• “The smartest historical sci-fi adventure-romance story ever written by a science Ph.D. with a background in scripting 'Scrooge McDuck' comics.”—Salon.com
  • A time-hopping, continent-spanning salmagundi of genres.”
    —ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY
  • “These books have to be word-of-mouth books because they're too weird to describe to anybody.”
    —Jackie Cantor, Diana's first editor

METHADONE LIST – THE SECRETS OF PAIN

METHADONE LIST – THE SECRETS OF PAIN, by Phil Rickman


I’ve been just _wallowing_ in this book for several days. Rickman is one of my favorites; he has the sort of characters you know and treasure, who have reality and depth and get deeper as they go along. To say nothing of flat-out wonderful, evocative writing, terrific plots, and a marvelously creepy strand of the supernatural twining like smoke through the story.

THE SECRETS OF PAIN is the latest in his Merrily Watkins series. The Reverend Watkins is an Anglican priest, widowed, with an unpredictable teenaged daughter—and is the official Exorcist (though the Church now prefers to refer to her discreetly as a “Deliverance consultant”) for the Diocese of Hereford. Merrily smokes like a chimney, is having an affair with the emotionally-damaged rock musician across the road, and wrestles constantly with the knowledge that most of the world thinks what she does is irrelevant at best and at worst, insane.

THE SECRETS OF PAIN involves—as one might expect—secrets of various kinds. The Official kind—Hereford is the homebase for the SAS, one of the most elite and secretive regiments in Her Majesty’s armed forces—the political kind (wherein the forces of commercialism and modernity threaten the increasingly fragile tradition and history of a very old part of the country)—and the supernatural kind, where “men with birds’ heads walk out of the river mist” and a _very_ old and bloody religion proves not to be quite gone.

Besides the wonderful characters and story-telling, what I like best about Phil’s work is the ongoing conversation throughout the series between religion and secular society, the subtle questions about the nature (and power) of belief. These are beautifully layered books, that can be re-read periodically—and the release of a new one is always a great excuse to go back and start all over with the first volume, THE WINE OF ANGELS. Which I propose to go and do, directly I finish work tomorrow.

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75 Responses »

  1. Thanks for this review…my mother is blind and I am always on the hunt for interesting books for her…call me her personal librarian. I hope that these books are available on CD or Mp3 player format, I haven’t searched yet. She reads about 6-7 books a week and its quite a challenge to find her books…her favorite genre is mystery and thriller and since its not my foray I spend many hours reading reviews and searching. Its nice when one falls in your lap. :)

    • I love to read so much, my biggest fear is to be blind! I can strongly empathize with you and your mother and the search for books to be devoured.

      Have you tried any of Susan Wittig Albert’s mystery books for your mother? There are a few different series, China Bayles (herbalist), An Edwardian England series written under the name Robin Paige, the Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter, and the Darling Dhalias, set during the 1930s. All available on audio in some form.

      I enjoy her mysteries in between Diana’s books !

      Philip Craig is good too, those are all set on Martha’s Vineyard.

      Diana, thanks for the review, I plan to start with The Wine of Angels this weekend.

    • Trid to find The Wine of Angels on my Apple IBooks store but it wasn’t there. Can I start further into the series

      • Dear Alyson–

        Yes, the books are much like mine, in that while they _are_ chronological, they’re also designed to be able to stand alone. I discovered them when someone at The Poisoned Pen gave me the sixth book, THE SMILE OF A GHOST.

        –Diana

        • Dear Diana-
          That’s how I found your series. They had some free books to give away at the library and the librarian handed me Dragonfly In Amber. I let my best friend borrow it and she’s the one that realized it was in a series. Needless to say we both now have the entire series. I bought mine and then bought her a copy of them all and gave them to her in an Easter Basket several years ago.
          I look forward to book 8 and thank you so much for sharing them with us!

          -Jenn

        • Was enthusiastic when reading how you couched the recommendation. Arranged to take the day off work when I was sure of the pub date of your last heavyweight, and will do the same with the new one, then go back and work my way back up through teh ranks.

