Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Murder in the Library

If you find yourself near the British Library with some time to spare, they have a small exhibition called MURDER IN THE LIBRARY, which is well worth a look. It's free, too. It's arranged alphabetically, beginning - of course! - with A for Agatha. Other categories include R for railways, N for Nordic Crime, G for Golden Age, T for True Crime, Q for Queens of Crime, and L for Locked Rooms. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It is mostly the art of the dust jacket that is on display, but it reminded me of some old friends and gave me some ideas for future reading. Siobhan Dowd's young adult novel, THE LONDON EYE MYSTERY, sounds intriguing: someone disappears from one of the pods on the London Eye. It is a variant of the locked room mystery and I am rather tempted to have a go at one of those myself, not as a full length John Dickson Carr mystery, but just as a short story. After the exhibition I had a look round the book shop and was pleased to see that they had a selection of crime fiction, including THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF BEST BRITISH CRIME 10, which has just come out. At £7.99 for 42 stories, it is very good value. I have to declare an interest as it contains one of my stories, 'Vanishing Act.' I am in distinguished company: Lee Child, Ann Cleeves, Neil Gaiman, Martin Edwards, Simon Brett, among others, are represented. My own feeling is that really good short stories are rarer than good novels. They won't all be to everyone's taste, but there are some crackers in here.

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4 Comments:

Blogger Picturetalk321 said...

What a great review. I'm tweeting it (on Monday). I've been meaning to see it and your post is a timely reminder not to miss it! The sci fi exhibition at the BL was great. I am quite excited as you are an art historian turned crime writer. I am an art historian turned nothing so far (well, turned film historian, I suppose, sort of) but maybe I too am a caterpillar waiting to emerge? Hah. Also, I live in Cambridge. So I have many reasons to go out and buy your novels. Which one do you recommend as the one to start with? Nina

Wednesday, 13 March, 2013  
Blogger Christine said...

Lovely to hear from you, Nina. I think it makes sense to begin with the first of my books as they are a series. It was originally called Dead Letters, but is available under its US title, Murder is Academic, as an Ostara paperback in Heffers. Or you could wait until it is published as an ebook by St Martin's Press on 29th March. Hope you enjoy it. Do keep in touch.

Friday, 15 March, 2013  
Blogger Picturetalk321 said...

Ah, thanks for the reply! So Dead Letters and Murder is Academic are exactly the same text although the editions have different descriptions in Amazon?? Just making sure. I may wait for the ebook as I love reading on kindle. Also, browsing through Amazon, I discovered that you are the author of the book on Arthur in the 19th century: and now I am very excited indeed! I work on 19th-C. academic painting (full real-name Nina Lübbren). This is great. I'm also intrigued that you used to be at Cambridge; we may possibly have run into each other at some point or another. Anyway, great to meet you in this somewhat unorthodox way. :-) Look forward to reading your mystery AND your Arthurian book which has been on my to-read-list for years.

Saturday, 16 March, 2013  
Blogger Christine said...

Yes, Dead Letters and Murder is Academic are one and the same.
It's very nice to meet you, Nina! It is now a long time since I taught in Cambridge. I was lecturer in History of Art at Homerton College 1990 to 1997 in the days when it still had an art department.
Yes, it does sound as if we have quite a lot in common, though I am not really an academic these days. Hope you enjoy the Arthurian legends book.

Monday, 18 March, 2013  

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