Published by Lyn on 1 July 2014
Julia Stagg writes fondly about Greg Moody's cycling murder mystery, Two Wheels – and urges you to pick up a copy.
It’s almost time; the Tour de France is around the corner. So to celebrate, what better way than to reach for a book that manages to combine the thrill of the greatest bike race on the planet with fiction? In Two Wheels, Greg Moody does just that.
I first came across Moody’s books when living in the USA in 2001. I was in a bike shop mooching around and picked up a copy of Two Wheels. Intrigued by the blurb – a tongue-in-cheek murder-mystery set around the Tour – I started reading, waiting for my husband to break free from the grip a golden Cannondale was exerting on him on the far side of the store. Within seconds I was smiling, then laughing, and when my husband walked over, eyes pleading, and said he wanted to buy the beautiful Cannondale, I agreed. But only if I could buy the book.
Thirteen years on, that bike is now a winter bike, rolled out for those days when its replacement – a carbon fibre beauty with gorgeous lines and sexy colours – is deemed too good to ride. (In North Yorkshire, that can be often!) And I still have my copy of Two Wheels. It’s a bit battered, having moved around the world with us and having spent six years on the communal bookshelf of our cyclist-friendly auberge. It’s been read by so many people – fans of bicycles and fans of fiction. And it’s been enjoyed by all.
Given the time of year and the appropriateness of the topic, I thought I’d write a review, but first I dipped into it again, to see if it was as good as I remembered. To see how dated it is. Happily, it still shines. An amusing, insightful novel charting a washed-up professional cyclist’s attempt to cope with being thrust back into a top team. All of that with a bit of murder and mayhem thrown in.
It’s light-hearted. It’s funny. And yes, some of the cycling references are from the mid-nineties when it was first published, but if anything, that merely adds to the flavour. So if you want to treat yourself to a bit of Le Tour fiction, you can do worse than buy a copy of Two Wheels. Hopefully you won’t have to buy a Cannondale as well!
Julia Stagg writes fiction set in the Ariège region of the French Pyrenees, an area she discovered through her passion for cycling. Her latest novel, A Fête to Remember (UK, US) is available now, published by Hodder and Stoughton. You can say hello to Julia on Facebook.