Bodies From the Library 2024, and some London book-hunting

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A few days ago, on June 1st, I went to Bodies From the Library for the second time. In case you’re not familiar, Bodies From the Library is a conference hosted each year at the British Library, dedicated to classic detective fiction.

This year’s talks featured live sound effects, an abundance of pierrots and harlequins, enough academic mysteries to fill several blackboards, more Edmund Crispin and historic true-crime facts than would fit in 30 minutes, some Miss Marple myths firmly busted, a few classic sleuths making rare television appearances, and some home truths about whether good writing or a good cover is more important when selling books. It was all capped off with Jim Noy’s presentation about Enid Blyton’s Five Find-Outers, which can be neither described nor forgotten.

Ask The Experts!
Jake Kerridge reading the questions, Moira Redmond, Jim Noy, Dolores Gordon-Smith, Martin Edwards, and Tony Medawar answering.

I very much enjoyed the talks, but it was also wonderful to meet with fellow fans of the Golden Age and chat about the books that we all love (though not all of us love exactly the same books…). Once again I was able to meet up with members of the Shedunnit book club and with fellow bloggers, and even chat briefly with Martin Edwards.

Ronaldo of Witness to the Crime showed off some clips from Detective, a 1960s BBC TV show that adapted many famous and not-so-famous detective stories. Roger Sheringham (John Carson) was exactly as obnoxious as I imagined him to be.

While I was in London I once again took the opportunity to go book hunting based on the London bookshops route posted six years ago on The Reader is Warned. Since then most of the Charing Cross Road shops seem to have disappeared, or transferred to less crime-fiction friendly management. This time I took a look at the Camden area bookshops – Black Gull Books and Walden Books – picking up a few books at each, before finishing back at Skoob Books as usual and snagging half a dozen more. I also bought a few British Library titles from the conference this time, in addition to the freebies.

This year’s book haul (and a friend I picked up along the way).

If anyone knows of any more book-buying options that aren’t on the 2018 list, let me know!
Sadly I visited no GAD-related locations this year – unless there’s some book set in Tate Britain that I don’t know about… maybe next year I’ll make it to the Isokon Building.

Camden Market, just outside Black Gull Books. Think I need to up my photo game next time. More relevant things, and fewer random trees.

At any rate, a succesful trip and a fantastic conference!

Other writeups:

Martin Edwards
In Search of the Classic Mystery

Blogs of those who presented this year:

Clothes in Books
The Invisible Event
Martin Edwards
Witness to the Crime

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