Vulpes Libris

A collective of bibliophiles talking about books. Book Fox (vulpes libris): small bibliovorous mammal of overactive imagination and uncommonly large bookshop expenses. Habitat: anywhere the rustle of pages can be heard.

Nine St Andrew’s Night Novels

St Andrew’s Night is the lesser-known Scottish cultural festival. The big one is, of course, Burns’ Night, on 25 January, and is usually a feast, with poetry and music. St … Continue reading

November 30, 2016 · 8 Comments

Nicola Griffith’s writing space

Nicola Griffith is the author of Hild, and five other novels, plus short stories, essays and polemics. She’s working on the sequel to Hild, and talks about her Seattle working … Continue reading

September 19, 2016 · Leave a comment

What We Read on Our Summer Vacation

As you know, the Foxes were on summer break for the month of August, but even though we were doing other activities, being Book Foxes, of course we didn’t leave … Continue reading

September 14, 2016 · 2 Comments

Who is Gillian Flynn and why does she hate women so much?

It takes a while sometimes to work out what you like and what you don’t like about a book. It took me a while to work out what I didn’t … Continue reading

April 29, 2016 · 11 Comments

Ernest Bramah’s Max Carrados stories

The Max Carrados stories are a perfect storm of geekiness for my inner research ferret, since they embrace Edwardian magazine stories, disability in fiction, detectives and social history. They were … Continue reading

February 3, 2016 · 5 Comments

No Other Darkness by Sarah Hilary

Back in July, I wrote about Sarah Hilary’s prize-winning debut novel, Someone Else’s Skin. If you’re into crime fiction, I still strongly recommend it. It’s smart, it has a feisty-but-complicated … Continue reading

December 14, 2015 · 2 Comments

Death Sentences: stories of Deathly Books, Murderous Booksellers & Lethal Literature, edited by Otto Penzler with an introduction by Ian Rankin

Death Sentences is, I discover, a continuing project. The collection that I am reviewing contains 15 short stories and was published in 2014; but the idea has taken hold, and … Continue reading

October 23, 2015 · 3 Comments

Hand Me Down World by Lloyd Jones

Along with millions of others, I have been reading about the current refugee crisis with a mixture of sadness and deep frustration that these people are having to suffer as … Continue reading

September 21, 2015 · 3 Comments

The Wine Of Angels (Merrily Watkins Mysteries 1), by Phil Rickman

I really enjoy clerical sleuths, and I don’t know why it has taken me so long to find this one. The Rev. Merrily Watkins is the protagonist of 12 mysteries … Continue reading

August 10, 2015 · 6 Comments

David Mitchell’s The Bone Clocks

David Mitchell plants (or ‘seeds’ in the terminology of the plot) two pre-emptive statements in The Bone Clocks to keep grumpy critics off his back.  The first is in the story … Continue reading

July 29, 2015 · 3 Comments

Vonda McIntyre’s The Moon and the Sun

You know how it is when you had a favourite author, and millions of years later you wouldn’t be able to name her as a favourite, if asked cold, but … Continue reading

March 10, 2015 · 2 Comments

Cormoran Strike mysteries by Robert Galbraith

Unlike most people, I haven’t read the Harry Potter books, so when my local book group did The Cuckoo’s Calling last year, I went into it with an open mind. … Continue reading

February 13, 2015 · 2 Comments

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

I was in two minds about reading Station Eleven. In the bookshop I picked it up and put it down and picked it up and put it down. Why? Because it is … Continue reading

February 1, 2015 · 8 Comments

Margaret Atwood

I once read The Handmaid’s Tale, probably at the wrong age, and it freaked me out so much I didn’t want to go near a Margaret Atwood novel again. This … Continue reading

December 3, 2014 · 5 Comments



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  • (The header image is from Aesop's Fables, illustrated by Francis Barlow (1666), and appears courtesy of the Digital and Multimedia Center at the Michigan State University Libraries.)