First the new. Ben Aaronvitch is an author I have spotted both in my local library, and in my favourite bookshop, Daunts of Fulham Road. It seemed to me, and this is rather important, that Ben was a crime author, his policeman was a London policeman. This I thought was all there was to it. I love crime books, I love London, especially the River Thames, which featured on some of his book covers. It was only a matter of time before I read about PC Grant.
When we were in Oxford a few weeks ago for the second graduation, I treated myself to a few books in Blackwells bookshop. Well, there was a 3 for 2 offer on, it was rude not to. You know, we have a moral duty to support independent shops, booksellers, fabric shops, coffee shops. And, so, I bought Foxglove Summer, book 5 in the series.
The first surprise was this novel set in Herefordshire. That was a nice surprise. You may, or may not, remember that I spent my birthday in Herefordshire looking for my dead people. (I am heavily into my genealogy). This book was set in precisely the area we drove around. I would have noticed the map on the front cover. Who says judge a book by its cover?
The second surprise was the inscription in the front of the book.
"This book is dedicated to Sir Terry Pratchett OBE
who has stood like a wossname upon the
rocky shores of our imaginations - the better
to guide us safely into harbour"
Now, my two sons cut their eye teeth on Sir Terry Prachett's books, so this didn't raise any alarm bells. He was indeed a great man. I should have realised this was a crime book of the fantasty variety. PC Grant is part of a not secret police division dealing with "weird happenings". I would have known that if I had read the blurb on the back cover.
~ So, if I don't look at the front cover, and I don't look at the back cover, then how do I pick my books? Answers on a postcard please.
As an addendum, I have just looked again at the rear of the book, and seen even the price label lists it as SF. Turns out the first in the series is already in our house, will probably read it too.
My second book is another Barbara Pym, "Less Than Angels". I have read a number of these, really enjoyed them. This one has not disappointed. Catherine is in love with Tom, an anthropologist, but along comes Deidre. And as we all know, the path of true love never does run smooth, with all the secondary characters, the university admin staff, the fellow students and family, and perhaps Catherine is just as well having no family! Again there are so many little phrases, especially about love and men, that make me laugh out loud. My trust book friend Liz has bought me some stickys to mark these bits.
I knew I was in good company liking Barbara Pym when I spotted one of my favourite crime authors was in the Barbara Pym Society. The only problem is, I can't remember who. Sandra from Musingsfromamenopausalmelon will understand this. It may be Kate Ellis, or Elizabeth George. I know Hazel Holt is in the society, I love Hazel Holt, but it is somebody else I am thinking of.
See you all again soon.
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