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As regular readers will know, I have been fortunate enough to persuade three actual, physical, real, high street bookshops to stock “Fatal Forgery” in paperback – Heffers and G David in Cambridge, and Hammick’s Legal Bookshop in London.  Apart from giving me a thrill every time I pop in and see my books on the shelves (and no, of course I don’t do this, oh, two or three times a week – how desperate do you think I am?  Yes, you’re right – exactly that desperate), I take great pride in the fact that all three shops agreed to stock the book only after the manager of the relevant department had read “FF” and deemed it worthy of being stocked.

When I popped into Heffers a few weeks ago, I noticed that the (very extensive) crime fiction section had a handout for shoppers: a three-page typed list headed “Heffers: Crime Fiction Choice”.  It is divided into sections, headed “Traditional fare”, “Cambridge crime”, “Police procedurals” and so on.  I scanned it eagerly, but no “FF”.  Now, this list is put together by Richard Reynolds, head of crime fiction and probably the most respected crime fiction buyer in the country.  He is a judge on the awards panel of the Crime Writers’ Association, and generally a Big Name in crime fiction.  And, incidentally, a very quiet and modest man – although heaven only knows what’s going on in his mind, with the stuff he’s read over the years.  So I emailed him, and asked what I could do to submit “FF” for inclusion on the “choice list”, and how I could ensure that the sequel (yes, yes, I’m writing as fast as I can) could also be considered.  And the kind man emailed back almost immediately, saying that “FF” had been missed off in error.  A few days ago I called in to the shop, oh so casually strolled up to the crime fiction department, and picked up the latest version of the list.  And there it is!  “Fatal Forgery” is in the section headed “First offenders”!  I was going to take handfuls of the list, but then realised that any I take are ones that are not picked up by potential buyers, so I took just the one for my scrapbook.  I may have to call in at the weekend to see if any copies have sold as a result of the much-coveted and highly valued Reynolds recommendation…

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