I am not quite sure how this happened, but I have four new books to read, acquired in the past two days. First, Karen of Euro Crime has kindly given me a publisher's copy of Down River by John Hart. I had told Karen I was quite interested in this author when we were last in Waterstones Piccadilly and were looking at Last Child on the shelves. A day or so after that, Last Child was "book of the week" at W H Smiths, which means you can get a copy for £2.99 if you by The Times, which is good for me as I buy The Times every day anyway. So, I bought my copy in WHS one day, but the branch I was in was very small and did not stock books. I therefore went to another, bigger branch that night with my copy of the paper and asked if I could buy the book. "No!" said the lady behind the till, rather shocked. "That would count as a separate transaction." She was pretty abrupt, so I decided I would not give WHS the satisfaction of any of my hard-earned cash for a while, to punish them. Karen, however, had a copy of the earlier book, Down River, so I've now got that instead. Thanks, Karen!
Also thanks to Karen, I have a publisher copy of Che Committed Suicide by Petros Markaris, "an Inspector Haritos mystery". I've had my eye on this book for a while, not least because it is on the list of books eligible for this year's CWA International Dagger award, as many as possible of which I am trying to read before the shortlist is announced at CrimeFest in May. After reading Norman's review at Crime Scraps, I was even keener. The publisher, Arcadia books, have kindly sent me a copy which arrived two days ago. I don't think I have read any Greek crime fiction before (apart from the ancients), so this one will be a refreshing change of geography.
Finally, I admit I cracked. Amazon sent me an email to tell me that if I wanted Solar by Ian McEwan for £7.59 and The First Rule by Robert Crais for £5.84, I'd better get on with it as the price will go up after Sunday (the "offer of the week" changeover day). As I want to read these books anyway, and the price is brilliant, in each case, for a newly published hardback, I weakened to the point of clicking. This morning, the books arrived.
In the meantime, I am still reading the same book I have been reading all week, The Man from Beijing by Henning Mankell. I've nearly finished it now, though – well I am on page 283 of 360 – so the next book is definitely beckoning.