Monday, February 6, 2012

Deb Crombie is Making her MARK!

"Readers who savor excellent writing will find that Ms. Crombie delivers it again."

**New York Journal of Books

Hear that? It's the trumpet fanfare! It's fireworks!! See that? Its confetti! And watch this--its the Reds clinking champagne glasses to celebrate the publication of NO MARK UPON HER, the latest triumph from New York Times Best-selling Red Deborah Crombie.

Yes, yes, usually on Monday we chat among us all..and today is no different. Imagine us all--including you--sitting around someone's living room, each of us holding Debs' new book..and getting to ask anything we want! I'll start. And we're giving away a signed book to one lucky commenter!

(Oh and this just in: it's going to be a fun week on JRW. Nancy Martin. Joshilyn Jackson. And more! Who do you think of when we say: Cheese? Plus we wonder--does Father really know best?)

And now--Ta dah! Our fabulous Debs.

HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: There's not a person out there who doesn't think you're a Brit. Or hasn't at some point, tho

ught so I certainly did! I just have to ask: Debs, how did this all happen?

DEBORAH CROMBIE: I don't know, I don't know! Is this the great unanswerable question of my life?? Some sort of weird swapped-at-birth, born-in- the-wrong-place thing?

Seriously, I think I can blame a good bit of it on public television. PBS began broadcasting in our market when I was eight years old, and I was completely hooked. I never missed a Masterpiece Theater (and read all the books upon which the adaptations were based, including all nine volumes of John Galsworthy's The Forsythe Saga. How, I don't know . . .) British comedies, mysteries, All Creatures Great and Small (I was such a James Herriott fan that my first book is set where he practiced in Yorkshire,) Monty Python (that was enough to warpyou for life) and then, of course, Dr. Who...

And then I read everything else British I could get my hands on. No logical reason for this passion. No one in my family was British or descended from British stock, as far as I know.

My parents took me to England as my graduation gift when I finished college. And that really was it. The minute I saw the checkered fields of Surrey spread out beneath us as we descended into Gatwick, I felt I'd come home. I still feel that way.

HANK: Well, we all fell in love with the Beatles, you know? And tried speaking with a British accent. But it didn't fly in Zionsville, Indiana. I went to England when I was--16? and adored it. But still... :-) But it sounds like you discovered more than you expected...

DEBS: It's very strange, but I'm certainly grateful for it.

After that first trip, I concentrated everything in my life on getting back, and I've been doing that in one way or another ever since.

HANK: It does seem like a--part of you was there, and you found it, you know? Kind of..spooky. In a good way, of course, Anyway, your new book instantly transports readers to another place..and off the bat, I must say it sounds as if you've immersed yourself in yet another surprising world. How'd you think of this? I mean, when was the moment you thought? ah. The River. And SAR.

DEBS: Two big things came together in No Mark Upon Her. Do you sort of have a jumble of ideas stewing aroun

d in your head all the time? Things you'd like to write about?

HANK: Jumble is precisely the word I'd choose! Or--chaos, or tangle. Hallie has what she calls a compost pile. (It's better ideas, right?) So you do, too?

DEBS: Always. I actually call it "the soup." I'm continually throwing things in, then fishing out bits that might work together. I'd wanted to write about working dogs, and was fascinated by search and rescue. And somewhere, somehow, like Kieran, one of my characters, I fell in love with sculling and rowing. I can't remember the first time I saw a single sculler, or a rowing eight. (And if you don't know the difference between sculling and rowing, you will when you read the book, right, Hank?)

Anyway, was it Oxford? Ely? Or London, along Putney Reach? But I was enchanted. It looks so impossibly graceful, and it's so incredibly hard. I loved the contrast of it. And I think I'm always attracted to thinks that require obsession, and rowing definitely falls in that category.

HANK: Well, you'd set part of a much earlier book, Leave the Grave Green, in Henley, so you knew the town a bit, right?

DEBS: That's right. And then, once you start learning about competitive rowing, Henley IS the center of the universe, so Henley became the obvious choice for the setting. Then all those lovely universe-clicking-together things happened. I had a friend who knew the then-president of Leander Club, and through his introduction I got to stay at Leander for the first time. From there, I became absolutely immersed (only figuratively, thank goodness) in rowing.

HANK: Hands on? Or--oars on?

DEBS: I did actually get out on the river! Through a friend I'd made at Leander, I was introduced to Stevie Williams (that's Sir Steve Williams, two-time Olympic gold medalist in the coxless four). To my delight and utter terror, Steve offered to take me outfor a rowing lesson in a double scull.

