Doing myself out of book deals

One aspect of Thursday night's Kingston Killers evening at Waterstones was that books by the nine authors present were being sold on a three-for-two offer for that event only. I wanted to buy the paperback edition of Echoes of the Dead by Johan Theorin because the translator, Marlaine Delargy, had told me that it contains a little photo essay about Oland by the author not present in the proof I had previously read. However, after poking about among the piles of other books, I could not see two others that I wanted to buy (I already have review copies, or own, or have read, quite a few of them), so conscious of my vast quantity of unread tomes at home, I only purchased that one book.

Next day, I was describing Ariana Franklin's talk and novels to Prof Petrona, who expressed an interest in reading one of them. So I have bought Mistress of the Art of Death, the first in the series. By buying it a couple of days after the Waterstones event – and by buying at at a different bookshop – I missed out on my "3 for 2" offer. But, never mind – because I also bought York Notes: William Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice and a rather colourful notebook, I qualified for W H Smith's offer of the day – "spend £15 and buy any top 30 hardback for £5.99". Excitedly I went to the display – and again, could not see any book I wanted to buy, even at that price. (I have already read Fever of the Bone by Val McDermid, and have previously purchased the Guiness book of Records and The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown – for other family members, not me!). To be honest, "rather sad" was my mental reaction to the "top 30" display of celebrity bios and cookery books, etc. Then I remembered I had in fact only paid £4.99 for The Lost Symbol and not much more for the Guiness Book of Records, so cheered up a bit.

The last book deal I missed out on was the one I thought the best. In yet another bookshop, which just happened to be on my route home so only required the tiniest of detours, I noticed next to the till an offering of the Millennium trilogy by Stieg Larsson and a large bar of Galaxy chocolate, all tied up with a gold ribbon, price £20. Now that is what I call a special offer worthy of take-up! I asked the woman at the till if she'd read them and she hadn't, though she said she "kept hearing good things about them" – so I recommended that she snap them up as great reads at a bargain price (even without the chocolate).