Wednesday, 9 April 2008

'The Bookbinder's Apprentice'

The re-publication of ‘The Bookbinder’s Apprentice’ in Maxim Jakubowski’s latest Best British Mysteries prompts me to tell of how the story came to be written.

It happened like this. Venice is one of my favourite places in the world and my wife feels the same about it. We first visited it on our honeymoon and returned a few years ago. It was wonderful to soak up the atmosphere of those narrow alley-ways. It’s a very beautiful city, of course, but also rather spooky – as anyone who has seen that brilliant film Don’t Look Now will surely agree.

On a walk near San Marco, I paused to look into a rather gloomy shop window. It was a bookbinder’s shop and I found it fascinating. My imagination went into overdrive and by the time, two or three minutes later, that the long-suffering Mrs Edwards dragged me away, the idea for a story had formed in my mind. I began writing later that day, in a quiet square where the first scene in ‘The Bookbinder’s Apprentice’ is set.

Andrew Gulli, editor of Strand Magazine, had asked me for a pastiche Sherlock Holmes story, but I persuaded him to take a look at my contemporary tale of psychological suspense. He liked it and published it. It’s a story I’m quite proud of and I’m glad it’s having a new lease of life on this side of the Atlantic as well as in the States.


maxine said...

Yet another part of your ouevre that I am clearly going to have to read!
Venice is one of our favourites, too -- though we love Italy in general in our family. We were in Venice last summer and had a wonderful time there. It was quite striking how the city of Venice (different aspects of, it has to be admitted) appealed to the wide-ranging tastes of all of our party -- two aged types and three younger generation (24, 17 and 12). They all wanted to go back to re-visit, again and again. That is rare.

Martin Edwards said...

It is, and as you say that illustrates the city's special quality. I like Italy a lot but haven't ventured much beyond Rome, Florence, Naples and Venice. Must try the Italian Lakes sometime.

Peter Rozovsky said...

Apologies for stumbling around trying to find the right place to post this. Congratulations on being shortlisted for the Dagger.
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"