Novelicious and Romantic Mysteries

Voting is now open for Novelicious Undiscovered 2012, with the voting form here and my entry here if anyone would like to take a look or vote.
The extract I’ve submitted is from a romantic thriller. I realise that from childhood up, I’ve enjoyed this sort of combination. I used to pore over adventure stories like Little White Horse and Naughty Sophia, where the heroines operated in pleasingly equal partnerships with what were essentially friends who happened to be boys. (I was very easily excited in those days!)
Then followed sweeping and dramatic stories by Daphne Du Maurier, with their wild landscapes and haunting characters. I interspersed these with fast-moving romps, such as Bella by Jilly Cooper (that one’s great, in my opinion, for the way it mingles humour and drama). I also loved the novels of M.M. Kaye and Mary Stewart, with their wonderfully described settings and suspense-filled plots.
Recently, I’ve been indulging in the impressively creepy and gripping novels, The House at Midnight and The Bed I Made, by Lucie Whitehouse. And extending the theme to include mysteries in their broadest sense, I really recommend Esther Freud’s The Sea House, which portrays the complexity of human relationships alongside an absorbing story from the past, which is unravelled by the present-day heroine. The setting is closely based on Southwold and, as with all my other favourites, the sense of place is very strong. Emma Darwin provides a similarly wonderful mix in The Mathematics of Love – again with a Suffolk setting.
I am always on the lookout for new reading material, so if you have any suggestions, please leave a comment.
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