So… on Thursday I went along to the inaugural meeting of the local Crime Reading group: this took place in the library and turned out to be an all-women affair, though the facilitator, an ex-librarian, was male. He proved to be very knowledgeable about crime and got the discussion going; though people didn’t need much encouragement, being a very vocal group. We began with our favourite authors: M C Beaton was the first to be mentioned, an author towards the cosy end of crime who was referred to throughout as Mrs Beaton, which amused me. Ian Rankin featured heavily, of course, as did Patricia Cornwell – whom I have yet to read – Kathy Reichs and Val McDermid were also mentioned; many people liked Agatha Christie (which I don’t) and what was surprising in retrospect was how little Sherlock Holmes was mentioned. A sign of the times perhaps?
There was a potential split between those who wanted to focus purely on books and saw TV adaptations as irrelevant (‘I have only books and radio 4 in my house’ said one) and those – one woman in particular – who seemed very focussed on TV programmes and admitted to reading only ‘short, easy books.’ I suspect most people are like me, wanting to focus on books but also interested in the dialogue between books and other forms – and in particular, whether future books are influenced by past adaptations. Some people claimed that Ian Rankin’s books, for example, had been changed by TV interpretations of Rebus. So that will be interesting.
For next month we have a book to read which is based in the Island of Lewis off the coast of Scotland, called Black House. I’m finding it interesting so far and he evokes the setting well:
And so to the Ale Wagon, where Jan and I discussed Scottish independence and whether the vote would go through if they had it tomorrow. She reckoned it might…
…and going back to yesterday’s theme, there’s an awful lot of talk about tennis injuries and why the courts are so slippery, but few people seem to mention the obvious: the utterly crappy summer we’ve been having.