It's that time of year again. I'm just about to knock off (unless that means "steal" or "impregnate"), break up (unless that means "get divorced") oh blimey I'm just about to stop work for a fortnight and hit the couch, with a pile of books and a box of chocolates.
So I'm looking back at the year. And what a year it's been. Mostly down to this book:
Away back last winter, Hallie Ephron picked it as one of the top 10 crime novels and said so in the Boston Globe. I got very excited, then got a hold of myself, checked that Hallie Ephron was who I thought she was and the Globe was the one I'd heard of and got excited again.
Then in March, a call came from London telling me that a BBC producer had read it and wanted to option the series. All through Left Coast Crime in Sacramento I kept the news to myself (not easy) but by Malice Domestic in May, the contracts were done and I told everyone with ears. People in lifts, dogs tied up outside shops, guards frisking me at Dulles. (It's my super-sturdy underwires from Rigby and Peller; they set off the bleeper every time. HM the dear old queen gets hers from there too but probably she doesn't have to go through metal detectors so it's not a problem.)
In the summer, in London, there was a day of feeling almost all that, having lunch with the producer and then dinner with the actor we're all hoping is going to be Dandy.
Anna Chancellor, marvellous, gorgeous, hilarious Anna Chancellor who has always been my ideal ever since someone asked me the "Who would play . . .?" question at a book festival and I said "Anna" and afterwards, at the signing, a woman came up and said "I'm Anna's cousin. I'd like to buy a copy and send it to her." Can you believe that? Well, it's true.
Fast forward to autumn and Bouchercon in Cleveland and that surreal moment when I was scurrying forward through the crowd in the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame to accept my Macavity (!), thinking "oh god, oh god, oh god, why did I assume this wasn't going to happen?" Because I'd seen the shortlist, that's why. And so I ended up thanking Janet Rudolph for having such pretty hair and not thanking anyone else. Suave, eh?
So, since Dandy Gilver and The Proper Treatment of Bloodstains has given me so many things to feel happy about this year, I thought I'd finish up with a seasonal giveaway of a couple of copies. It's not a very festive title, but it's quite Santafied colours on the jacket (and at least it's not called by it working title anymore, which was Trouble Down Below).
If you would like one and you live in the US (sorry), just add a comment and I'll put your name in the hat to be drawn at the end of today.
And happy holidays, happy reading, happy feasting, and a happy new year when it comes.