Let’s begin with some snippets of literary news – some good, and some bad.
I love to hear about new literary museums being created, and one exciting new one in England is the Great Yarmouth birthplace of Anna Sewell, author of Black Beauty, a book that brought about more humane treatment of working horses. It was also the first book to use an animal as narrator. The house is being taken care of by the Redwings Horse Charity, which rescues horses, ponies and mules around the UK.
The museum opened in August 2022. There was once a plan for buying the house, dismantling it, and taking it to America, but instead, an English benefactor saved the Grade II-listed home and so it remained in England.
I was gutted to learn that one of my very favourite crime writers ever, Elly Griffiths, will be ‘retiring’ her fabulous heroine Dr Ruth Galloway. The books helped me stay sane during Covid and I am so upset that this latest Ruth book, The Last Remains will be the final one in the series. I’ve loved every one of the sixteen books.
Elly has started a new series featuring a Sikh woman detective, Harbinder Kaur. The series starts with The Stranger Diaries, and the three books so far have all been excellent, but I will so miss Ruth and Nelson and the other memorable characters, the eerie setting of the saltmarsh, the humour, and the excellent writing. Thank you, Elly, for giving me so much pleasure, and I do hope that perhaps Ruth fails to enjoy her retirement and comes back to delight me and many others.
Don’t forget that my exciting new Trailblazer series, about fascinating English men and women, will be starting in a few days. I am so looking forward to having so many of you join me on zoom, to discover more about these four amazing people.