          I figure I qualify as a sustaining member of the dg fan club, since I have to buy replacements for whichever I passed along as a starter in the interim. I’ve even developed decided preferences for PB formats.

  2. I really enjoyed his book “The bones of Avalon”.

  3. This book sounds brilliant, thanks for the heads up, i might have to treat myself to a january present to keep away the winter blues that come from the dark grey mornings in England. :)

  4. Diana, thanks for recommendation. I have added Phil rickman’s books to my TBR or better in that case TBL ( to be listened to) pile. Did you know they are available on audible? Quick question for another item you mentioned for methadone list. There was a writer whose books you recommende for historical romance, someone besides Jo Bourne? Thanks in advance.–Maria

    • Dear Maria–

      Hmm…Julia Quinn’s pretty good–and there’s the classic Georgette Heyer.

      –Diana

      • I grew up on Georgette Heyer. So glad to see you mention her.

        • I love The Conqueror by Georgette Heyer! Wonderful book!

          In regards to reading other books at the moment. I am still working on reading the entire Outlander series. I just started reading the books for the first time back in October. As soon as that is done, I will check out Phil Rickman. :)

      • Diana, Have you ever read any Norah Lofts? She was a fantastic english writer ,especially historical England. Very witty and informative books surrounding the Royal Family as far back as has been recorded. One of my favorites is “The Lute Player” with speculation on the sexual preference of King Richard the Lionhart. Anyone who reads it will become an automatic Norah Lofts fan.Good Reading…..now get back to work…haha

        • Dear Rhonda–

          Yes, I read a lot of Norah Lofst (who also wrote as Jean Plaidy, if I’m not mistaken) in my youth. Lovely writer, though I don’t know how easy her books might be to find these days.

          –Diana

          • Dear Diana,

            I was surprised the other day when out shopping at Cosco (a Canadian warehouse, sells everything including books) when I saw several Jean Plaidy books. I guess with the popularity of the genre, they have been reprinted. They are popular, I take them out of the library and even though the book is thirty years old there is still a line up of holds. Very tempting nice shiny new book versus twenty something tatty library book, hmmm…

            I was wondering if you have every read anything of Susanna Kearsley? She is a Canadian writer who writes historical romance, Winter Sea, Marianna, The Shadowy Horses, and also a thriller called Every Secret Thing. I discovered her this summer. Very good. I have been recommending them to my family and friends who accuse me of getting them addicted to your books.
            Of course it is always fun just to reread the series. It is the best antidote.

            Jackleen

          • I had to look that up! Turns out Norah Lofts had two pen names, Peter Curtis (murder mysteries) and Juliette Astley. According to Wikipedia, Jean Plaidy had several pseudonyms. “Eleanor Hibbert (1 September 1906 – 18 January 1993) was a British author who wrote under various pen names. Her best-known pseudonyms were Jean Plaidy, Victoria Holt, and Philippa Carr; she also wrote under the names Eleanor Burford, Elbur Ford, Kathleen Kellow, Anne Percival, and Ellalice Tate.”

            I also discovered a neat site with reviews of historical fiction:
            http://historical-fiction.com/

          • Not to be picky, but Norah Lofts wasn’t Jean Plaidy. Eleanor Hibbert was the real person behind the Jean Plaidy, Victoria Holt and Philippa Carr pseudonyms. However she shunned publicity during her lifetime (she died in 1991) so there’s rarely much info or photos of her on her book jackets. If you ever visit Foyle’s bookstore in London, there is a photo of Mrs. Hibbert on the wall there with the (then) owner. I’m so geeky that I actually took a photo of the photo when I was there – I’m a big fan of her books too.

      • Fans of Georgette Heyer often like series written by Patricia Veryan. One series is set in regency England, 10+ books. However, IMHO her Georgian Golden Chronicles series is better. Set in 1740-1750′s England the books detail the Scottish Rebellion, and mysteries, plots, and Jacobite supporters from the British perspective. Lovers of the series reread her novels almost as much as Gabaldon fans reread hers (that is to say, over and over and over). Many Veryan fan club members also love the Outlander books. It was there that I first learned about Diana’s books and became a rabid fan. For many readers this could be a delicious snack while waiting for MOBY, the next full meal.

