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M.K. Hume p2

M. K. Hume lists some of her favorite books...

M.K. Hume was big on crime and mystery, and sometimes a crime scene will pop up in her work. There was a bit of police procedural in her first novel King Arthur: Dragon’s Child, when Artorex, or Arthur, and some others were hunting some child murderers.
She liked John Connelly, particularly Every Dead Thing.
She liked Tolkien, but not The Hobbit.
Other favorites included R.A. McAvoy’s Tea with the Black Dragon, which she said was “particularly fascinating” because it blended Chinese dragon history with computerisation and Irish music. It was nominated for a Nebula Award for best novel in 1983, and is about a woman Martha MacNamara who travels to San Francisco when her daughter disappears there. She is aided in her search by Mayland Long, an Asian man who is in fact a 2000 year old dragon.
Ms Hume also liked Martin Cruz Smith’s Rose because of its great characterization. This detective novel is good recreation of Victorian England. Jonathon Blair is a mining engineer and explorer who in 1872 returns from Africa to his home in Wigan, Lancashire. As drizzly as the climate, he turns to drink. His patron, a bishop and mine owner agrees to send him back to Africa if he can solve the disappearance of a curate engaged to marry the bishop’s daughter. During his investigations, he meets Rose Malyneaux whose instincts provide many answers for him.
She also liked The Crystal Cave, which was a 1970 fantasy novel by Mary Stewart, and part of her Merlin series of books. It covers Merlin’s life from age six to young adulthood. Myrddin Emrys (Merlin) lives in England just after the Romans have left, when it is divided into kingdoms under a High King. He is the illegitimate son of a Welsh princess, is abused and has clairvoyant powers, and is known as the son of a devil. A hermit Galapas educates him to use his psychic and other powers. Merlin winds up in the court of Ambrosius Aurelianus in Brittany as he prepares to invade and unify Britain, and defeat Vortigern (any relation to Voldemort?) the Saxon usurper. The book is said to have hooked many people into Arthurian legend.
Ms Hume also liked Robert Heinlein’s Time Enough for Love, and the “prophetic” The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. Robert Heinlein is one of the pioneers of modern science fiction.
Also, Ms Hume liked Ngaio Marsh’s Surfeit of Lampreys, a 1941 detective novel about the murder of a British peer.
Another favorite was Carol O’Connell’s Mallory’s Oracle, the first novel in her Kathy Mallory series. She also liked Flight of the Stone Angel, which is book four in the series. She described the series as “oddball crime”.
The character Kathy Mallory was an 11 year old homeless street urchin arrested for stealing when she was adopted by New York detective Louis Markowitz. She follows him into the police force. While investigating the murders of wealthy older women from Grammercy Park, Louis Markowitz is murdered, and Kathy Mallory tries to solve the case. In the process she comes across séances, magic and insider trading, and the book reportedly reveals a totally unexpected murderer.
She liked HMS Ullyses which was the first novel, published 1955, by Alistair MacLean, but she said his other books got a bit formulaic. She also occasionally read Agatha Christie.

-copyright Simon Sandall.