Tuesday, 18 December 2012
In common with many people, I was shocked and saddened earlier today to learn the news of the death of Maxine Clarke, whose blog Petrona has long been an outstanding resource for crime fans. There are already several wonderful and heartfelt tributes by fellow bloggers, such as Margot Kinberg and Rhian Davies, and I can only echo the sentiments they express so very well.
I had the pleasure of meeting Maxine at Bristol and Harrogate, and found her a delightful person. We also corresponded often by email, and her comments on this blog were invariably well thought-out and perceptive. Over time, we discovered that we had a number of things in common. Unlike me, though, Maxine was very knowledgeable about scientific and technological matters, and her advice on I.T. and more effective use of the internet and social media was given generously (though probably with a touch of frustration at my inability to translate into practice some of her eminently sensible suggestions.)
My favourite memory of Maxine is probably of an evening when we were in the same quiz team, along with Karen Meek of Eurocrime and others, at Bristol. It was really good fun, a very convivial group. The photo of Maxine and me was taken that evening, and I'm grateful to Karen, on whose blog the shot originally appeared for permission to reproduce it here. Incidentally, the fact that our team, the Euromonkeys, triumphed that night was due in large measure to Maxine's knowledge of the genre, which was very wide. She knew more about Scandinavian crime fiction, for instance, than almost anyone I've ever met..
Maxine showed me a good many kindnesses over the past few years, which I much valued. She is a great loss, above all to her family, to whom she was clearly so devoted.