  5. Hi Diana,

    I discovered Phil Rickman last winter. I had been involved in an MVA which resulted in a very bad shoulder injury. Since I am an OR nurse, a job that requires two good working arms, I had an enormous amount of time on my hands. If you can imagine months on end where you are not permitted to do anything physical accept physio exercises, with a person who normally spends her day in constant movement. Luckily, I found Phil Rickman’s books, and I must credit him for saving my sanity. And I am sure my family thanks him as well. Nurses do not make good patients. I read the whole Merrily Watkins series, back to back, as well as, some of his older books. Delightfully creepy and great characters. I read The Secrets of Pain in November, fantastic, like going home to visit old friends. Your review captures the series perfectly. Although I am sure Phil Rickman endeavers to make his books stand alones, to truly appreciate the series and story lines it is best to start reading at the beginning of the series, as you mentioned, The Wine of Angels.

    Jackleen

  6. Thanks for putting me onto Phil Rickman Diana. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the series and I now own my very own Gomer Parry Plant Hire t-shirt. *g* I even went as far as getting the CD they made with the Songs from Lucy’s Cottage. Who’d have thought books about a female priest would be so much to my taste?

  7. I highly recommend books by Jim Butcher while waiting for more of Diana’s books! He has two series. The Dresden Files are about a modern day wizard who works with the Chicago police to help solve bizarr crimes. The Codex Alera series is about a mythical world that I found captivating.

    I just realized that his wife, Shannon Butcher, also has a book series but I have not read any of her books yet.

    I hope someone else finds Jim’s work as awesome as I have.

    • Already read all his books, his books are great.

    • It’s easy to get hooked on Harry (Dresden or Potter). If you are fond of fantasy the Dresden Files are detective stories with lots of paranormal punch. I’d like to suggest books by Barbara Mertz for the methadone list. She writes the Amelia Peabody books under the name Elizabeth Peters and novels that have a gothic mystery flavor under the name Barbara Michaels.

    • I love Harry Dresden as well. I read the Mercedes Thompson series as well, it has the same pace as Harry Dresden. The only problem is that they are not all that long.

  8. Many thanks, for another author to check out! The rainy winter weather is helping me burn through good reads in a hurry… Finishing Strange Streets now, and who knew about LJG and snakes?!

  9. I’m off to order “The Secrets of Pain.” I take Diana’s recommendations very seriously. She was, after all, the one who first recommended Sara Donati’s “Wilderness” series to me, which is a great read. Thank you Diana!

    • After seeing Diana’s recommendation of Sara Donati’s books, I picked up the entire Wilderness series for my Kindle. Really enjoying them! Like you, I take her recommendations seriously and am investigating Phil Rickman’s and Jim Butcher’s books, too – another respondent recommended him. Hope to be pleasantly surprised.

      • I love the Sara Donati Into the Wilderness books that pick up where Last of the Mohicans leaves off. They are serious period contenders to fill the time between ongoing multiple re-reads of the Outlander/Lord John books. (I admit it. I’m a Diana/Davina addict)

        Thanks for the Methadone List, Diana. What a great idea to share your favorite books with your fans.
        Now I have a longer list to fill the time until MOBY. LOVED Scottish Prisoner, btw, in spite of the second narrator. It was the best Lord John book yet. You have such a gift.

  10. Hi Diana,

    I look forward to reading the Phil Rickman series, as well as some of the other books recommended here.

    I wanted to say thank you for autographing my Yule present from my husband – The 20th anniversay addition of Outlander, purchased from The Poisoned Pen. I so appreciate you taking the time to personalize the inscription. It is something I will treasure.

    Both my husband and I eagerly await the next book in the series.

