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I did warn you that things would be going quiet, didn’t I?  I am still in the “let my mind wander” phase of plotting for “Plank 4”, which is very enjoyable but must end soon.  And to keep me disciplined, I have decided to mark the end of this phase with a Day Out in London next Wednesday.  I do have some work that day – a much-anticipated meeting in New Scotland Yard, to do with money laundering – but once I’ve left the police, the rest of the day is Sam’s.  And here’s what I have planned for him:

  • We are calling in to Daunt Books in Marylebone High Street to try to persuade them to make room for Sam, Martha and Wilson on their shelves – I’ll explain that this is home turf for my trio, and see if I can melt their book-buying hearts…
  • Martha and I are going to an antique jewellery shop just off Oxford Street to look at an emerald and pearl ring that was created in 1820 – we’re wondering whether some broad hints to Sam might be in order
  • We are all going to the Sir John Soane’s Museum in Lincoln’s Inn Fields for a good rootle around among the architect’s arty treasures – “Plank 4” deals with art crime, so Sam and I need to get a good feel for what the respected collectors of the day were after.

After that, I might go out for a pasta feast at the wonderfully 1950s Spaghetti House in Goodge Street, although I daresay Sam and Martha would prefer a pie shop – spaghetti might be an import too far for them.  So Wednesday next week is when I have to stop daydreaming and start the serious plotting, but a grand day out will make the transition that much more bearable.