Monday, 12 August 2019
The Art of the Whodunit - again
I've returned from my latest trip, directing the Art of the Whodunit programme again for Road Scholar, and a group of lovely American crime fans (one of whom turned out to be a fellow Brit, who'd met and married a charming member of the group on a previous trip). Having run this programme for the first time in May, I felt more confident this time around, and that helped to make the journey even more enjoyable.
We began by flying out to New York City, where again I managed to find my way to the Mysterious Bookshop, somehow managing to restrict myself to buying just four books. There was also time for a river cruise on a hot Saturday afternoon before meeting the group, and the following day we all embarked on Queen Mary 2, a much more civilised and straightforward process than last time, when all the roads around the terminal were closed because of a bike race, meaning that we had to set out at the crack of dawn.
A seven day Atlantic crossing is quite an experience, and the days raced by. I'd made some changes to the programme this time, since I'd realised that it would be viable to stage my Victorian murder mystery, "Who Killed George Hargrave?" on board. Four members of the group volunteered to play the suspects, and did a great job.
After landing at Southampton we headed over to Oxford, staying at a hotel in the charming village of Iffley. Weirdly enough, I'd never got nearer to Iffley than the stadium, and the locks on the river, even though it's within walking distance of the city centre. I found it a lovely village. The various tours, of Balliol (where I admired the picture of Lord Peter Wimsey, below, which is to be found in the Buttery), Christ Church, the Sheldonian Theatre, the canal and river, and Blackwell's bookshop were great fun, and when it was time to say goodbye there was the chance to reflect on a quite wonderful fortnight in the company of delightful people. And now, I really do need to get my head down and embark on...some serious writing!!