The Wilder Aisles 

Janice Wilder has been a legend of Sydney bookselling for over 40 years.

I was excited...

 - Wednesday, August 28, 2013

I was excited when I heard that Penguin were publishing the first fifty of their best-selling crime novels in the original green and white covers. I have very fond memories of these, harking back more years than I care to remember. It is the older titles that have not been around for awhile that I was particularly keen on reading, so the two I chose to start with are Death under Sail by C. P. Snow & Send for Paul Temple by Francis Durbridge. Death under Sail was Snow's first book, and the only crime novel that he wrote. It's a whodunnit set among seven people taking a boating trip on the Norfolk Broads. Roger Mills, a Harley Street specialist, and the owner of the sail boat, has invited his friends to join him. However, when Roger is found at the tiller, with a smile on his face and a bullet in his heart, all six passengers come under suspicion... I have long been a fan of Paul Temple, having read them all many years ago, and more recently, on a holiday with friends in Blackheath, I listened to them on CD. Send for Paul Temple, the first in the series, sees Temple meeting Steve Trent (real name Louise Harvey), a very persuasive young reporter, who later in the series becomes his wife. Temple has been called in by Scotland Yard, after a major diamond theft-one of a series of robberies the Yard has had no luck in solving. The crygoes out in the popular press, 'Send for Paul Temple', and Sir Graham Forbes at the Yard reluctantly agrees to do so. Temple, with the help of Steve, solves the mystery, but not before many delicious twists and turns, and a few red herrings are mixed in for good measure. The Temples were originally written as radio plays, the books came later. Also, about four of them were made into films, which look like great fun. I am going to look out for them.