That experience grew into the first scene in the book, and I think I can say it was the most exhilarating, frightening, fabulous research of my writing career.

HANK: So what's No Mark about?

DEBS: Duncan (that's Superintendent Duncan Kincaid) and Gemma (Inspector Gemma James) are coming back from a family celebration of their marriage when Duncan is called to investigate a suspicious drowning in Henley-on-Thames. The victim, Rebecca Meredith, was a competitive rower hoping to make a comeback at the upcoming Olympic Games. But she was also a senior officer in the Metropolitan Police.

Duncan soon learns that too many people had reasons to want Becca dead, and that some of them may have been in his own police force.

Gemma investigates the case from another angle, and it's only when the two halves come together that they discover very frightening truths that will threaten their friendships, their careers, and even their lives.

HANK:. Tell us about your life. How do you balance your two worlds?Or are there even more?

DEBS: Ha. I don't balance. At least not very well. For all my Anglophilia, I also love where I live, in Texas. There's my husband, daughter, family, friends. I love my old house, I love my town. I live about halfway in between the town where I grew up and the town where I went to college. You couldn't get more provincial.

HANK: That is so fascinating...I mean, you must have two brains: the Brit and the Texan. (Which sounds kind of like a romance novel...can't you just picture the cover?) What does your family say about it? (And this is the cover of the British version..MUST see them both!)

DEBS: I've learned that writers' families don't think what they do is the least bit glamorous, although my daughter loves going to London with me. Otherwise, they know the REAL story, which is long hours at the keyboard, other things not getting done, and lots of moaning and complaining on all sides:-)

And yes, I can see "The Brit and the Texan" with a nice bodice-ripper cover. Me, I'm just culturally confused. I say things in Texas that seem normal to me until people give me very strange looks...

HANK: Anyway-it all seems to work. Where did you write your first novel?

DEBS: I was back in Dallas (after having lived in England and Scotland for a while, but that is another story) but I missed the UK SO much.

I think the book was a way to assuage that constant ache of longing for Britain. And I

'm still doing that. Whenever I go to England my heart lifts in the most amazing way--I feel more "me" there than at any other time. And no time I spend there is ever, ever, enough. But then I miss home, too. So I make, ideally, two or three trips to England a year, staying two to three weeks at a time, where I research like mad and cram in as much as I can.

HANK: Do you write there?

DEBS: For a long time I wondered if I could actually write in England, or if I needed the distance of being an ocean removed back in Texas. But I've finished the last two books, Necessary as Blood and No Mark Upon Her, in the same flat in Notting Hill.

HANK: Sigh.It sounds lovely...tell us ONE thing about we can dream at least.

DEBS: I've stayed in this flat for most of my visits since about 2002. (ed note: It's the photo at the top of the page.)

It's in the next street over from Portobello Road, and it's what the English call a "garden" flat, which means it's a half-level down on the street side, but garden level in the back. The place is a bit eccentric/shabbily/chic, with a gorgeous sitting room on the garden and a gas fire, and I absolutely adore it. Staying there has made Notting Hill seem like home to me, as it is to Duncan and Gemma, and I've made friends because of the flat that have spilled into other parts of my life and been the genesis of so many ideas for the books .

. . Oh, you said ONE thing. Ooops. I get a bit carried away...

HANK: Do you take a rest between books? Or do you know what's next?

DEBS: No rest for the wicked, right? Or writers. I'm always thinking about the next book, and as soon as I finish one I write the proposal for the next and start researching.

I'm now immersed in another book (my 15th!), another setting. When I wrote my first novel, A Share in Death, my daydream was that if I could sell it and write a series, I'd have an excuse to make regular trips to the UK, see wonderful things, stay interesting places.

Looking back on it, that was, I think, an astonishingly good plan, and so far I haven't come up with a better one.

HANK: Smiling--very wise! Finally--what have you learned about yourself do you think, in this process? And do you have one piece of advice to writers?

DEBS: Oh, hard questions, Hank.

I think I've know since my early teens that I had some sort of instinctive gift for words. But I never, ever imagined myself as a storyteller. That, I think, is a learned process. But it's taught me to trust my own imagination. There is always another story.

Advice? Read. Read. Read. Then write the kind of book you absolutely love to read, and pay no attention whatsoever to any advice about "writing for the market." That's the man behind the curtain, not the real thing. And there is always a place in the world for the real thing.

HANK: Debs, we are all so happy for you! Reds, she'll be here all day...but just say hi in the comments (and tell us your favorite British thing!) we'll enter you for a free signed copy of her book!


