Independent Plus

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

Forgotten authors No 10: Gladys Mitchell

Born in 1901, she was one of the "Big Three" female mystery novelists, judged the equal of Dorothy L Sayers and Agatha Christie, but that's not quite accurate – she's more like a mad combination of both. Philip Larkin loved her and many admired her mordant and morbid mysteries. Diana Rigg starred in some bland TV versions of her novels that turn her Mrs Bradley character into a glamorous Miss Marple. The exposure has resulted in new demand for her books, which is good because they're more interesting than Christie's, if more problematic.

Howard Jacobson: The calm comedy of Simon Gray was all the company you ever needed

We expected him to be clinging on, for us, for the joy and relief that making merry with calamity brings

Preview: The Black And White Ball, King's Head Theatre, London

Cole Porter tunes with a ghostly touch

The Complete Guide To: Coastal Devon

Anthony Lambert goes west to discover bucket-and-spade beaches, fine dining and superb walking

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, By Stieg Larsson

A classic odd-couple detective duo head to a Swedish island to solve a 30-year-old mystery

The Nile: even Cleopatra wasn't pampered like this

The Nile cruise is one of the world's travel highlights. But Oberoi's new boat offers a very different take on this classic tour, says Katy Guest

Howard Jacobson: It's not done to say it, but a book that's 'a good read' is seldom worth reading

Took part in a balloon debate for English PEN last week. You know the sort of thing – balloon containing four writers in trouble, one writer has to be thrown over the side, then another, then another, until only one writer left. Bad luck if you happen to be sitting underneath.

Angry Young Man, Trafalgar Studios, London

The synopsis of Ben Woolf's one-hour play (which he also directs) seems to promise a serious drama about "Yuri, a brilliant Eastern European surgeon", who comes to London and meets a man who offers him help and a trip to the country. "What they find there reveals some cold truths about England," and Yuri is forced "to choose between a life in Britain and his honour".

Emergency services 'were not ready' for 7 July attacks

Failures in the preparations by the emergency services to cope with the London Tube and bus bombings will be criticised in a report today.

Five Best Agatha Christie Haunts

As a week celebrating the writer's work begins, Rhiannon Batten follows in her footsteps

Preview: Agatha Christie Week, various venues, nationwide

The real mystery of Christie
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project