Wendy's Recent Reads and Bits & Pieces - The Missing Clue - June 2019

Coming to Your Television

Last week I saw a notice on a mystery blog that there was to be a television series based on Peter James’ Roy Grace series, so I decided to do some further investigating. Unfortunately, details proved to be frustratingly vague. The notice I read was based on comments made by the author himself at the UK launch of the fifteenth Roy Grace title, Dead at First Sight, and reported in The Argus, a newspaper published in Brighton. Further research led me to a number of other similar reports in The Argus, going back to 2011. From other sources, including Peter James own YouTube channel, I think that there are definitely plans for a Roy Grace series but when it will appear is not clear. Peter James is on record as saying that he wants a relatively unknown actor to play the role of Roy Grace, so perhaps casting is one of the holdups. Hopefully, all will be resolved and we can all enjoy the stories and views of beautiful Brighton. Dead at First Sight, will be available in Canada on July 2nd, tradepaper $25.99.

A two-part drama series which will be released in the fall is Salisbury. This series is based on the Novichok poisonings of March 2018, when Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were targeted. Unfortunately, there were also unintended victims, a policeman was exposed to the nerve agent during the initial investigation. In June 2018, a British couple Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley became ill and Ms. Sturgess died after being exposed to the perfume bottle which had contained the nerve agent and which had been discarded in a park. Should be interesting viewing.

Used Books

One feature of our used book purchases this Spring has been the number of almost complete series that we have obtained. In the adult section it has included Deborah Crombie, Reginald Hill, Laura Child and Kate Ellis.

Unusually this year we also have quite long runs of juvenile/young adult series, many new titles for our Nancy Drew collection for instance. We also have some series which are new to me. Margaret Sutton’s Judy Bolton series being one. There are in total thirty eight books in the series, the first book The Vanishing Shadow was published in 1932 and the final book The Secret of the Sandcastle was published in 1967. The series is unusual because the character starts as a high school student, ages and gets married and is regarded as being more realistic than Nancy Drew. Many of the novels have a basis in fact, the Austin (Pennsylvania) Dam disaster was the basis for the first Judy Bolton mystery. Family homes, of the author in Odin and Coudersport, PA. appeared in the books as homes of the various characters. The series was published by Grosset and Dunlap, they had only agreed to publish the books on three conditions. The author whose real name was Rachel Irene Beebe, had to change her name to something more marketable and sophisticated, the new girl detective could not be called Melissa so Judy Bolton was born and Judy could not be blonde because Grosset and Dunlap already had a blonde, Nancy Drew! Although published by Grosset and Dunlap, Sutton was not part of the Stratemeyer Syndicate, so she retained the copyright of her own books.  It has been suggested that it was pressure from the Stratemeyers fearing competition for their Nancy Drew books that led to limited promotion of the Judy Bolton series, and its eventual cancellation. 

Hilary Mantel

YES there is an official date and an official title for the final book in Hilary Mantel’s Thomas Cromwell trilogy.The Mirror and the Light will be published on March 10th 2020 by Harper Collins Canada. It will be in the trade paper format at $24.99.This novel will follow the last five years of Cromwell’s life starting with the execution of Anne Boleyn in May 1536.Some of our customers have said they are dusting off the two earlier titles in the series, Wolf Hall (2009) and Bring Up the Bodies (2012) to be ready for the event.