This was the third Bodies from the Library I've been to (the fourth they've done) and it was excellent. It's a thoroughly well organised event that I'd recommend to anybody with even a passing interest in golden age crime fiction.
Particular highlights for me started with Rachel Reeves MP talking about 'Ellen Wilkinson: MP and Detective Novelist'. I hadn't heard of Ellen Wilkinson before, or at least if I had I hadn't remembered her, it's a shame in either count because she sounded like an amazing woman. Rachel Reeves is writing a book (out in March next year) about women in parliament over the last 100 years that's definitely going on my wish list. I also need to look up Wilkinson's biography.
Ellen Wilkinson was a labour MP from the mid 1920's onwards. She wrote 'The Diviion Bell Mystery' to make some money whilst she was temporarily without a seat. Reeves read it whilst researching her book, and approached the British Library about reissuing it as part of their Crime Classics series after finding it thoroughly entertaining as well as full of details about parliamentary life in the period. It's out in August (although copies were available yesterday) and I'm really looking forward to this one.
Martin Edwards in Richard Hull was interesting too, I really enjoyed 'Excellent Intentions' and will finish 'The Murder of my Aunt' as soon as I've written this post. 'The Murder of my Aunt' was Hull's first book, and is apparently often considered his best - so far I prefer 'Excellent Intentions', but both have a lot to recommend them. The good news about Hull is that more of his titles are drifting back into print in various places so there's going to be plenty more to explore.
Martin Edwards and Tony Medawar discussing the compilation of anthologies sold me 'Bodies From The Library'. This collection comprises previously lost tales of mystery and suspense by Agatha Christie and other masters of the golden age - including a Georgette Heyer, which was the selling point for me. These are mostly things which first appeared in magazines and newspapers, often quite obscure ones, and had since been more or less forgotten about. There's another collection due next year as well.
Jake Kerridge talking about Michael Innes has really made me want to read him too. I certainly used to have some Innes, and am hoping that I didn't send it off to a charity shop during one of those periodic clear outs. If I did at least I can choose a sensible place (near the beginning) to have another go with Innes now I have a better idea of what to expect.