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Yesterday I was in court (I’m a magistrate here in Cambridge, rather than in any kind of trouble, I hasten to add) and one of my fellow magistrates was very kindly saying that he had read – and more importantly, enjoyed – my book.  So one of the others said, “Right – I’ll buy a copy” and got out his wallet.

Now, it surprised him, and it may surprise you, but I did not have a copy on me.  I do not go around with two or three books in my bag, on the off-chance that I will (a) bump into someone I know, (b) steer the conversation around to nineteenth century financial crime, and (c) thus tempt them to part with their money.  To be honest, I rely almost entirely on other people to even mention that I have published a book, because I am English and therefore genetically incapable of blowing my own tin whistle, let alone a whole trumpet.

But perhaps I should start carrying “Fatal Forgery” around with me.  Someone suggested in response to an earlier post that I could oh-so-casually drop it on the floor in front of people, to catch their attention.  I could also read it ostentatiously in public places, roaring with laughter, sobbing with pathos, and turning – unable to help myself – to the nearest person and saying, “You really MUST read this book – it’s fantastic!”.  At the very least, it will be handy for propping up those wobbly tables in which all of our local restaurants seem to specialise.