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Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Father Christnash?

On the day the Moreton-in-Marsh lights were switched on, we had our own Father Christmas in the guise of author Paul W. Nash. Just have to grow that beard a bit Paul.

Despite the bitterly cold day which had driven much of the crowd and many of the stall-holders home, Paul had a good turn-out for his excellent The Remains of Sherlock Holmes.

There may be a few signed copied left and I'm sure that, if anyone wanted a signed dedicated copy for someone as a Christmas present, Paul would be happy to pop in and do the honours.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

More Remains of Sherlock Holmes

Here's our window full of 'The Remains of Sherlock Holmes' ready for our signing on Saturday.

The Christmas Fair will be on through the afternoon and, after the lights go on, Paul W. Nash will call in to start his signing. We expect him to be here just after 5pm.

There will be mince pies for those early enough and wine, of course, with soft drinks for those who are driving.

David grins and bears it.

Here's David proving that he cares nothing for pain, just grins it away.

With only one arm of any use, he's been even more in the way than usual.

Actually, I couldn't have done without him when 3ft x 3ft x 6ft box had to be fetched downstairs and returned.

No, it wasn't his coffin, he's not that poorly.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

MC Beaton's Super Six Signing

Just a few of our favourite customers who attended MC Beaton's Agatha Raisin book signing today. Most were buying her latest Agatha title, Agatha Raisin and the Busybody but the new Agatha Raisin Companion was close behind.

Many of her new series were also bought. They are the Lady Rose Summer books set in Edwardian times. The first of the four in the series, Snobbery with Violence being easily the biggest selling paperback of the day.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Panama Oxridge Interview

There's an excellent interview with Panama Oxridge on The Book Zone.

Please follow the link to find just a little bit more about this secretive author.

Don't forget, too, that we'd love to hear what you think of the book and what clues you have found.

The book is still rushing out of the shop and there are big sales elsewhere too. I understand there is a new print run coming soon but we still have plenty of the first Inside Pocket edition to see us through till Christmas.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

A generous offer

Had a young man in today.

He was intent on making me an offer I couldn't refuse. He'd raided the post office and offered me the swag.

Lest you think that pile of cash was for the Horrid Henry book, let me explain. He was making an offer for the shop. I nearly took the money!

Friday, 29 October 2010

The Signing Detective

We are delighted to say that we have an exciting new author in our midst. The photo shows Moreton resident, Paul W. Nash with his excellent new book called The Remains of Sherlock Holmes.

I have only had time to read the first in this collection of short stories but, if that is representative I can promise you, not only an entertaining read, but one which could easily have been penned by the Doctor, himself.

It has all the twists and turns of the originals and has clues that only the great Holmes could even think of looking for. With giants, dwarves, missing weapons, a murdered beauty and jealous suitors all packed into the first tale, Paul has written an excellent imitation Holmes story and I look forward to reading the rest of the book when it is released soon.

I've saved the really good news till last. Paul has agreed to call in and sign copies on the evening of the Moreton Christmas Lights Switch On. That's the 27th November. He'll be here shortly after 5pm.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Lesley Cookman Book Launch.

Lesley Cookman's signing went off without a hitch apart from her excursion to a few pretty villages on the way to the shop. We could tell what a lovely lady she is, long before she arrived, as waiting for her was a shop full of her friends, many of them authors.

The photo shows just some of them - Susan Alison (the illustrator of the map in Lesley's books), Gilli Allen, Adrian Magson, Lesley Cookman, Katie Fforde, Jane Gordon-Cumming (her sister) Hazel Cushion (the publisher who kindly bought a generous supply of wine and nibles). There were others too - we couldn't fit them all in. It was quite a party atmosphere. We hope you will all come again.

Many thanks to Lesley and Hazel and all their friends (Hazel's daughters too). To all our customers who came along too. We hope you are well into Libby Sarjeant's mysteries by now and we're sure you will soon be back for more.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Lost in Moreton-in-Marsh?

We have become aware that many of our regulars are having difficulties finding us. On several occasions recently, customers have had to be escorted into the shop, by a local police person, after they have spent some time, wandering around the town, looking for us. One of these desperate searches had apparently lasted for four days and the customer finally arrived, hungry, cold and exhausted. He was given tea and banana cake until he recovered.

The reason for the problem is, apparently, the colour of the front door. We have had to keep it closed during the recent cold spell and customers, used to the cream door, open or shut, have turned away and continued hunting when confronted with the new colour.

So now you finally know what is behind the Green Door!

Friday, 22 October 2010

Sky Arts and us

We know somebody who knows somebody who saw us on the Sky Arts program last night! Were we any good?

They were good enough to do us a write up and put up a couple of photos of ours. Thanks Helen.

Link to 'our' page.

