Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Last week, a who-dunnit writer friend asked me to read and comment on the manuscript of her latest book. She brought the book round and said she'd run out of paper so would it be OK if she sent the last chapter by email?

"Yes - fine," I said.

Later that day I found in my inbox an email with the chapter attached but didn't bother to open it. I sat down that evening to begin her book. Last night I got to the last twenty pages of what she had given me, and went to bed thinking I would finish it in the morning. I woke up early and read the last pages and then got up - at 6.15, mark you - because I was desperate to read the climax of the book. I opened her email and tried to open the attachment but no joy. It was in a weird kind of file that my computer didn't recognise, so I bashed out an email to her, begging for the denouement of her book in a form I could read. "I want to know what happens!" I said.

Now all I can do is wait. What I want to know is - was this a ploy to see how gripped I was by the book? These crime writers are devious types...not like romantic comedy writers who are utterly straightforward, and also all sweetness and light.

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