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Sharing our love for authors, and the stories they are inspired to tell.

New On My Shelf This Week

A speculative email from this new author collaboration, has me taking a well earned break from the run of rather hard core thrillers I have indulged over the past few weeks, to join a new character, with a fresh approach, to the world of unsolved murders.



She is not a detective, a private investigator, or a pathologist. Julia Flowers, 50, divorced, and happy, is a specialist in Oriental antiques. And yet without her expertise the brutal murder of a former diplomat would remain unsolved. The mixture of antiques and murder, set in Edinburgh and North East Scotland, turns out to be more exciting than the Antiques Road Show on speed.

Forget Scandinavian Noir, this is Scotch Blanc.

The Sorrowful Woman is the first of four original investigations introducing the enigmatic Inspector Bland and the unique Julia Flowers, a woman sleuth like no other.

Clicking on the book’s cover image will link you directly to its Amazon page


Alan M.A. Friedmann is a nom de plume, the creation of an unlikely couple: he an academic at an ancient British University,  she the Oriental Artworks specialist at a major auction house.

Both wish to remain anonymous, as they value their privacy above exposure.

As Alan Friedmann cannot do book signings or give interviews, they rely solely on the quality and uniqueness of their writing, which they define as ‘Tartan Blanc’. Suspenseful, but not heavy, Scottish, but not parochial.

They are produced by a small independent Scottish publisher, with the success of ‘The Sorrowful Woman’ totally depending on word-of-mouth recommendations.

Check out all the latest news at the Alan Friedmann website

Picture of an English red post boxMailbox Monday is a gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house during the last week. Be warned that Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

Mailbox Monday now has a permanent home, where links may be added each week. So why not stop by, leave a link to your own Mailbox Monday post, oh! and don’t forget to leave a comment for our three new joint administrators, after all, we all like to receive them …

Your Hosts for  ‘Mailbox Monday’

Leslie of ‘Under My Apple Tree’

Serena of ‘Savvy Verse & Wit’

This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… You never know where that next “must read” book will come from!

Written by

I can’t remember a time, even as a child, when I haven’t been passionate about books and reading.
I began blogging, when I realised just how many other people out there shared my passion for the written word and I have been continually amazed at the wealth of books that are available and the amount of great new friends I have made, from literally 'The Four Corners Of The World'.

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    • Hi Kathy,

      Wow! you were quick off the mark this week 🙂

      This story will certainly be a little less emotionally demanding than the series of fast-paced, violent thrillers, I seem to have become embroiled in just recently, as excellent as they all are.

      I like to mix my genres as much as possible and the characters of ‘Bland & Flowers’ do sound intriguing and yes! I also enjoy watching ‘The Antiques Roadshow’, which I understand is now available ‘stateside’.

      Thanks for stopping by and enjoy your reading week 🙂

    • Hi Mary,

      By coincidence, we have just watched this week’s episode of the programme, only to learn that it was the last show in the present series.

      There used to be a television series back in the 1980s / 90s, about a very dodgy amateur antiques dealer, turned crime solver, which was very popular. In fact ‘Lovejoy’ was quite an astute character, very much a loveable rogue ..


      The mix of personalities between the police Inspector and the antiques specialist in ‘The Sorrowful Woman’, should be quite unique and interesting.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment, I always appreciate it 🙂

    • Hi Lucy,

      I like both unique antiques and an interesting mystery, so hopefully I shall be onto a winner with ‘The Sorrowful Woman’.

      As the role of Inspector Bland is being kept quite low key in the premise, it will be interesting to see just which one of the two takes the lead part in the investigation, or, as in so many other series featuring amateur sleuths, which one of them ‘thinks’ they are in control of events!

      Thanks for taking the time to visit and I hope that you have some great new books to choose from for your reading this week 🙂

    • Hi Cleo,

      I’m not too sure that I agree with just about every conceivable style of writing having a new genre label tagged to it, but if it has to be so, then ‘Tartan Noir and Tartan Blanc’ succinctly describes much of the writing style of the avalanche of Scottish authors who have emerged onto the market recently.

      I have very eclectic reading tastes, so from time to time I do like to mix up the genres I read, with fantasy and science fiction being just about the only two genres that I will back away from reading, if at all possible.

      Thanks for taking the time to stop by, I always appreciate your comments 🙂

    • Hi Elizabeth,

      Have you no shame – What an out and out cover snob you are ! 🙂 🙂

      I have to admit though, the cover art is pretty lush, although I can see where it links to Julia Flowers – But what about Inspector Bland? – Is it a case of ‘Bland by name, Bland by nature’, I wonder?

      Thanks for stopping by, I hope that life is treating you well 🙂

    • Hi Laura,

      I also enjoy checking out women sleuths every once in a while. Their methodical approach to solving a crime and their astuteness in character assessment, is generally so different to that of their male counterparts, that the change is refreshing. Add to the mix that this crime busting lady has an interest in antiquities and the uniqueness of this storyline is complete for me.

      Thanks for visiting this time and I hope that your own shelves were replenished with some great new books 🙂

  • This sounds like a promising series, leaning more towards the cozy than the hardcore. In a way, it reminds me of the Tea Shop mystery series I enjoy.

    It’s got a lovely cover. I hope you enjoy it!

    (I went on a bit of buying binge this week, so I won’t even bother trying to list what I got. 😉 )

    • Hi Kelly,

      I can’t decide and the author hasn’t given much away, as to whether ‘The Sorrowful Woman’ is a truly cozy mystery, or whether it is simply a gentler, kinder investigation, perhaps a modern iterpretation of the Agatha Christie style.

      There seems to be little or no mention of Inspector Bland, so I wonder if he plays second fiddle to the amateur sleuth Julia Flowers, who is the real star of the show?

      I want to find out more about the murder victim as well. As a former diplomat, is he now one of Julia’s staff, perhaps a customer, or a personal acquaintance?

      I took another look at the ‘Tea Shop’ mysteries and I might try the first book in the series, just as a comparison, so thanks for reminding me 🙂

      Binge’s are an acceptable way of life for us committed bibliophiles, so don’t feel too bad. But I do expect you to share your spoils as you start to read your way through the pile 🙂

    • Hi Naida,

      Anything mixed with murder is always a good combination for me, although I do seem to have binged on some quite explicit and blood thirsty books just recently. A nice sedate saunter through the calming world of antiquities is just what the doctor ordered – trust a diplomat to go and spoil things by turning up dead!

      Thanks for stopping by and I hope that all is well with you 🙂

Written by Yvonne