Pity they didn't mention our book signing for Lesley Cookman. However, they might be doing something about Justin Thyme sometime in the future (or the past - never sure which with that book)

A Gaggle of Authors

We hear that Lesley Cookman has invited some of her author friends along to the book launch tomorrow.

Among them may be Katie Fforde, Kate Lace, Jane Gordon-Cumming, Anita Burgh, Rosie Harris and Christina Jones plus, with a bit of luck, our own good friend Jane Bailey.

With artist, Susan Alison and publisher, Hazel Cushion, it should be quite a party! (They are bringing the wine)

Do come along between 11 am and 1 pm to meet Lesly and her friends (early if you want a drink, Nina is bringing her pint mug!)

Thursday, 21 October 2010

A Hound called Hugo

It seems a long time since we had one of our doggy friends on the blog and we thought Hugo was too good to miss.

He was very polite with his biscuits, and didn't slurp his water too much. Better table manners than David, I thought.

(It's great being the blogger. I can say all sorts of rude things about David and Nina)

Wednesday, 20 October 2010


It seems that the Jane Bailey piece filmed in our shop recently will be on Sky Arts tomorrow, Thursday 21 October at 7pm. There's also a nice little chat about us on their site -

Sunday, 17 October 2010

A Visit to Green Knowe

A'Norman' view of the ancient Manor at Hemingford Grey (Lucy M Boston's Green Knowe'). It is, perhaps, the oldest continuously inhabited house in England (built shortly after William claimed the kingdom in 1066) The house can be toured by arrangement.

I was pleased to see St Christopher at the garden of Green Knowe. Many things mentioned in the books are present in the house - the children's toys, Feste's name board, Wait and See etc but it was great to see St Christopher. These gardens make a very worthwhile visit through the spring and summer, especially when the scented roses are in bloom. The picture, right, shows the view from the entrance of the garden.

Some of my all time favourite children's titles are the Green Knowe books written by Lucy M Boston. They start with The Children of Green Knowe (televised once but they really should put it on our screens again) and the second in the series is The Chimneys of Green Knowe. This has been filmed as 'From Time To Time' (A ridiculous name change which effortlessly loses the Green Knowe fan base) and may be found in a rural cinema near you. Why it has not found a major distributor, we'll never know. With Maggie Smith taking a major part, one would think someone would jump at it.

Then came The River at Green Knowe, to my mind the least successful, followed by her Carnegie medal winner, A Stranger at Green Knowe. The last two are An Enemy at Green Knowe and The Stones of Green Knowe (far more deserving of the title 'From Time To Time' but I still would not have changed it.)

So, what does all this have to do with the here and now? Well, after a family wedding in St Neots, the group I was with diverted from our homeward route today, to drop in at The Manor at Hemingford Grey. This treasure of an old house is where Lucy Boston lived while writing all the books and which is actually Green Knowe.

Delighted there to meet old friend Diana Boston who told me about the release of 'From Time To Time'. Some venues can be found on Do get along to see it if you get the chance and drop us a line if you do. Also, try Children of Green Knowe, a classic of children's literature which we always have in stock.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Agatha's Companion

Just arrived - we now have Agatha Raisin's Companion in the shop. No, not the cat, nor one of her many boyfriends. This is The Agatha Raisin Companion - a must for every fan of MC Beaton's amazing string of hits.

It is full of detail not found in the novels It contains what is virtually a potted biography, an insight into village life of Carsley, a quiz and even some of the recipes mentioned in the books.

We have a book signing hopefully lined up for Saturday 13 November when all her books will be available.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Great news for Agatha fans

MC Beaton fans will not believe their luck when they see the sudden flurry of new titles from their favourite author.
Just in - Agatha Raisin and the Busy Body. There are rather too many suspects when a 'Health and Safety' employee is found dead for he seems to have upset nearly everyone in Carsely. So, as usual, Agatha has to sort it out. As if she hasn't got enough to do at Christmas!

The good news doesn't stop there, however. There are four murder mysteries set in Edwardian times too in which Lady Rose Summers teams up with Captain Harry Cathcart in a familiar mix of murder and romance. The titles are Snobbery with Violence , Hasty Death, Sick of Shadows and Our Lady of Pain.

On the horizon - an Agatha Raisin Companion. A must-have for all her fans.

We hope to see MC Beaton in our store signing all or any of these books on the morning of Saturday 13th November. Watch for details.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Pirate Pair

Talk about pirates on Twitter reminds me that some folk might like to see David and Nina as dressed for our Mark Keating signing when his book called The Pirate Devlin was published.

That's not a look of passion on Nina's face, by the way. I think she's actually asleep.

Mark's book is now on our shelves in paperback form called Fight for Freedom. Obviously publishers fear the very word Pirate' is enough to put people off.

It was an exciting and well written book which many of our customers commented on favourably.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

No longer secret

Two small parcels arrived yesterday.

