Book Launch: The Strangler Vine by M.J. Carter
14 February, 2014
I’m halfway through M.J. Carter’s debut novel The Strangler Vine and am loving the mix of history, mystery and Victorian sensation reminiscent of G.W. Dahlquist’s The Glass Books trilogy with a whiff of Wilkie Collins’ The Moonstone. Set in India before the Raj when the British East India Company still controlled vast areas of the country, The Strangler Vine follows Jeremiah Blake, special agent and soldier in the East India Company who has gone native, and his reluctant side-kick, the uptight junior officer William Avery, who are sent on a mission to track down a missing writer who has been sniffing around things that should have been left alone.
So when Penguin kindly invited me to the launch party at the London Review Bookshop thrown by John Lanchester, author of two of my favourite books, The Debt to Pleasure and Fragrant Harbour, and who turned out to be Carter’s husband, I leapt at the chance.
It was a lovely evening of wine, snacks and scintillating conversation. It was great to chat to Carter about her love for historical research (she has also written a number of non-fiction books as Miranda Carter) and I was pleasantly surprised when she asked me if my blog name, chasing bawa, had anything to do with the architect Geoffrey Bawa (yes it does).
It was also really nice to speak to the Penguin publicists Lija and Anna and get an insight into the publishing world and to talk books, books and books. A tip for bloggers: do cross-post your reviews on other social media sites such as Goodreads and Amazon.*
And I spotted Kazuo Ishiguro there too!
*but do obviously check the terms and conditions regarding rights and copyright.