The Lucifer Box Novels by Mark Gatiss
Trilogy about the decadent dandy, portrait painter and Secret Service agent Lucifer Box. Mark Gatiss is always brilliant. From ‘The League of Gentlemen’ and ‘A History of Horror’, to scriptwriter for ‘Doctor Who’ and ‘Sherlock’ as well as being an excellent actor. And he’s in ‘Jekyll’, another one of my favourite TV shows. What can’t he do? Reading about Lucifer’s wild adventures was an absolute pleasure. These books are just pure and silly fun.
PopCo by Scarlett Thomas
This is the story about Alice Butler who grew up with her cryptanalyst grandfather and mathematician grandmother. Never feeling like she could fit in anywhere, she now works as a creative for a global toy company. While at a company-sponsored retreat someone starts sending her coded messages. Expect mystery, word games, a pirate treasure, codes, mathematics, activism, veganism and capitalism. Some of the characters came across as unintelligent at times which annoyed me, but I still enjoyed the book. What I liked though is not necessarily the story about Alice. An anagram of Alice Butler is ‘cute liberal’ by the way. What appealed to me is the non-fiction, such as the bits on cryptanalysis and prime numbers.