  11. Just want to wish you a very Happy Birthday from Oregon.

  12. Went to look for his books, but unfortunately they’re not translated to Swedish (yet?). Too bad, since you really caught me with that review…

  13. Diana – Happy Birthday from San Gabriel Valley, here in So. Cal. Just love your writing and methadone list.

  14. Could this **gasp** be #60? Impossible, you look too young, but then, so do I.

    As Gloria Steinem famously said with a shrug “this is what 60 looks like!”.

  15. Happy Birthday !! It’s perfect, you are number 1 1 1 with us!

  16. Starting the day with Chocolate! Breakfast of Champions. Happy Birthday! Hope you have all your dear ones near , or the next best thing…Flowers in Carona bottles, thats what I get from my boys…love it!
    The excerpt was very fun, so enjoying the Daily lines. THANK YOU!
    Enjoy Your DAy!
    Iseabail

  17. You are only as old as you feel, but as for looks, you look mah-ve-lous! Many happy returns for the day, may your friends and family spoil you silly, but don’t let anyone set fire to your dessert!

    Warm Hugs
    VickiB

  18. I began reading the Outlander series because it was recommended by a clerk at Borders at our
    local Mall. For awhile our city had no book store. Now we have BAM…what ever they are never heard of them but they sell books. I know everrything will soon be on computers but I do so love turning pages. And it is soooo nice to talk to someone who can recommend a book and tell you why.
    I just miss bookstores.

    • Dear Pat–

      Yes, {sigh}, nothing like a bookstore! I think BAM is “Books-A-Million,” but wouldn’t swear to it. My thanks to the nice clerk at Borders, though!

      –Diana

  19. I found Phil Rickman’s books at the end of 2010. I devoured all the Merrily Watkins books and read his earlier books (December, The Man in the Moss, Crybbe (aka Curfew), Candle Night and The Chalice). Several of the earlier books introduce some of the characters in the Merrily books, which was good, like seeing an old friend (but earlier as it were, no problem for DG’s readers!).

    • Dear Lou–

      Yes, I liked the Merrily books so much that I went and found all Phil’s earlier ones–especially liked THE MAN IN THE MOSS and DECEMBER, though they were all very good. Just recently, I discovered that he’d also written two books under the name Will Kingdom, and found those, too–quite different (outside the Merrily “universe”, as it were), but set in the same geographical area, and likewise fascinating!

      –Diana

  20. Thanks for the recommendation. I had not heard of Mr. Rickman, but will be seeking out his work!
    Happy Birthday with all the best wishes!

  21. happy birthday to you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    ann kristin

  22. Reading the book “Down these strange streets” this autumn, for the Lord John novella lead me to discover Patricia Brigg and her Mercy Thomson serial. I´ve read the whole lot through at least twice now.She is as compelling a writer as our beloved Diana, in her own way.
    I´ve now started on the Briggs “stand-alones”, while waiting for our next greeat reading experience with Jamie and Claire.
    Thanks to Diana I´ve also discovered Rrickman earlier and has fallen in love with Merrily as well. Dianas recommendations has so far always turned out to be good reading.
    Thanks for the Methadone list! It´s a great relief while waiting.

  23. Thanks for this recommendation Diana, I’m always on the lookout for something new to read! I also agree with Deb, Jim Butcher is an author I would also recommend.
    Btw, kudos on The Scottish Prisoner! I bought my copy and began reading the same day. Couldn’t put it down! Had it read by the next morning. Very much looking forward to Written In My Heart’s Own Blood.

  24. I’ll check him out. It better be good, or else. Lol.(:

  25. Well, on your recommendation Diana I have read several Christopher Brookmyre books, and they are just wonderful. His stories have fascinating characters and plots. Everyone I have read has been a wonderful read. So I think I will have to add this author to the pile of “To Be Reab” books on my nightstand.

    Hope you had a fabulous Birthday!

