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28 minutes
First broadcast:
Sunday 09 December 2012

Mariella Frostrup talks to India Knight about her hilarious new novel "Mutton" featuring 46 year old heroine Clara Hutt and her encounters with the opposite sex. Clara Hutt has appeared in two previous novels by India Knight, "My Life On A Plate" and "Comfort and Joy." In this novel Clara is struggling with her appearance after meeting a long lost school friend who looks like a radiant 34 year old. She considers the botox route too, but comments that a consultation with Doctor Halliday, is like "horse inspections when people force their mouths open to pronounce on the quality of their teeth, and pick their hooves up to examine their feet." A book which explores the cattle market world of cosmetic surgery.

M C Beaton proves that age is no bar to high achievement for women: now aged 76 this year sees the publication of the 23rd novel in the Agatha Raisin Murder Mystery series - "Hiss and Hers"- and she has become the second most borrowed adult crime author from libraries nationwide. She discusses the secret of her success and why she keeps on writing.

James Patterson beat M C Beaton for the top spot as the most borrowed author from public libraries, but what else are library users reading and how does it vary across the country? Dorcas Taylor, Director of Workquake, from East Riding Library Service and Annie Bell, Readership Development Officer, from Edinburgh Library Service reveal what their readers are enjoying locally with some surprising run-away successes. What are the rest of us missing out on?

Producer: Hilary Dunn.

  • What does your public library mean to you and your family?

  • Read the Opening Chapter of Mutton by India Knight

  • Get ahead with Mariella’s next book Flight Behaviour by Barbara Kingsolver


    Mutton – India Knight

    Publisher: Fig Tree


    Hiss and Hers – M C Beaton

    Publisher: Constable




    Popular local authors most frequently borrowed from the library:



    Brighton Belle: A Mirabelle Bevan Mystery – Sarah Sheridan

    Publisher: Polygon An Imprint of Birlinn Limited


    The White Lie – Andrea Gillies

    Publisher: Short Books Ltd


    Richard Holloway – Leaving Alexandria: A Memoir of Faith and Doubt

    Publisher: Canongate Books Ltd



    The Innkeeper's Daughter – Val Wood

    Publisher: Bantam Press


    The Little Village School – Gervaise Phinn

    Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks


    Up Beat and Down Dale: Life and Crimes in the Yorkshire Countryside – Mike Pannett

    Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton


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