Tuesday, January 13, 2009

What is Judith Cutler reading?

The current featured contributor to Writers Read: Judith Cutler, a prolific U.K.-based crime novelist.

Her entry begins:
I’ve been finishing a book of my own recently, so reading other people’s books, no matter how enticing, has had to be put on hold. However, before I start my next novel, I’ve escaped from the computer to read:

Prison: Five Hundred Years Behind Bars
Edward Marston
National Archive, 2009

Reading this was actually a labour of love, since it was written by my husband, and I sneaked a look at the proof stage. Those of you who know his historical crime fiction will know the depth and breadth of his meticulous research. Here, drawing on files at the National Archives, he addresses himself to a scholarly but intensely readable history of prisons and their effects on the people they confine. It begins in medieval times when gaols were often located in castles or gatehouses and when their function was simply to detain prisoners until their trial. It was only centuries later that imprisonment was itself the punishment – and in general a far worse punishment than the crime merited. Thank goodness for reformers like Elizabeth Fry. Read and ponder what we can do to our fellow human beings in the name of justice.[read on]
Among Cutlers books are five main series of crime novels featuring Chief Superintendent Fran Harman, Josie Welford, Tobias Campion, Detective Sergeant Kate Power and Sophie Rivers respectively.

Visit Judith Cutler's website.

Writers Read: Judith Cutler.

--Marshal Zeringue