    Lisa

  26. How exciting – have just ordered used Phil Rickman book from B&N, To Dream of the Dead. And then read on about Georgette Heyer & have a couple of her books to read on ebooks! Always such an exciting adventure to learn of a new author to me! Was also interesting to see that Diana likes Julia Quinn – me too Other favorites of mine are in no particular order except for how they pop into my brain are, Eloisa James, Stephanie Laurens, Lynn Kurland, Linda Lael Miller, Christine Feehan, Heather Graham, Kristin Hannah, whew, there’s more, but…grabbing a carrot she dances offstage – that’s all folks ^..^
    OT – Finally found out what MOBY acronym means, title for book #8! Yippee!!! Being one of the oldies but goodies am delighted to read excerpts & see how it’s coming along! But in meantime am rereading my way through others, on deck is Voyager AND LOVED The Scottish Prisoner & oh my LJG and the Plague of Zombies was wonderful! LJG is one of my favorite people and the scenes Diana sets up, visuals, are so great! Love it! Cheers :)

  27. I’m loving Phil Rickman! Thanks, Dianna, for a new author to devour. Especially appreciate good writing in a series with characters one can love that evolve and grow throughout the books. And Hereford area is a very beautiful part of the country. Glad the Meth. List is growing.
    Gail A

  28. Try Audible – they have several of his books.

  29. I just finished reading the Echo in the Bones, and I feel that you have left me hanging. The story did not seem to be completed to the point of your previous books.
    Unknown what happens to little Gem etc.
    When will this book be continued?

  30. Hello Diana,

    Thanks for having this blog. I’ve wanted to find a way to say this to you for a while…and here you are!

    I just needed to say that the last several years have been very difficult for me, filled with much anxiety. But, I’ve grown to love and appreciate Claire, who has seen me through the worst of it. And, even today, when things are generally better, I still think to myself on the way home from work – I really need to talk to Claire! So many nights I’ve fallen to sleep with my iPod running and Davina’s voice and your words running through my mind. It’s nice to be comforted by a strong woman who knows herself and loves her family.

    Thank you so much for your work.

    • Dear Cheryl–

      I’m sorry that you’ve been having a difficult time–but certainly glad that things are better! Glad also that Claire’s been a friend to you during it. {smile}

      –Diana

  31. Hi Diana,

    I can’t seem to find an answer to this question so I do apologize if you’ve written it previously. When I borrowed Cross Stitch from my local library, I noticed that Jamie’s uncle’s name was spelled Callum but when I went onto the subsequent books, his name was spelled Colum. Do you know why it was different in Cross Stitch?

    I very much appreciate your talent and hope you get as much enjoyment from writing your books as I do from reading them. Cheers!

    Christin

    • Dear Christin–

      Because the UK publisher decided to re-copy-edit the book, and in the process, changed several names/terms/details–not because they were wrong, but because the copy-editor was told I was an American and didn’t know anything. {cough}

      –Diana

  32. So, you would potentially re-read them???hmmmmm :) sounds like another author I’ve come to love. I bought Outlander at the recommendation of a clerk at a book store since the one I was looking for wasn’t in…it sat on my bookshelf for a year. Then, with nothing else to read, I picked it up. I finished 4 days later and I’m not sure if my 18 mo. old at the time had his diaper changed or if he was fed. ;) I’ve read and re-read them all 4 times and listened to them from audible or wherever I could find them. We now have 5 kids that are 5 years and younger…our triplets just turned 7 months. Jamie, Claire and all the rest kept me company during bed rest, night feedings, etc.

    Thank you so much for these wonderful books. My family is much happier when mommy has a chance to read :)

    Heather from Saudi Arabia ( I know, not what you’d expect to read)

  33. Where can I find the recipes used by Herself Dianna, for Christmas 08? They look pretty good to me!

    Thanx, Vickie

  34. Diana,
    I ordered a copy of Wine of the Angels from Amazon, It is wonderful. OMG, Oh, my goodness. Love Merrily and her relationship with her daughter. Such saturated writing. Thanks for the suggestion.

  35. METHADONE LIST – THE SECRETS OF PAIN, by Phil Rickman

  36. Diana!
    I’ve just finished once again reading sequentially all the Outlander books (well, with a short side trip for Scottish Prisoner!). Thank you; it was a wonderful and enriching trip! I was surprised to learn I had (apparently!) power read (What Happens Next???!) through so fast I missed many special experiences! A wonderful treat!
    And now on to Phil Rickman’s goodies … thank you, also, for that!
    May I offer a suggestion or two? I love the name Bryony … and, if I ever again have a white “puff” kitten, her name will be Dandylion; Dandy for short! Then again, with three kittens, there’s hippopotamus … Hippo, Pot, and Amos! Sorry … waffling off to Sillyland!
    Enjoy a Great Birthday Month!
    Kitty, San Diego

  37. Hi Diana,

    I’m so glad that you’ve mentioned Phil Rickman on your website. I love the Merrily Watkins series and I’ve read all of them many times. I especially like to start from the beginning of the series when a new one comes out. I do that with your books, too! Yes, I know, it takes ages each time but it’s well worth it.

    Have a look at Phil Rickman’s other works as well – the spookier older books he published as Will Kingdom, I think, and his more recent book about John Dee. Excellent stuff.

    Phil Rickman also broadcasts a book show on BBC radio. You can hear it all over the world from the BBC IPlayer. (bbc.co.uk/iplayer) Phil Rickman’s show is called ‘Phil the Shelf’, and he interviews authors and reviews books, as well as giving putative writers a start and a helping hand. Well worth a listen.

    I must look out my old, dog-eared copy of Wine of Angels now. I feel an inulgence coming on…..

    Nichola Moore, Brisbane, Australia

  38. Hi Diana,

    I’ve just been reading your blog and saw that you enjoy Georgette Heyer’s books? If so you might be interested to know that there is a new biography out by Jennifer Kloester (an Australian author) of which I’m half way through. It’s a well written and researched book that I’m finding fascinating. As I’m a 4th generation reader of her books – all the females in my family love her books – it’s interesting finding out about the person behind the books!

    On a side note I also wanted to say how much I love your books and regularly check your website to find out your latest news. The last 20 years of my life have been enriched by your books and the characters you bring to life so well.

    Kristen (New Zealander living in Melbourne, Australia)

  39. Diana! I love your books soooo much!
    Keep on writing pleeeease! How do you Find your history sources?
    Oh and i want to help you and say that in Dragonfly in Amber, or the beginning Of Voyager, Claire thinks back at an episode Of Greys anatomy, but that tvshow wasnt aired during the 40′s and 60′s. Not what i have found.
    Love your books!

    • Dear Eszter–

      I find historical sources all over the place: I have about 1500 books in my “core” reference collection, which I use all the time (if any of you are Truly Interested [g], you can see my whole collection on Library Thing), but I also do a lot of research online, and some by going in person to some of the places I write about, visiting museums, and collecting pictures and regional publications.

      Um….Claire is not thinking of the television show. There is a classic book–an atlas of the human body–called GREY’S ANATOMY (the TV show is named after this; it’s supposed to be a joke), and that’s what she’s talking about. Anyone in the medical field would be familiar with this book.

      –Diana

      • Oh, great, i had no idea :)

        I have one question, do you know when the swedish translation of the Scottish Prisoner come out? I´m very good in english, but i think that i would lose lots of important details if i read it in english, AND it would take time. perhaps you don´t know, but it would be great if you did. and also, it´s very hard to find Lord John Grey´s series here. i´ve only read lord John and the private Matter cus they´re so hard to come by.
        Oh, and i´m rereading the whole series, crying and laughing till my fiancée gets irritated on me. i also think he feels threatened by Jamie haha. I also got my friend to read the series and she´s totally in to it. not as much as i though(she´s never had an interest in history but the love between Jamie and Claire is so dear to us both). How do you get your inspiration? from other books and movies? from your own life?
        keep up the awesome work and take your time. don´t stress. in Sweden we have a saying “den som väntar på något gott väntar aldrig för länge”(“He who waits for something good never waits for too long”). I also want to say that your books gives me inspiration to write, although my ADHD makes it hard for me to keep going on one thing, i always start all these different stories and never finish them, and i´m really lousy at dialogues and twists.
        One last thing, do you have a very good tip for a book that´s not too much fantasy but more of the “logical” fantasy like your books. I really love history, love(a bit sexiness) and small magical happenings or wicca-things, but not in the Lord of the rings-kind of sense. it´s too much and i can´t read it without getting really into it cus is so unlikely. you´re books swallow me whole and i can picture everything so clearly in my head. and it makes me think of all the unknown worlds that are out there.
        I love your books and you must have a pretty brilliant head and heart to come up with it :)
        Hugs
        Eszter, 22 year old from northern Sweden, who reads your books during cold winternights and dreams of a love that never cease to exist.

