Wired for Sound


The News in Portsmouth are running a very worthwhile campaign called Spread The Word, which aims to get more children and young people reading. Part of this initiative is to record well known local and national people talking about their favourite books and what reading means to them, so I was very honoured and pleased to be asked to contribute.

Here I am talking about one of my favourite books from the Golden Age of Crime ( 1920s to 1940s). The Port of London Murders by Josephine Bell, who incidentally was one of the founder members of the Crime Writers' Association (CWA) of which I am a member. Published in 1938 this book is not only a great puzzle but realistically portrays what life was like in London in the 1930s and shows the sharp contrast between the rich and the poor. The reader visits a London that has long since vanished, with working barges on the River, the many wharfs and docks alongside it, the London smog and much more. It also focuses on a very modern problem, drug dealing and drug addicts and the killing of a police officer.

For me a day without reading is impossible to imagine. It is an escape into another world, another place, another character. I enjoy a mystery to solve, a puzzle to fathom, an adventure to undertake. Where else can you get such enjoyment for so little money, (or for free if you visit your local library). In the National Year of Reading I say well done to the Portsmouth News for their Spread The Word Campaign.

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