Independent Plus

Watch trailers for our television and film critic's choice:

Invisible Ink: No 112 - Patricia Wentworth

It wasn't realism that made the early female detectives successful; after all, Miss Marple was a twinkly, rosy-cheeked old busybody who based her criminal knowledge solely on gossip overheard in her village.

Invisible Ink: No 111 - Nicholas Blake

I have a tenuous connection to this author, having gone to school with Daniel Day-Lewis, whose father was our Poet Laureate.

Rebecca Tyrrel: 'Margaret Rutherford cared about the ishoos'

Who knew that Tony Benn is a first cousin of the late lamented Margaret Rutherford? Admittedly their cousinhood was once removed, but this seems strangely fitting because some used to believe that Benn was once removed from reality. According to Kelvin McKenzie's Sun, he was the barmiest man in England. It was a title that, tragically, could have been applied to Rutherford's father, who bludgeoned his own father to death with a chamber pot – Agatha Christie would have certainly approved of the method. And Rutherford was quite an eccentric herself, of course. She built her film career playing up the battiness, happily without murdering anybody.

Prague Fatale, By Philip Kerr

How many lives can Bernie Gunther have? The dogged Berlin policeman of Philip Kerr is now enjoying – if that's the word – his eighth. The Gunther books appear out of chronological sequence, but the protagonist remains consistent, stoical, appalled by others and himself, carrying the darkly flaming torch of gallows humour. After South America, Cuba and the US in the 1950s, he's back in the Second World War, this time in the service of the monster Reinhard Heydrich, Reichsprotector of Bohemia. It is September 1941.

Soho celebs strip off for charity show

Sadie Frost and Jaime Winstone have posed naked in photographs at London's Groucho Club to raise money for the National Autistic Society. Frost is stretching naked on a bed and Winstone is sitting on a chair, with nothing but a vintage red gypsy curtain over her lap. Organised by Bernie Katz, the club's manager, this collection of nude and semi-nude portraits of stars of Soho, snapped by Andrea Vecchiato, are on show this week at London's The Gallery Soho.

John Rentoul: Why did nobody stop Gordon Brown?

Another memoir from a former member of Brown's government adds brushstroke detail and depth to his monster status

Alli and Astor quit Mr Men owner Chorion

Waheed Alli and William Astor have stepped down as chairman and deputy chairman of Chorion, the group that owns the rights to characters such as the Mr Men and the Famous Five.

Letter from the editor: i's relationship with its readers

One of the nicest things about i – unprecedented in my Fleet Street experience – is the newspaper’s relationship with its readers.

Last Night's TV: Agatha Christie's Marple/ITV1<br />Wonderland &ndash; The Kids Who Play with Fire/BBC2<br />Fisherman's Friends/ITV1

I don't know whether you care why they didn't ask Evans or not, but if you're hoping for clarification here I'm afraid I'm going to have to disappoint you. I didn't know the answer before I watched Agatha Christie's Marple, never having read that particular novel, and I'm no wiser now that I have. I can tell you who Evans was, because he was played by Mark Williams, who could read out the fine print on a phone contract and make it interesting. Or at least I can tell you who one Evans was, because I was vaguely aware – through the light coma of the final explanation scene – that another Evans was sprung on us at the final moment. But I'm afraid I don't know what they should have asked Evans or why exactly this question was connected to the dying man who'd croaked it out two achingly long hours earlier. I fought sleep valiantly, I promise you, but there were a couple of moments when it had me pinned for a while.

The Blagger's Guide To...Literature in translation

The Bible exists in 2,400 of the world's languages

Invisible Ink: No 78 - Arnold Ridley

Here's a sweet story. Arnold Ridley was a one-time elementary school teacher from Bath, born in 1896, who fought in the First World War and longed to be on the stage, but suffered injuries at the Somme – his left arm was badly damaged, he was bayoneted in the groin, and was prone to blackouts from a fractured skull.

You'll catch your breath at these West Country views

Walk Of The Month

HRF Keating: Prolific and award-winning crime writer best known for his Inspector Ghote novels

In his 50 years in the world of crime fiction, the multi-award winning author Harry Keating rubbed shoulders with the greats of every generation, from Agatha Christie on. During his long career he published over 50 crime novels and numerous short stories and edited and wrote various non-fiction works. He was also an astute critic of the genre, especially during his 15 years as crime fiction critic for The Times.

Natalie Haynes: A crime against Christie

There aren't many absolutes I use to decide whether or not I like a person. I'm vegetarian, for example, but I don't mind at all that my friends aren't. I'm happy to disagree with people politically. And I don't even care if they like team sports, when I only watch tennis, boxing and darts.

A Shortcut to Paradise, By Teresa Solana

Criminal capers in Barcelona
Latest stories from i100
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 12 March 2015
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat