Thursday, November 18, 2010


I was going to post my thoughts on completing reading Murder at the Savoy by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo, but earlier today Jose Ignacio already posted an excellent review of this book at The Game's Afoot.
I will therefore delay my effort a few days, and see if I can possibly come up with anything fresh to say about the wonderful Martin Beck series.

I don't know whether it is my age but I have recently found myself when browsing in bookshops, or the book sales areas of supermarkets, opening conversations with complete strangers. These people who have tentatively picked up a crime fiction book are informed as to the merits of that particular book. The trouble is I don't stop talking, and someone who was only glancing at the blurbs on the back cover of a Stieg Larsson or a Liza Marklund, will get a condensed history of Swedish crime fiction, and a long list of Scandinavian authors to read.
Luckily I am fairly harmless, and eventually Mrs Crime Scraps will come and lead me away still mumbling about Arnaldur Indridason, Jo Nesbo, and Liza Marklund. Mrs Crime Scraps and my victim will both sigh and nod kindly at my idiosyncratic behaviour; an explanation follows "He can't help it he is a blogger".


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Norman - LOL! I thought I was the only one who does that kind of thing. It's quite reassuring to know that I am not. They are considering banning me from the local bookseller, because when allowed untrammeled access, I tend to be as much a tour guide as anything else. You would think that writing and blogging would be enough outlet for my passion for crime fiction. Clearly they are not.

9:16 AM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

Margot- It is nice to hear I am not alone. I have found myself in an excellent bookshop in Totnes, where you can smell the marijuana in the air, trying to sell someone a George Pelecanos when the shop had sold out of Dennis Lehanes. I then realised, hang on I don't work here.
No sensible bookshop staff would ever ban you, after all you are so knowledgeable you would be an asset.

9:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Norman - *blush* That's very kind of you. That bookshop you describe sounds like an excellent store; there are not enough unique and interesting bookshops out there, so I am always drawn to the ones with personality.

10:04 AM  
Blogger Bernadette said...

LOL - though I am slightly less aged and I too have been known to do this. I don't do a lot of browsing in bricks and mortar stores anymore but the last time I did I spent a few minutes telling a complete stranger why he must read the Ken Bruen novel he had in his hand but was about to put back on the shelves.

I like to imagine people appreciate these recommendations

11:50 AM  
Blogger Jose Ignacio Escribano said...

Norman thanks for the compliment, totally undeserved. I'm glad it led to a very funny blog post. Great Norman.

12:16 PM  
Blogger Vanda Symon said...

That is so funny. All my local book shops know me now, and I've had the staff come up with a customer and ask my recommendations on crime fiction, and other books fairly regularly. Hmmm, maybe I should get a commission... paid in books...

12:49 PM  
Blogger Maxine Clarke said...

I was sooooo tempted when I was last in WHS and saw two ladies picking up a JP and the latest Tess Gerritsen on a "buy one get one half price" offer. The trouble was - (1) there was nothing else on the "offer" shelf which looked any better; and (2) they were telling each other how much they always loved JP and Patricia C's books, though one of them said it was hard for her to get through PC's last one. But often, I do recommend books to people if they look a bit lost at the crime fic section of Waterstones! (Can't resist it.) But then, I am a blogger too ;-)

3:57 AM  
Anonymous kathy d. said...

Oh, if the Barnes & Noble were still down the block from my residence, I would still be doing this.

When I go to the nearest Barnes & Noble, I just breathe in the ink and other odors of new books, and remark to the person next to new how a bookstore is like a bakery, great aromas and new products.

I do discuss books at the local library, both recommending books and getting recommendations. A reader suggested Jim Kelly's "Death Wore White," which she loved and I liked a lot.

Wish there were a bricks and mortar store nearby.

I have discussed books (how I also hate books written from a sociopath's point of view) with other readers at the local mystery book store, and recommended some titles.

But it's all good, promoting reading and enjoying books...the older I get, the more I like to stay home with a good mystery, especially if it's cold, rainy or sleety outside, or if it's Saturday or Sunday, or maybe any day of the week.

10:37 PM  
Blogger Dorte H said...


Another blogger here!

Don´t mention the word crime or I´ll begin. And my children have caught the bug too; my older daughter is writing a short paper about blogging right now, using my blog as a source. It should be fun to proof-read this one.

1:01 PM  

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