Monday, 19 June 2017
Bodies from the Library
I was asked to open and close Bodies, and between 10 am and 5.15 there was a lot happening. Jake Kerridge moderated a panel featuring Len Tyler, Seona Ford of the Dorothy L. Sayers Society and me, and we talked about aspects of the Golden Age. Tony Medawar spoke about John Rhode, Kirsten Saxton talked enthusiastically about The Incredible Crime, and John Curran about crossword puzzles and classic crime. Then Rob Davies interviewed me about The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books.
The book was on sale at the event, and upwards of 80 copies were sold. I've never sold anything like as many hardbacks on a single occasion. Plenty of copies of Taking Detective Stories Seriously were also sold - very gratifying. The afternoon events included a Sayers radio play, talks on Elizabeth Daly, Ethel Lina White, Ronald Knox and Edmund Crispin, and a panel in which the speakers talked about their favourite classic crime novels.
For me the day was something of a whirl, just as Alibis in the Archive was the previous week, I was delighted to have the chance to say hello to a lot of nice people, and even send a recorded message to fans of the Detection Club in Brazil (didn't expect that!) but of course there's never enough time during such concentrated events. The main thing was that several people expressed the view that this was the best Bodies yet, and we are all hoping that it will happen again next year. The atmosphere was hugely positive.
There being no rest for the wicked, I then hosted a CWA reception immediately afterwards, announcing that the winner of the 2017 CWA Dagger in the Library is Mari Hannah. The shortlist was very strong and so it was a particular pleasure to congratulate Mari. After dinner with a few friends,,I must admit that I was quite exhausted. But it was worth it. A grand day.