Tuesday, 1 February 2011

A Thrill A Minute: Crime Fiction

Maybe some of you notice what I'm readin' by lookin at My Library Thing collection? See... in the right hand column there?

Maybe some of you couldn't care less.

But if you have ever looked at my profile (supremely uninteresting but a girl has to protect her privacy....) You may see that I "stress-bust" by reading foreign crime fiction.

I would indeed like to claim higher literary habits. But... at least I'm honest about them.

Anyway... the other day I goes to my local library to see if I can stock up on said delights. Hah!

"Library Closed for Management meeting. Open at 1pm."

Hah! Indeed. I know what that means.... It means discussions of closures and cuts, don't it. As if they hadn't only recently re-opened after repairing the roof. Mind you - they took the opportunity to re-arrange everything during the closure. Now the place looks appalling. Like a book storehouse with about one member of staff visible, a bank of internet PCs and a computerised, do-it-yourself issue system. It's so depressing.

So, thwarted from an hour of browsing while The Old Man gets lectured by his Heart Nurse, I beetle off out of the cold into the nearest charity shop. It's run by a small independent charity supporting a local animal sanctuary. The prices are still cheap. (Unlike the local British Heart Foundation shop - where secondhand paperbacks are priced at £2 each. And I have to say that you can get new books at that price in a "remainders" shop in another nearby town. It's not that I'm Mr Scrooge personified. But if a girl has a habit... £2 a throw is no good.)

Cos the Animal Sanctuary shop charges a delightful "50p a throw or 3 books for a pound". And I mean, at that price, if I treat the books well - I'm happy to take em back to the shop when I've read 'em. And maybe someone else will give them a go. So I buy three books. Three thrillers by Nevada Barr. And I am pleased to find them, cos her books are a bit rare out there.

Nevada Barr is an American writer who sets her stories in the reserves and National Parks in North America - the protagonist being Park Ranger Anna Pigeon. I've read some before and am delighted to find that someone else local is a fan and has donated them to the shop.

And what it reminds me, as I slip back into the world of a forty-something, lone female with a slight drink problem..... is that I've drifted away from female leads in my reading. My crime fiction world has returned to the domain of male protagonists - albeit forty something, lone males... with slight drink problems.

It is nice to be back with the women.

No comments: