Both my parents were mystery readers, so I cut my teeth on Raymond Chandler and Margery Allingham, Ellery Queen and Phyllis Whitney. While Dad also relished ancient history, Mom tried to hide her occasional indulgence in bodice rippers from the kids. Fat chance! Those forbidden books, read by flashlight under the bed covers, shaped my regrettable tendency to lapse into purple prose on occasion, despite many years of writing mostly business reports, notes to teachers and grocery lists.
My husband and I are now happily retired (unlike Sister Mary Murderous, no semi about it!) empty nesters planning a move from our rambling Victorian in a sleepy suburban town to something much smaller, newer and easier to maintain. While it will be a wrench—I've walked a succession of dogs and kids through these tree-lined streets for over forty years—it's time to move on. (That's Wimsey, my butterfly-brained dog, in the middle of the street.)
The books will be, well, a problem. With ample space and time, they have insidiously overflowed the library into every room. My daughter once returned from visiting a friend and announced indignantly that they had no books in their bathrooms! E-readers are proving a boon, but I am a completist who tends to wander afield in my preferences. A battered book picked up at a library sale can send me on a frenzied search for every other book in the often long out-of-print series. The necessary cull is challenging and slow; in every box of books packed up for charity, there are a few gems I'd forgotten, and a couple of hours just vanish somehow. I look forward to discussing these old friends and some new finds with old and, I hope, new friends on this blog.
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