  40. Thanks for the recommendation of the Merrily books. I just finished The Wine of Angels. It was very slow to start for me and it was difficult to begin caring about a new set of characters, but WOW did it finish with a bang! I pick up the next one from the library tonight — can’t wait :)
    Renae

  41. Dear Diana,

    Thank you for the suggestion on Phil Rickman. I just picked up Wine of Angels today and will start it tonight (DH is in Jamaica, so I have plenty of free time!).

    Every year around February, I ache for both a religious AND religiously thought-provoking (if not downright shocking) books. Am currently finishing an eye-rolling nonfiction about the historical Jesus, but your description of Secret of Pain sounds like it would fill the bill for my February theme.

    I love your methadone list, Diana. You’ve opened my eyes to so many great books, none as marvellous as yours though.

    Oh, and I just turned a buddy from NE Ohio on to your books, your Facebook page and website. I’m glad to report, she’s ignoring her family and is now on Voyager.

    She began Outlander a week ago .
    All the best,

    –Anne-Marie

    • I became aware of Phil Rickman’s books and Merrily et al. a few weeks ago, and since then have read everything he has written that is available to me. I am very eagerly waiting for the next one, meanwhile I can go back to Jaimie and Claire.

      Thanks to you both for being such fantastic and prolific authors, – keep ‘em comin!!!!!

  42. Dear Diana,
    About a year ago, I started reading your fantastic books and I’m currently reading An Echo in Bone.
    I just want to tell you that I wish you would come to Sweden some time, we would love to see you here.
    Best wishes,
    Arina E.

  43. Wow! This sounds like such a good series! Thanks so much for the review and for bringing this author to my attention. I’m heading over to Amazon right now to pick up the first book in the series :) I’m a somewhat lapsed Catholic/a new Christian and I really love books where they show flawed characters. Where you said “the ongoing conversation throughout the series between religion and secular society, the subtle questions about the nature (and power) of belief” really piqued my interest, too!!

  44. Diana, thanks for putting me on to this series. I’ve now read the first two and I’m going to be hard pressed not to race out an buy the next one straight away. I really should let them digest and settle and savour them slowly. I love the characters, even the minor ones are fleshed out and real. And they’re all ever so slightly odd.

    Marvellous. Thanks so much
    cheers
    Jill

  45. Apologies if this has already been asked:

    Is there any chance that your short stories will be published separately as e-books? Perhaps for $.99 or $1.99 as Kindle Editions? Or maybe pull all Outlander-related short stories together as an e-book for the price of a normal book?

    I would love to read them, but am unlikely to purchase all these separate collections. Or really, any of them. But I would certainly buy a collection of YOUR short stories.

    Thanks!

    -Becca

    • Dear Becca–

      Yes, there is–but it’s slightly complex, in that when a story is published in an anthology, there’s an “exclusivity period” during which it can’t be reprinted elsewhere. So we have to wait for those periods (of varying lengths) to expire for the different stories, because we can contemplate e-publishing them.

      –Diana

  46. Since I heard you mention Phil Rickman in the interview during the L.A. Outlander fan event, I’ve been through 5 of his non-Merrily Watkins books and I have two more to go.

    Then I plan on hitting the Merrily Watkins ones, which are hopefully at the library. (I searched out used paperbacks for the other 7..)

    Thanks so much for introducing me to this author! His stuff is delightfully creepy, and I agree that his characters are quite compelling!

    :)

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