‘a delightful amateur sleuth novel with a well balanced mix of domestic and academic life and a strong sense of place.’ [Stage Fright]


Guide Books

As you imagine with a book addict like me, I am keen on guide-books. I’m a bit of an armchair traveller, though I enjoy the real thing, too. A while ago I bought a remaindered copy of the very attractive Dorling Kindersley guide to VENICE AND THE VENETO. No, I wasn’t about to go there, wasn’t even planning a trip there, but I would certainly want to go back there one day – and I could always set part of a story there. One of the great things about being a writer is that it gives you even more reasons to buy books.
Guide-books are not an unmitigated blessing as my husband would tell you after I’ve dragged him half-way round some foreign city that to find a recommended restaurant that turns out to be closed on Thursdays. Sometimes it’s better to relax and just take what comes. It is a holiday after all.
But at their best, guide-books can be cherished companions. Indeed there used to be a series of guide books called the Companion Guides. A week or two ago, near the end of our holiday in I was very glad of NORTHERN FRANCE: WHAT TO DO AND SEE WITHIN 90 MINUTES OF CALAIS. We have been several times to the Pas de Calais and Picardy region and I was at a loss for new something to do that would suit all the family. I thought we had done everything. Yet I somehow thought that Angela Bird’s excellent guide might come up trumps as it has so often done. And it did. Within easy reach was a working water-mill with guided tours and a creperie. An hour or two later we were having lunch on a balcony watching the river flow by. So thank you, Angela Bird, good companion and assiduous researcher. You’ve done a fine job.


  1. Angela Bird
    March 29, 2011

    Wow Christine!
    Just read your comments, and was delighted to know the book was so useful!
    Many thanks.


  2. Christine
    March 29, 2011

    I meant every word! We often go to that part of France and yours is the first book I pack. You did a great job.


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