Tag Archives: Ann Granger

The freebie

There is nothing quite like a free bag. Or book. Both, even.

The Resident IT Consultant should be jaded by now, but he still brought home this cloth bag with a copy of The Scotsman and the crime novel A White Arrest by Ken Bruen. And, erm, various edibles, including a sachet of porridge oats…

Now me, I have cloth bags coming out of my ears, closely followed by novels. Not so much porridge. I’m more of a yoghurt girl.

So he was terribly pleased with his loot. The Resident IT Consultant is now back to eating porridge for breakfast like a proper Scotsman. He decided to take them up on the newspaper deal as well, so somewhat to my horror we are reading what seems to me to be a rather conservative newspaper. But it’s got Scottish news, he says. Unlike the Guardian.

We are probably not going to read the Bruen novel. A short story in my past taught me Ken is a little noirer than I feel comfortable with. But at least I’d heard of him, unlike the porridge eater.

I wonder how the deals for this kind of freebie works? This book is pretty old, so maybe they shared costs, both in the hope of selling more. More Scotsman, more Irish Noir. And more porridge. Can’t remember if there was shortbread as well.

Good value for £1. And I think that was the bag Daughter passed on to a friend, who was happier about the bag than anyone ought to be. But why not?

(It worked on me, all those years ago, with a free Ann Granger novel. Changed my life and all that.)

Another A G

She looks nice, my saviour from Not Reading. And the odd thing is that I – who obsess about meeting the people I admire – have never even Googled Ann Granger to see what she looks like. But by complete accident I came across this short interview with Ann talking about her new crime novel, The Dead Woman of Deptford, a couple of days ago.

There are a number of authors, whose books helped make me the Bookwitch I am, and Ann is one of them. In fact, she is the only one to encounter me at the stage when I was not reading books. At all.

With both Offspring fairly young I read to them, and perhaps managed a quick glance at magazine if they had the decency to sleep. At the same time. (I think we can deduce that I didn’t cope well with stress.) The Resident IT Consultant travelled a lot, so it’s not as if I was going anywhere.

Ann Granger, Say it with Poison

One day I went into the newsagent’s and bought a magazine purely on the basis of the free crime novel that came with it. This was the first Mitchell & Markby book, and as soon I’d got rid of Offspring in the evenings (by which I mean putting them to bed), I read one chapter every night. Even at such a slow pace, sooner or later you get to the end.

Not only did reading make me feel calmer, but it showed me the error of my ways; that I needed time for me, and that reading regularly – however little – was A Good Thing.

Because I really liked the Mitchell & Markby books, I worked my way through every one as they appeared. The drawback being that after the first few I had to wait for them to be written.

Then came the Fran Varady books, which I liked even better. And in between waiting for Ann to write, I read other books, and when Son started reading, I moved on to Roald Dahl with him, and then further upwards and outwards.

By the time Ann Granger began her third and fourth crime series, I was no longer able to keep up. But I always intended to give them a go…

Thank you, to the other Ann G! I owe you a lot.

Witch livingroom library #2

The Resident IT Consultant has kept up a steady pace all week, so just in time for St Andrew’s Day and the First Sunday in Advent, we have shelves. Not just undercoated, but ‘overcoated’ and filled.


He painted for three days, and then the joiner came and secured the shelves with screws. Except for the one he forgot to do, so that will have to be done on his next visit.

'The Paretsky Shelf'

In anticipation of putting ‘all’ the books up, we placed the first few early, as they were hanging around all un-boxed. These are on ‘The Paretsky Shelf’ as we have named the slightly taller shelf for recent hardbacks. New hardbacks are very tall and never seem to fit where other books will happily go. As for Sara, she was pleased to have a home, although she declared it slightly tacky. (I’m hoping that’s the paint tacky, not the tasteless one.)

And the day I swanned off to Edinburgh I left a room full of boxed books, and returned to a wall filled with books. He’s quite useful that way, the Resident IT Consultant. He even made time to pick me up from the station.

My heart is flowing over, and so, obviously, are the shelves. They are generous, taking up a whole wall. But that is never enough, is it? There will, eventually, be more shelves in other rooms, but each step has to be done in the right order. I estimate at least two more months before the next worthwhile contribution to our shelving issues.


We spent the following day placing the newly released books in a more orderly fashion, while also pruning quite a bit. I was being very good, sacrificing all my Ann Grangers and my remaining Wycliffes and some of the Ed McBains.

We gained a little more space by moving some books to the shelves in the alcove, which until this week had held a number of completely irrelevant items.


We’re slowly getting there. Thank you for your time!

Starting fresh

‘Well, they couldn’t make a film of that!’ said the Resident IT Consultant as he came to the end of the book. That’s the same man who had exclaimed against authors who write their books as though they were films. ‘Don’t give it away!!’ I screamed, and he looked surprised. Had I not read it? No, I had not. Somehow this touring/visiting lark took all my energy and virtually no words were read. At all.

He went through two of my so hopefully packed books, while I… Well, eventually I read a couple of chapters of a book I first read a few years ago, but which has changed so needs my renewed attention.

School Friend suggested I read one of her ‘excellent’ real children’s books. I looked at them and came to the conclusion they wouldn’t save a non-reading travelling witch. Nor would the photo of a painted bookcase full of books which she offered me. Nice, but it was more art than literature. She also told me about, and showed me, the books she had read during her five weeks of holiday. And that made me feel so much better… (No, it didn’t. That was sarcasm.) As we said goodbye she was readying herself to finish the latest holiday book in the peace and quiet we hopefully restored by departing.

Anyway, all this visiting took a lot out of me, and I am now pretending to be normal, slowly getting re-started on things a Bookwitch ought to do. I’m already further on my re-reading of the changed book. I feel as though I’m back in the days when I was saved by Roger Whittaker and Ann Granger, 20 to 25 years ago. RW by singing so wonderfully that I slept better at night after Son’s birth. AG (lovely initials) for getting me reading again, a year or so after Daughter appeared on the scene.

Sorry about the sandwich yesterday. I am a mere prawn in a bigger game.

Magazine freebies

I wonder if I can write this without turning it into an ad for a teen magazine? On our last travels together Daughter purchased a magazine to help her survive all that time on the train. Never mind the bag full of books. Anyway, it turned out fairly useful, as it offered a free bag, which we used before too long, and it certainly helped us get home. The other freebie was a Meg Cabot book.

Or two part books, to be exact. It was the first chapters of book ten in the Princess Diaries series. And also the first chapters about new series Air Head. It’s really very clever to provide the beginning of a book for free. Once you’ve started reading you’ll go crazy if you can’t finish it. So, you’ll understand why I didn’t begin reading.

Cathy Cassidy has also had freebies like this, but I wonder whether it only works with really girlie books? Could readers of girl magazines be tempted by other types of books in this way, too?

I myself keep going on and on about the women’s magazine I picked purely on the basis on it offering a complete book, which felt like good value. It was the first Ann Granger crime novel, and on the strength of that free book I have by now bought at least a dozen more.

Almost as free are the World Book Day £1 books. With the school vouchers they are free, and even without I feel £1 is good value. In the last few weeks I have read two WBD books, by Meg Cabot and Neil Gaiman. In one case it was a way of finding out was someone is like, and in the other it was simply another book to enjoy.

I hope lots of non-readers can be convinced to try books this way.