Death in the library?

9781911320272-510x823I’ve just spent an enjoyable couple of hours in Windermere library, listening to crime writer Ian McFadyen talking about his writing and his books.

Ian writes the Inspector Carmichael series of “cosy” murder mysteries (although don’t let him hear you using that term!) which are set in northern and western Lancashire, not a million miles from Windermere.  Hence his visit.

The talk was really interesting, covering everything from how he started writing, through his writing process, to the publishing and marketing of his books, and their overall brand in terms of distinctive ‘look’ and cover art.

I haven’t read any of the series but if you like police procedurals set in slightly unusual, out of the way rural areas featuring intriguing puzzles and a recurring team of central characters, then these will be for you.  And if Ian writes in anything like as engaging a style as he speaks, they’ll be well worth seeking out.  His latest (the sixth in the series) is Death in Winter, which features a woman disappearing from a train at Christmas time.  It sounds fun – do go and look it up!

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Birmingham library award

I see the new library in Birmingham was up for the prestigious Stirling Award, given out to the best new architect-designed building in the UK, this year.  Sadly for Brum, it didn’t win.  The formal accolade went to the rebuilt Everyman Theatre in Liverpool, in the face of strong opposition from buildings like The Shard in London.

Birmingham Library did come away with a consolation prize, though, since it won a BBC website vote on the most popular of the six Stirling contenders.

I still don’t really like the building – to me it looks like a pile of cardboard boxes loosely wrapped in concertina barbed wire – but deep down I’m happy for its success!