*A real feel-good novel: it's fresh, funny and has bags of Catherine Alliott-style charm
Holly Colshannon is a young journalist who thinks her career is about to take a terminal nosedive when she is moved from covering 'pet deaths' for her local Bristol paper and made Crime Correspondent - a poisoned chalice if ever there was one. However, a brilliant idea from the new police PR officer sees Holly shadowing a detective and writing a diary column about his working life. Detective James Sabine is bit of a sour puss - although he does have very nice green eyes - and he's furious that he has been landed with magnificently accident-prone Holly especially since her arrival comes six weeks before his wedding to faultless Fleur. Holly, however, has a career to think about and this infuriating man is not going to stand in her way.Meanwhile, her bosses at the newspaper realise that the column is proving extremely popular with the readers who are waiting for something romantic to happen between the handsome detective and the nice young reporter. With only days to go to the wedding Holly realises she's been waiting for the same thing...
Sarah Mason is a new writer whose first novel is a real breath of fresh air. PLAYING JAMES is something very different, providing a well-observed insight into the life of a rookie crime reporter on a provincial paper. There are plenty of laughs too - from the condom incident on page one! The supporting cast of friends and enemies add to a colourful debut that will keep you turning the pages long after you should have started the ironing! Brilliant. - Chris Manby
Plenty of giggles - VENUE