‘absorbing second mystery . . . stunning resolution.’ [Stage Fright]


Murder in the Library

If you find yourself near the British Library with some time to spare, they have a small exhibition called MURDER IN THE LIBRARY, which is well worth a look. It’s free, too. It’s arranged alphabetically, beginning – of course! – with A for Agatha. Other categories include R for railways, N for Nordic Crime, G for Golden Age, T for True Crime, Q for Queens of Crime, and L for Locked Rooms. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It is mostly the art of the dust jacket that is on display, but it reminded me of some old friends and gave me some ideas for future reading. Siobhan Dowd’s young adult novel, THE LONDON EYE MYSTERY, sounds intriguing: someone disappears from one of the pods on the London Eye. It is a variant of the locked room mystery and I am rather tempted to have a go at one of those myself, not as a full length John Dickson Carr mystery, but just as a short story. After the exhibition I had a look round the book shop and was pleased to see that they had a selection of crime fiction, including THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF BEST BRITISH CRIME 10, which has just come out. At £7.99 for 42 stories, it is very good value. I have to declare an interest as it contains one of my stories, ‘Vanishing Act.’ I am in distinguished company: Lee Child, Ann Cleeves, Neil Gaiman, Martin Edwards, Simon Brett, among others, are represented. My own feeling is that really good short stories are rarer than good novels. They won’t all be to everyone’s taste, but there are some crackers in here.