Monday, 8 November 2010

Yay - PW!

raining torrents - cool, temps 7

God - we had better weather in Montreal! But this new flat in London has a huge bath and I'm planning to brew up a nice cup of tea and take it, and some cookies, into a bubble bath with me. Bliss.

Had magnificent news, as some of you already know. BURY YOUR DEAD has been named one of the Best Mysteries of 2010 by Publisher's Weekly! There's a link:

Best Books of 2010;

Congratulations to everyone on the list. Such fun to think of the Publisher's Weekly editorial staff going to the bar (as they describe the process) and hammering out the top 100 books of the year published in the US. Amazing to think Bury Your Dead is one of them!

I was in the Tate Britain having lunch with my agent Teresa when John sent a message to Facebook. I'd gone to get my coat and picked up a few messages and saw his - read it - and then Teresa and I celebrated! It's an incredible feeling to be in the Tate, having lunch with my agent, when news like that arrives. The whole thing just feels too good to be real.


In fact, the whole day was perfect...except the rain, but London has been known to have a drop or two of rain in the past, so that shouldn't have been a surprise. We woke early, headed out to Knightsbridge tube station to top-up our oyster card. (that sentence would not have made sense to me a couple of years ago). Basically an 'oyster card' is the transit system's credit card. You put money on it, then everytime you use a bus or tube you pay. Very easy and effective system. Then we hopped on the tube and went three stops to Green Park and walked the block to where we were meeting Michael's sister Carol and her husband David for breakfast. A fun block, made of almost entirely of The Ritz hotel.

Last time we were in London Teresa, Michael and I met my new editor there, for tea. Or were supposed to. But Michael wasn't wearing a tie, and was barred! Only at the Ritz.

Must say, while it was upsetting that we didn't know, I quite like places where there's a dress code. When we were in san francisco, staying at the Johns Hopkins InterContinental we paid for the upgrade to the club room...but found when we visited said club room that people were sitting around eating McDonalds (which smelled up the whole place) and walking around in bare feet. Now - I love McDonald's, especially their fries and milkshakes, yum - and God knows I love bare feet - and flannel pajamas. But I don't think the club room in a supposedly upscale hotel is the place for either. But perhaps I'm hopelessly old fashioned and rigid.

I digress.

Michael and I walked past the Ritz, to The Wolseley - this quite magnificent restaurant in what looks like an old bank. Massive open room with marble and pillars. It manages to look impressive without being ridiculous or way too pompous. Carol and David arrived and we had a great time catching up. Carol is stunningly beautiful and an immensely kind person. A published poet and accomplished artist. David is an opera conductor and is working on a few recordings (he already has many) and is now completing the last in a series of definitive books on the works of the British composer William Walton. such fun to hear David describe reading the scores and realizing Walton said something should be in G when it was clear to David it should be in C.

I, of course, nod and smile and completely agree. Huh?

The time flew by, and then it was time to leave. Pouring rain outside. David, Carol and Michael hopped on a number 19 bus and headed back home. I grabbed a cab and went to the Tate. I was early for lunch (as you see, our time in London really is pretty much uninterrupted eating...the only interruption is being transported to the next trough). so I wandered around and came upon the exhibition above. Two fighter jets in adjoining rooms. One lying on it's side (a jaguar fighter) and one suspended from the ceiling - as you see from the photos. It's a Harrier. Amazing, riveting. It actually looked not modern at all close up, but ancient...its hull like elephant skin, or some old, gigantic fish. A shark. And then to stop within inches of the floor. Very tense. I thought you might like to see it.

Then Teresa and I had lunch in the basement restaurant. Gabbing and enjoying each other's company.

Tomorrow is a day just to ourselves. Oh, heaven. Nothing at all planned. No commitments or appointments. Nothing to do, nowhere to be. Phew.

Wednesday is going to be such fun!!! Am having lunch with two of my favorite writers ever. Deborah Crombie and Ann Cleeves. and they're really lovely people too - of course, otherwise, quite frankly, I wouldn't choose to spend time with them.

We're sitting at home, reading the Times and the Telegraph. Trying to figure out how recycling is done here. All these little things that make having an apartment in a city fun and even exciting.

Ahhh, London.


Carolyn Abramofsky said...

I have just finished the series of books on Inspector Gamache. They are such a rich treasure and I want to move to Three Pines. Looking forward to the next one.

Jodi said...


By the way, a friend is in Quebec at the moment and reports that there's a couple of inches of snow!

That first shot is quite an image (as is your description of the hull... elephant skin!).

(P.S. I was at the library the other day, checking out my pile of mysteries, and noticed red, smeary stuff all over my hands). Uh oh....have some of those books become a little too realistic?

Turned out to be marker (no idea how it got on my hands though - hadn't been using one).

Merry Lu said...

CONGRATULATIONS! It's a wonderful book, well-deserving of the honor.

A. Wright said...

Ah to be in England, well, I will be next year, but not in London. There is just so much to see in the UK and limited time and money to see it all, so every other year off I go until I've seen enough...which will be approximately never.

Your day sounded perfect and I love that you are eating your way through London. How delicious is that?

Kaye Barley said...

Yay, you! SO well deserved.

Jan Fable said...

I just finished Bury Your Dead. It most surely deserves to be one of the best mysteries of 2010, although it's so much more than a mystery and I must confess that I'm a little in love with Armand Gamache.

How lovely that you know Ann Cleeves. Coincidentally, it is her newest book that I've begun after finishing yours.

Louise Penny Author said...

Hi all,

Thanks for coming along! Michael and I are just having a riot. As one of you noted - eating our way through London - and perhaps even the home counties. Marks and Spencer is a sale on christmas mince tarts. We had no choice. It would have been rude...

jimchatt725 said...

I love the way you present such real emotions. I can identify with eating through London interrupted only by having to get to the next trough. What a great sentiment. Thank you for sharing your view of your trip and your getting there. Reminded me of coming back to the states and going through customs in Atlanta!! Yikes!! It is the same all over.

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