Namedrop in the bookshop

The annual readers-and-writers event organised by Richard Reynolds at Heffers bookshop was, as usual, packed with interesting people and there wasn’t time to talk to all of them. Roz Southey and I are still hoping to have a proper conversation one of these days… In the meantime I’m really grateful to everyone who made time to stop and chat, and especially to those who were kind enough to buy books. (Hello to Jeanine, a lady of extremely good taste who not only bought a Ruso book but is also a huge fan of ‘Rome’.)

As this is the third ‘Bodies in the bookshop’ I’ve been to, many faces are familiar, but I’m still surprised when I meet new people whose books I’ve been shelving in the library for years. Last night I found myself sharing a book table with David Donachie and Paul Doherty. I was too much of a wimp to take photos inside Heffers (look at me standing next to famous authors, Mum!) but to convey the refined atmosphere of the city in which this extravaganza takes place, here’s a shot of some bodies just down the road:

Crowd by the river at King's College Chapel, Cambridge

While most of us were gassing, Harry Sidebottom was busily signing a trolleyload of copies of ‘Warrior of Rome’. This is definitely going to be one to look out for. He politely remembered that I got a nice review in the TLS recently and I was too overawed to remember that he’d received a rave review on the same page. Duh. Definitely ‘nul points’ for social etiquette there. Anyway, I intend to devour ‘Warrior of Rome’ as soon as Ruso 3 goes off to the editors (and before it comes back bearing a stack of tactful suggestions for improvement).

Roger (RN) Morris has a new Porfiry Petrovich book out – ‘A Vengeful Longing’. It’s received excellent reviews and an award nomination, which he modestly didn’t mention so I will.

‘Bodies’ is always a fun event. Oddly enough, crime writers are reckoned to be the friendliest bunch out of all the genres. Must be because we get all our deep dark urges dealt with on paper.