I made it down to London this week (or as my grandfather would have had it - I went up to town), the day had a few of highlights; it didn't rain, I finally made it to the The Soane Museum (I look forward to going again when further refurbishments have been completed and more than ever of it is open) it's an extraordinary place with an unbelievable amount of stuff attached to the walls - one visit is nothing like enough to take it in. There was also time to stop at a couple of bookshops - all the more necessary now that Leicester lacks for a decent bookshop at all. After staring through the window of Foyles in St Pancras (already better than the sorry excuse for a Waterstones I have locally) getting thoroughly over excited in the British Library shop (a camera full of pictures of books to go on my wish list) and a calm browse around Piccadilly Waterstones I felt somewhat revived. I really, really, miss having a decent bookshop within walking distance (I mean what's the bloody point of living in a city centre otherwise?).
My book buying was quite restrained (only 5 books) and all old fashioned crime/thrillers. Just as I didn't know that E. F. Benson wrote horror stories before I found a collection of them, I had no idea that he'd written crime until I found 'The Luck of the Vails' prominently displayed in the British Library (and then again in Waterstones) I expect someone has written a book about all the things I don't know about E.F. Benson and his output. I should probably read it and avoid this sort of shock.
Hammond Innes looked like he might have produced the sort of thing that both myself and D will enjoy if we manage to get snowed in anywhere this winter hence 'Wreckers Must Breathe'. What I'm really excited by though are the British Library Crime Classics. Specifically both the idea that the British Library is rummaging around and re-printing things - the first 3 books in the series are the first 3 books to feature female detectives. A couple of these lady detectives and their authors are familiar to me from 'The Penguin Book of Victorian Women in Crime' so I have high hopes.
There's a Christmas themed mystery available 'The Santa Klaus Murder' which I definitely want and some intriguing looking titles coming out next year (I'm looking at 'Death on the Cherwell' ..."For Miss Cordell, principal of Persephone College, there are two great evils to be feared: unladylike behaviour among her students, and bad publicity for the college. So her prim and cosy world is turned upside down when a secret society of undergraduates meets by the river on a gloomy January afternoon, only to find the drowned body of the college bursar floating in her canoe. The police assume that a student prank got out of hand, but the resourceful Persephone girls suspect foul play, and take the investigation into their own hands. Soon they uncover the tangled secrets that led to the bursar's death - and the clues that point to a fellow student. This classic mystery novel, with its evocative setting in an Oxford women's college, is now republished for the first time since the 1930s."). Annoyingly it isn't that easy to find out much about this series (by which I mean when I google British Library Crime Classics nothing especially informative comes up on the first page) but just a moments thought about what they have access to - well just imagine it...