Thursday’s mail


This wonderful parcel arrived Thursday.


Two weeks ago I borrowed ‘The Scent of the Night’. I had been meaning to try an Andrea Camilleri novel for at least three years. I feel embarassed that I first noticed them in a remainder book shop. Why were they not more obvious in the regular bookshops?*

It was one of those books that seems to take only five minutes to read. I loved it! I loved the attitudes of the characters, the personal connections that enabled the inspector to circumnavigate the bureaucratic delays apparently prevalent in Italy. I loved his impulsive (but childish) response to the loss of something he had loved. (All crime investigators should be flawed.) I enjoyed his contempt for a guest’s preferred coffee preparation. (My brother and I have our own intense, separate, memories of a single wasted cup of coffee, ruined by a teaspoon of sugar – I think we consumed our lifetime sugar quota as children and now find sweet sugar-rich foods unpalatable.) I also appreciate the work of Stephen Sartarelli, who kept the Italian flavour in the English translation. I probably shouldn’t comment on authenticity, but the characters, the attitudes and the dialogue reminded me of exchanges with my friends of various European backgrounds. I felt sad when I finished reading ‘The Scent of the Night’ because I wanted to read more, immediately.

I first looked at the Fantastic Fiction website (, to find the title of the first book in the series (this is an excellent website for finding series titles, order of publication, forthcoming books and alternative titles as they sometimes differ between countries).

After that I checked the library website. I was not surprised to find the first volume available in large print only, and two other volumes not held by the library at all, and that a lot of ordering of volumes from the three inconvenient branches would be required.

So I went to Bookfinder (, another favourite, and discovered the bargain shown above. I almost fainted at the price, and found it irresistible (obviously).

While I waited for my parcel, I selected a nice pile of easy to cull books from my shelves, and found one worth keeping, one of uncertain fate, and the rest went to the Op Shop on Friday. Yippee! I have space!

But no reading of these until the school holidays are over…

*I may not have noticed these books in bookshops simply because I almost stopped reading crime novels. I was tired of so many corpses, so much description of them and the suffering before they reached that state. So I was not looking in the crime section of bookshops.

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