage of invitations, postcards and images that inspire me. I always like to have a few books to hand that I'm using for research too - pictured are some of those I've been using while writing the next book about Sophie and Lil, The Mystery of the Painted Dragon. You can also spot a few other favourite things, like my Tatty Devine 'Sinclair' - and of course, a copy of Mystery & Mayhem.

Thank you so much for dropping by. To find out more about Mystery & Mayhem [Released 5th May - it's out, so go and get a copy!] then take a look here. For you're next stop on the tour, head to Book Angel Booktopia tomorrow!

Thursday, 12 May 2016

REVIEW - The Imitation Game. Alan Turning Decoded

The Imitation Game: Alan Turing DecodedEnglish mathematician and scientist Alan Turing (1912–1954) is credited with many of the foundational principles of contemporary computer science. The Imitation Game presents a historically accurate graphic novel biography of Turing’s life, including his groundbreaking work on the fundamentals of cryptography and artificial intelligence. His code breaking efforts led to the cracking of the German Enigma during World War II, work that saved countless lives and accelerated the Allied defeat of the Nazis. While Turing’s achievements remain relevant decades after his death, the story of his life in post-war Europe continues to fascinate audiences today."

There isn't much to say on The Imitation Game other than it was really well done. It took a while for me to warm to the art style, but as the book progressed, the harsh lines and diluted colours made more sense. 

The reason I requested this for review is because I've been fascinated by Turing for a few years, mainly since first seeing the film of The Imitation Game in 2014. Going into this, I believed this would almost be a graphic novel retelling of that film, but this was far more. In these pages I learnt so much about Turing's childhood, and work after Bletchley Park - things that people including myself, often forget to consider because we're so captured by his achievements in one particular field. 

How this story is orchestrated, with people from Turing's life (e.g his mother, Joan Clarke, Hugh Alexander) being interviewed on his journey was an interesting twist. I don't think I'll ever quite understand what happened with this aspect over pages 63-66, but nevertheless, it was a good plot device for driving on the story. It makes you see past Engima, and look closer at a shy, highly intelligent man who admirably at a time where homosexuality was illegal, refused to deny that he was gay. 

Though this was in many ways wonderful, I did have a few issues with the actual text. Maybe this is because Ottaviani is an American author, but there were several occasions where he used Americanisms or American spellings e.g. Math. We don't say Math in the UK; we use Maths or Mathematics. These are only minor things, but I strongly believe that if you are going to write in the perspective of someone who is of a different nationality to yourself, you make such that the character correctly reflects that nationality. It's a picky point, but this error pulls the reader out of the story, and shows Jim Ottaviani instead of Alan Turing.

Thank you so much to Abrams and Chronicle for sending me this novel in exchange for an honest review.