Monday, July 09, 2007

The Astonishing Adventure of Diana Killian

How time flies when you're tearing your hair out. The hair flies too, by the way.

It's been a fairly hectic few months. I've just completed the revisions on Corpse Pose, first book in the new yoga series due out from Berkeley in the spring. I admit I had a few doubts about this series -- it was so very different from the Poetic Death series, but it's turned out to be a lot of fun. For me anyway, and hopefully for readers.

And finally Docketful of Poesy, fourth book in the Poetic Death series has been contracted by Perseverance Press for Spring 09. To say I'm pleased is to put it mildly.

Sooo with all that going on, I haven't had much time for reading -- let alone posting about reading -- but I did manage to pick up a few finds both at Malice and Bouchercon. However, the coolest find of all was a gift from my friend Jan Giles.

I've posted a few times that I longed for a copy of Patricia Wentworth's very first (and extremely rare) novel THE ASTONISHING ADVENTURE OF JANE SMITH. Considering what copies of this book go for on ABE, I never expected to actually get hold of it. But Jan, whose generosity is only surpassed by her memory, happened across a copy in Bahrain where she lives.

She lugged this copy all the way to Malice as a gift for me. Talk about an astonishing adventure! Everytime Jan travels she has astonishing adventures -- but I digress.

Needless to say I was -- and still am, really -- thrilled beyond belief. And, no, I haven't had a chance to read it yet, which tells you how truly spread thin I am these days.

So...first line from THE ASTONISHING ADVENTURE OF JANE SMITH, Small, Maynard & Co., 1903.

The dining-room of Molloy's flat had not been built to receive twenty-five guests, but the delegates of twenty-five affiliated Organizations had been crowded into it. The unshaded electric light glared down on men of many types and nationalities. It did not flatter them.

I'm going on vacation in abut five minutes, and first on my reading list is TAAOJS. I shall let you all know how it turns out.

Jan also gave me copies of Mary Roberts Rinehart's THE CIRCULAR STAIRCASE and THE MAN IN LOWER TEN. I've read them both, but these are lovely old copies, and I'm delighted to have them. So again, thank you , Jan, most sincerely.

The only thing I bought myself at Malice worth mentioning was a hardbacked ominibus of David Frome's MR PINKERTON and INSPECTOR BULL. This contains Mr. Pinkerton Solves the Eel Pie Murders, Mr. Pinkerton Goes to Scotland Yard, and Mr. Pinkerton Finds a Body.

I already have two copies of Mr. Pinkerton Finds a Body, but I've been looking for the others for a while, so that was a treat.

First line of Mr. Pinkerton Solves the Eel Pie Murders:

It was July in London. The thermometer still registered 84 degrees at six o'clock.

Jolly good!

Anyway, when I get back from my two weeks of much-needed and hard-earned vacation, I'll post on my newest criminal passion: THE PROFESSIONALS. 1970s British crime drama at its best.