It’s that time of year again. We started sorting books for the Library Book Sale back on February 28th. I got a month in before the monster (kidney stone) showed up. I missed a whole month of sorting and now actually working at the sale. I look forward to this all year. Both my kidney stones happened in April, book sale time. Hopefully this will be the last one once I get the parathyroid removed! I still have the stone and the stent in. Wednesday is my lithotripsy and then I should be right as rain! It’s been a long uncomfortable five weeks, let me tell you! But back to the book sale. I did manage to get 20 books set aside in the one month I worked and Friday Bossman and I went up to the opening day of the sale. It was so nice to see everyone! I looked through the mysteries and under the letter of a couple of authors I was hoping to find and that was about all I could do. I had to find a chair and just sit while Bossman looked, but I got to talk to everyone. I got seven more books, 27 in all so that missing month of not working saved me money and bookshelf space!
I’ve read a couple Rumor Godden’s over the last year and really like her writing so was glad to find a couple of hers. I adore the green Penguin paperbacks and we had quite a few of those this year. The Massingham Affair is probably the most interesting to me. I’ve never heard of Edward Grierson, here’s the description from the flap…
In this beautifully constructed suspense novel Edward Grierson explores the long and twisted path of a crime and its consequences. In 1891 two intruders broke into the lonely rectory of Massingham, on the moors of Northumberland. A watch and an ornamental seal were stolen, shots were fired, and Mr. Verney, the old vicar, and his daughter Charlotte were both hit. Local inhabitants were appalled by the crime; the police rounded up two suspects from among the poachers of nearby Smedwick, and these men, Milligan and Kelly, were tried, found guilty of the robbery, and sentenced to life imprisonment.
Justin Derry, a rising young Smedwick lawyer, had been a junior solicitor at the trial, and at the time was dissatisfied with the verdict. Much later a visitor to his office brings him the hope of finding new evidence that would prove the innocence of Milligan and Kelly. He joins with the Reverend Walter P. Beaumont Lumley, an energetic – if sometime pompous – zealot, and tries to foist his campaign for justice onto a hostile local audience. But he finds it is not easy.
Colonel Deverel, the wealthy father of Justin’s beautiful fiancee Georgina, opposes his stand and threatens both his marriage and his business advancement; the superintendent who arrested Milligan and Kelly takes great exception to any slur on his discharge of office; Miss Charlotte Verney is too proud to retract the identifications she made so assertively at the trial long ago.
Strange and disturbing developments mark the progress of the two investigators; a girl is mysteriously drowned; a murder committed years ago assumes sinister significance; the local poachers on who they rely for evidence weave truth and lies together in a messy web; and Justin finds himself neglecting his fiancee and falling in love with the proud Miss Verney.
After eight years spent fighting against the pride of individuals and the prejudice of the public, the lawyer and the clergymen come to the end of their search. But it is not until thirty years later that Justin Derry sits at the bedside of a dying woman and learns that, in a curious and far from legal way, justice had been done.
In The Massingham Affair Edward Grierson makes use of satire as well as suspense. The reader is alternately puzzled by a mystery that will not resolve itself till the very end, and diverted as the author re-creates the style of the novelists of the Victorian era.
Doesn’t that sound good?! He wrote several crime novels. I’ll have to keep my eye out for more.
We stopped at McKay’s used book store in Knoxville the day I had my CT scan and I got a few books. I was hurting too bad to spend much time looking around but couldn’t go to Knoxville and not stop. I picked these up that day…
That’s it for now. Talk to you again soon!