Monday 14 November 2022

πŸ“– Book Review ~ Mr Magenta by Christopher Bowden

Langton & Wood
6 October 2022

My thanks to Cameron PR for my copy of this book

Stephen Marling thought he knew his aunt Flora. But when he inherits her house in a quiet south London square a series of discoveries among her papers brings to light another person entirely. Who, for example, is ‘Mr Magenta’ and what part did he play in her life?

In the process of uncovering the secrets of one life, Stephen is forced to re-evaluate his own and decide what he really wants. Was he right to turn his back on Nancy Steiner, the young actress he met in New York, when he came home to take up his inheritance?

Interweaving past and present, the story takes him from a Brooklyn bookshop to a theatre in Marseille to a cottage on the east coast of England where the truth about Mr Magenta is finally revealed.

πŸ“– My Review

Leaving his girlfriend behind in New York, Stephen Marling leaves his job and moves to London to take up residence in the house he has inherited from his aunt Flora. The house in a quiet London square still bears the comforting memories that Stephen associates with his past visits to his aunt. However, there are also the mementos of Flora’s time in the house, including references to the mysterious Mr Magenta who seems to have played an important and rather mysterious role in Flora’s life. However, in trying to discover more about Flora’s past Stephen must also confront his own insecurities and the reasons for leaving his New York life behind him.

There is much to enjoy in this story and I found that I was intrigued by Stephen’s quiet immersion in his aunt’s life and without pausing I read the book in one sitting. The author has a lovely writing style, quite gentle but beautifully descriptive of Stephens’s life in Paxton Square, his interaction with his quirky neighbours and his rather introspective study of his aunt’s life, all of which combine into a gently plotted mystery involving the eponymous Mr Magenta.

Mr Magenta is the first book I have read by this author but will certainly look out for more.

Best read with..A pot of tea and a substantial fruit cake

About the Author

Christopher Bowden is the author of seven highly-praised books: The Blue Book, The Yellow Room, The Red House, The Green Door, The Purple Shadow, The Amber Maze and Mr Magenta. A retired civil servant, he read history at Oxford and has lived in south London for over 40 years.


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