On Sun, 12 Jan 2020 20:45:53 +0000, Katy Jennison
Post by Katy Jennison Post by Tony Cooper Post by Tony Cooper
I'll have to report back on that later.
My report: The book is by Janet Quin-Harkin writing under the name of
"Rhys Bowen". She was born in Bath (1941...hardly a whipper-snapper)
but now lives in the US. Winner of an Edgar, Mary Higgins Clark, and
Agatha award among others.
No, not a whipper-snapper. She's a little older than I am, but born in
the same city. However, she probably wasn't personally eating kedgeree
during the war.
Post by Tony Cooper
The book was first published in 2017 and is set primarily in Kent
during WWII. One character works at Bletchley Park, but the family
home where the kedgeree is served is in Kent.
The father is the one lamenting that he can have but one kipper due to
rationing, but later a daughter is pleased to find bits of kipper in
I'm a bit puzzled by the objection to kippers in kedgeree. While
haddock is the standard according to all references, a family
preference for a recipe variation is not unheard of. It's not like
they're having peanut butter on their toast soldiers.
I suppose that if, due to the war, smoked haddock wasn't available but
kippers were, one might substitute kippers. I'll give her that. I'm
which says: "Smoked fish may seem to be a luxury today, but due to its
long shelf life after smoking, smoked fish was also popular, especially
smoked haddock. My mum remembers a favourite supper dish of smoked
haddock in milk, in to which fingers of bread were dipped to mop all the
precious juices up with."
Kippers are of course herrings, and during the war one might in
principle catch them off the coast and smoke one's own. If one of the
characters worked at Bletchley Park, though, it's unlikely they were
living on the coast; Bletchley Park is rather a commute from anywhere in
Kent, let alone the Kentish coast.
No, that daughter was "in digs" near Bletchley Park. Much complaining
about her landlady's food and the working conditions for females at
Bletchley Park. She's on the night shift translating German
transmissions (she's proficient in German) and the canteen at Blechley
doesn't serve meals for that shift.
Also much complaining about the women being given low-level work to do
and the men not valuing the input of the female staff. Also,
complaints about the length of time and comfort of train-travel back
to Kent for a visit. From what I've read in other accounts - both in
fiction and non-fiction - the complaints accurately portray the times.
This is a review of the book:
Speaking of inattention to detail, the book's first line puts the
setting in "Elmsleigh, Kent". "Elmsleigh", is fictional, but Kent is
mentioned several times. Also, characters have neighbors in Sevenoaks
(which is described as walkable distance away from the family home),
and that's in Kent.
The reviewer above says it's set the "Tandridge District of Surrey".
I'm not that keen on UK geography, but think that Kent and Surrey are
partially adjacent but two different counties.
Post by Katy Jennison
But in this sort of novel any
considerations like that are taking such details far too seriously, and
it seems to me more likely that it was simply a mistake.
Perhaps she subscribes to the theory that certain words are funny or
more interesting because of how they are spelled. "Kippers" sounds
more interesting than "haddock" to me.
Post by Katy Jennison Post by Tony Cooper
This is the first Rhys Bowen novel I've read, and I don't think I'll
check out another. She's a prolific author that cracks out series of
books based on certain characters and that type of author tends to
write the same book over-and-over with minor changes (e.g. Patricia
I like light mysteries for my "car books" that I can read in spurts
and not lose track of things, but this may be too light.
The images of the book covers look extremely light if not positively fluffy.
Not this book's cover.
Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida