I know it’s February 2015 already, but I have one last “best of” list to share. These titles might not have made the more famous year-end lists, but they are some of my favorite books published in 2014 from across the pond.
Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey was billed as a psychological suspense novel, but it definitely wasn’t an edge of the seat thriller. It was an interesting exploration of aging and how disconcerting and frightening memory loss can be. I was completely engrossed in Maud’s story and felt like I had a better sense of what the elderly go through when their minds begin to fail them.
Why didn’t anyone tell me about Jonathan Coe??? Apparently, he’s been writing novels for years, but it wasn’t until recently that I read one. Expo 58 is a funny, yet serious book about a minor civil servant’s experience overseeing Britain’s pub, The Britannia, at the 1958 World’s Fair in Belgium. Brussels is full of beautiful Expo hostesses, visiting dignitaries and Russians who may or may not be who they say they are. Thomas Foley has no idea what he’s getting himself into when he leaves his wife and baby behind in England for six months in Belgium.
And speaking of Belgians, there’s a new Poirot! Agatha Christie died years ago and her detective supposedly had his last case in Curtain, but suddenly Hercule Poirot is back to solve another mystery in The Monogram Murders. Sophie Hannah has done a bang-up job recreating one of the world’s most famous literary detectives. And the plot is pretty good too.
These are just three of my favorite British books of 2014. See my list for six more.