REVIEW: Books:The adventures of Isabel by Candas Jane Dorsey

August 10, 2021

The adventures of Isabel

Candas Jane Dorsey

Not to be confused with the Ogden Nash poem, although very much in the bonkers celebratory style of his prose and radically mind popping daftness this is a delightful entertaining book from (ones guesses the first of) the  Epitome Apartments Mysteries. Author Dorsey adores words, pokes, tickles, makes them perform these incredibly  funny  feats of phraseology and all the while packs in the narrative tension.

They decon & recon’struct ideas and narratives seemingly on the hoof, although the brilliant sophistication of the pacing belies the hard work going on underneath the lithe skin of this novel.  I adore a writer who’s both clever and interesting, and combines it with a hefty slap from the bizarre and Dorsey does just this.  Positioning their (unnamed) Queer Female Protagonist at the heart of this devilishly intricate story we get to enjoy a particularly good murder mystery whilst examining some serious social issues from a queer perspective, it’s like Thursday Next on mushrooms or Arthur Dent on poppers, wild, daft, silly, laugh out loud phrase stealingly wonderful, dripping in ironic posturing but with a core of hard solid reality which anchors this most wild of tales firmly in reality.

Dorsy’s deft touch slowly circles & takes the noir novel and shakes all the dust out of it, allowing us to look again, at relationships with the police, our own systemic racism, sex work, faith, the impact of the drugs and some hard family shame with a new lens. Not breaking, but remaking a murder mystery novel for the here and now, with believable intersectional characters who step off the page and breath.

Loved it, as will you.

Out now £8.99

For more info or to buy the book see the publishers website here: