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Wouldn’t you know it – I’m silent for weeks, and then when I do reappear, it’s to ask you for something.  Typical.  But it might please you to hear that I am finally at the stage where I can start thinking about a title for “Plank 7”, and that’s where you come in.  As regular readers will know, I am terrible with titles and so I fob off the responsibility onto you: I tell you a little about the plot and then ask you to choose your favourite from a short-list of five possible titles.

(Just to refresh your memories, in case it affects your choice – the six Sam Plank novels so far are: “Fatal Forgery”, “The Man in the Canary Waistcoat”, “Worm in the Blossom”, Portraits of Pretence”, “Faith, Hope and Trickery” and “Heir Apparent”.)

So, “Plank 7”.  It’s the final one in the Sam Plank series, taking place in late 1829 (“Heir Apparent” was set in spring of the same year).  It covers the launch of the Metropolitan Police in September 1829, with Wilson joining them, and Sam’s decision about what to do next.  The crimes they are investigating involve the passing of counterfeit notes through gambling clubs and horse sales, and concerns about organised crime infiltration of the “new police”.  We also see a final showdown between Sam and his nemesis – the man in the canary waistcoat.  The key concepts I would like to indicate are therefore: counterfeiting; gambling; change; just desserts; and the future.

Given all of that, the five possible titles I have devised are listed below, as a poll.  I’ll keep the poll open until the end of Sunday 24 October so that you can mull it over, and we’ll see which one triumphs.  (And if you can think of an even better title, please let me know – we can always do a run-off.)