The first contained stickers and posters for the latest 'ology' book from Templar. Called Alienology, it gives a more comic twist to the series and will be a great seller, I'm sure.

The second contained posters for the new addition to the list of classics illustrated by Robert Ingpen - The Secret Garden.

The rest of this sumptuously illustrated series comprises Peter Pan, Treasure Island, The Jungle Book, The Wind in the Willows, A Christmas Carol, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Tom Sawyer .

All these fine quality hardbacks are in stock at only £14.99 and we have a few with signed bookplates - first come, first served.

Thursday, 30 September 2010

New Store in Town

It's great to see a new shop in town, especially one with faces we recognise. Elecnology opened its doors last Saturday and David and I wished them well when we joined them for a drink (of orange juice) on that morning.
The picture shows shop owner Jackie (centre) with employees and friends Geraldine, Lori, Mike and Mark (that's left to right, obviously!)
In Old Market Way, they carry much of the same stock as Compulight which is closing down, ie printer cartridges, computer accessories, lightbulbs, vacuum cleaner bags etc
Phone 01608 651186 for more details

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Jane Bailey on Sky Arts

Jane Bailey was good enough to charge over and talk about Far from the Madding Crowd at very short notice when Sky Arts phoned asking if they could use our shop for a short piece of filming.
Jane was superb and shows that, beyond her talent as an author, (Tommy Glover's Sketch of Heaven and Mad Joy) she could earn a fortune as a talk show host, news reader or rugby league commentator.
We all look forward to seeing the piece but know we are up against tough competition from a bookshop in Tetbury. Perhaps the Yellow Lighted Bookshop?
We did put a copy of Justin Thyme in the producers bag so perhaps it will get a show of its own one day!

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Five Star Books

Well, now we've just about stopped being the 'Justin Thyme Bookstore', (we only have 1 more to post out) we can get back to the real job and sell some different books.
The two illustrated are my favourites over the past month or so and you'll find a 'review' for each in our latest Book News leaflet as well as on this blog - see Reviews.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Lesley Cookman Event

I'm back into the swing of things after a week's recovery from our Justin Thyme signing so this evening I've been really busy.

Our next signing is to launch Lesley Cookman's latest Libby Sarjeant murder mystery entitled Murder Imperfect. I'll see if I can cadge a proof copy and come up with a review soon. Meantime, do call into the shop where we have a special leaflet about the signing.

However, the bare details are as follows. Lesley will be signing any or all of her books between 11 am and 1 pm on Saturday 23 October. We are able to offer a very special price on the day and there will be a glass of wine or a cuppa on offer. Biscuits too, but no banana cake!

These are light, easy reads yet totally involving and Lesley's characters are believable whilst being just over the top enough to be fun. If you like your murder mysteries with humour and romance, come and meet the author and give them a try.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Last Post

Here's David trundling off to the post office with one of the last stacks of Justin Thymes to go.

We think that made 11 trips altogether so we'd like to thank the girls at the post office for their patience.

There are a few more to go out but, hopefully, the decks will be clear by the end of next week.

We regret there are no spare signed copies but at least our stocks have been replenished so we now have plenty of unsigned stock with more to come in October.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Queueing down the High Street.

Here's a rare shot which actually shows our mysterious author, Panama Oxridge, albeit from the back.
It seems there is something in Justin Thyme which is perhaps a little too scary for younger ones. After all, kidnap, attempted murder and a computer literate gorilla could be quite frightening!

Here's an even clearer view of Panama Oxridge. You couldn't miss him in the street could you?Well, perhaps, if he wore a hat, you could.

Many of the customers on the day were teachers and it was good to think that they would be reading Justin's adventures to a room full of youngsters. It makes ideal bed-time reading too - one of those books which adults and children can enjoy on different levels.

We were so busy in the shop while Panama Oxridge was signing his book that none of us had time to step outside to see the queue stretching away down the road. Luckily Christoph, the publisher (who we have nicknamed 'Mr Pocket'), took an excellent shot showing many of you waiting patiently to enter the bookstore.

One group in the queue had travelled from Norfolk and booked into a hotel for the night in order to meet Panama and there were others who had done the same. Some people brought along their original copies from 3 years ago.

Note the time machine in the foreground.

Today we spent a lot of time parcelling up and getting in the post some of the hundred of copies of Justin Thyme which have to go to all corners, including, Germany, Spain, Holland, USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Much Rambling.

There are more photos on The Tartan of Thyme site

Again, we thank all those who came along to make it a day to remember. Thank you!

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Justin Thyme signing photos.

My grandson Henry seems proud of his copy of Justin Thyme while grandson Lewis seems to have found something rather startling in his.

Meantime, the queue runs from well outside the door to the very back of the shop.

All of us at Cotswold Bookstore thank all of you who waited so patiently while the mountain of books were signed. It grew very hot in the shop and we only belatedly though of providing drinks of water.

We hope you have all now recovered and are thoroughly enjoying your copies of Justin Thyme. Do let us know what clues and secret messages you find.


A close run thing

No time to do more than comment, rushing off to work - late already. However, anyone unable to get to Cotswold Bookstore yesterday missed the most amazing book signing ever. Panama Oxridge signed approximately 55o (yes- five hundred and fifty) copies of his amazing book, Justin Thyme between 11.30 am and 5.15 pm.
As Wellington said, after the Battle of Waterloo, 'That was a close run thing!', - we only had 570 in stock!

Pictures will follow.

Friday, 10 September 2010

Ready for the day we've waited 3 years for.

Just some of the Justin Thymes in their positions ready for Panama Oxridge to sign tomorrow afternoon. People have come from miles away for this. Will your grandchildren ask, 'What were you doing when Panama Oxridge signed Justin Thyme at Cotswold Bookstore?'

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Cotswold Bananastore?

It would seem that Eliza has taken exception to the name Cotswold Bookstore.

Just be careful on the pavement outside the store for the next few days. We may not have managed to clear up all the skins.
(Many thanks to Panama for the image)

I've been off for a long weekend to Portsmouth with my wife and two grandsons and came back to find Nina and David, determined to prove me wrong on the number of Justin Thymes sold, have boosted sales to a fantastic 350 and beyond.

Now just 4 days to go and we're starting to worry about all the things that can go wrong. We only have 500 copies - supposing we sell more than that on the day!

We have a delivered a fiendish Justin Thyme wordsearch for some of the children (about 350!) in some local schools. If you fancy a go at it, drop in and ask. There may be a few spares.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Panama Impressed (with added bananas)

Panama Oxridge has mailed to sayhow impressed he is with our reaching the 300 mark for advance sales of his brilliant book for youngsters and puzzle/whodunnit lovers, Justin Thyme.

Well, actually, we're rather chuffed ourselves but it's been great fun.

He is also so impressed by our Justin Thyme window that he has placed it on his site. However, I think David has improved it now so perhaps Panama will want a new photo. The window now has added bananas!

What's more, we now have TWO Justin Thyme windows. For the very first time, we have devoted both windows to one book.

Only 10 days to go folks. Don't forget, 2pm Saturday 11th September. Banana cake for the first children to arrive if David hasn't eaten it all first.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Thyme machine

At last - a look at Justin's time machine. An ancient motorbike and sidecar. We hope it will arrive, on 11th September, in time for our book signing at 2pm. As long as the owner sets the dials correctly and doesn't turn up 1754.

A very knowledgeable gentleman who bought a copy today, pointed out something rather interesting about the name of one of the 'Pets' at Thyme Castle. Don't want to say more as it might just have some bearing on the next part of the series.

Monday, 30 August 2010

George and Anything Goes

Well, here's an old friend.

George the Jazz Man (at the back) used to supply the occasional disc to us. Recordings of his band Anything Goes. We still have a few. He's promised to drop in some time which is a shame - we probably owe him money.

Here he is with his band, belting it out at our village fete. As he says - 'A band to suit every possible occasion. Jazz, Blues, Swing, Dance. Any place - Any time.'

Check them out on

Wonder if they have a recording of Just In Time from the Broadway hit?

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Justin Thyme Window

Shop shut at 6.30 but I wanted to get Justin Thyme out and about on this holiday weekend. A hasty window was the result. Thanks to the jewellers across the road( Howards of Moreton-in-Marsh) and Wild at Heart a few doors away for the wonderful props. They were so good that a group of visitors, a friendly bunch, (Mum and Dad from New Zealand) stopped to take photographs. Naturally, they went away having ordered a copy of Justin Thyme! Our total sales figure is now 282. Nutty Nina now wants us to aim high and go for 350!

The visitors also spotted some dice which I'd removed from our last window display so I sold five of those too. The toyshop will be pleased!

Notice the time on the large clock. It was set like that when Nina fetched it from Wild at Heart. The hands pointing exactly as those on the cover of the book. Wierd eh? Even weirder, the date was set at 15, just as on the book jacket. I changed it to 11 as that is the date of the signing.

Rebecca Tope signing.

We had a terrific signing when Rebecca Tope came to sign both her new hardback A Grave in the Cotswolds and the recently published paperback Fear in the Cotswolds. In the event, customers wanted books from her whole range and we were reduced to very small numbers in stock by the end of the afternoon.

We were delighted too, to meet her friend and fellow author Jan Margrave who brought along her soon to be released The Nine Lives of Kit Marlowe.

Thanks for coming both of you. Sorry that we were so busy we only had time for one cuppa.