"New York Times bestselling author Deborah Crombie is a native Texan who writes crime novels set in the United Kingdom. Her DuncanKincaid/Gemma James series has received numerous awards, including Edgar, Macavity, and Agatha nominations, and is published in more than a dozen countries to international acclaim.

Crombie lives in North Texas with her husband, German shepherds, and cats, and divides her time between Texas and Great Britain. Her latest novel, No Mark Upon Her, will be published by William Morrow in 2012. She is currently working on her fifteenth Kincaid/James novel."


  1. The British crime dramas are my favorite. They are so much grittier than hollywood and the actors are varied.
    I would be very interested in reading one of your books.

    Please enter me in your draw.


  2. Hi - I like the English cover to "No Mark Upon Her" much better than the American. Do the Brits choose your covers for you too or do you have more say in the choice?
    Hard to choose one thing I like about GB. Maybe fish and chips with malt vinegar??? Dee

  3. Just one thing? Well, besides the Earl Grey Tea and Charbonnel and Walker chocolates, I like how British people socialize with strangers. They're not going to tell you their life story on the plane (although this is sometimes fun), but if you sit next to them in the theatre, they'll probably ask you what you thought about Act I during intermission and have something informative to say about the cast. Or the guy at the boutique in East London will tell you which bars are actually good.

    Deb, I'm really excited for tomorrow. I plan to visit an actual bookstore to buy NO MARK UPON HER.

  4. Hi, Debs. Clotted cream. Beer that's the right temperature. Cottages with walls three feet thick. I was also enchanted by England the several times I visited. Can't wait to read No Mark Upon Her.

  5. MY favorite British thing..oh, way too difficult. I agree, JAnet..maybe British crime drama. Maybe...the accent? Msybe--Shakespeare? Or The Beatles? I'll keep thiinking..

  6. First of all, my favorite British thing is really a person :o) Colin Firth! However, I have to weigh in on the new book because I was lucky enough to snag the ARC our store got and read it right away. Fantastic! The characters and crimes keep their complexity and I was suitably puzzled just as a I alway am in a good mystery. Plus, Gemma, Duncan, and their family post a nicve counterpoint to the gritty crimes. Thanks for another good one, Deborah. And happy Monday, everyone!

  7. I can't wait to read the new book. I discovered the series by accident, and then read all of the books in sequence. It's a great series - fantastic writing and very real characters.

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. Cream teas in Knaresborough & King's Cross train north to Edinburgh=my favorite!

    Congratulations on your lovely new book and all good things deservedly in its wake. Brava!

  10. Colin Firth...Hugh Grant...clotted cream--all sound good this morning!

    Congrats Deb, you're a star and we're so glad to have you here with us!


  11. I completely love your last sentence -- that there is
    always room in the world for the real thing. that's a lovely and hopeful belief.

  12. Congratulations, Debs, on the publication of your new book! I'll be talking to our county library system, making sure they get plenty of copies of NO MARK UPON HER.

    A favorite thing is the rich heritage of the UK countries in things mystical and mysterious. Ancient monuments (Stonehenge), energetic ley lines and ley tunnels, castles and dragons, O my.

    I am a huge fan of UK mysteries.

  13. I'm with MaryAnn...Colin Firth! But after that, I'd say the cathedrals. When I was a kid I got a Britpass and visited many of them. So cool..just like Debs!

  14. Three totally random things I love, because I could never actually just pick three: London buses, Portobello Market, the champagne bar at St. Pancras Station. And--oh sorry, have to stop, don't I?

    Thanks for such fun questions, Hank!

    Gram, my UK publisher, Pan Macmillan, stayed with the same look they'd been using for the last half dozen books. The hardcover is the same scene (and that's Temple Island in the Thames at Henley) in a soft green. Lovely cover. My US publisher wanted to go with a different look for this one. It does POP when you see the real book--it's gorgeous.

    Happy Monday, everyone!

    PS: Author's note--the top photo is actually a recording studio in Crystal Palace, South London, where I did a photo shoot last October.

  15. Lovely to see you here, and I'm jealous about your flat! I worked in London one summer after college (Simpson's Piccadilly, in gentlemen's sportswear, which meant folding a lot of trousers--but never measuring inseams!) The one thing that stands out was the opportunity to see wonderful theater inexpensively, and I made good use of it. Oh, and the cream cakes at Fortnum and Mason.

  16. Fascinating interview, and Deborah already knows that her books are one of my top favorite series. My favorite British things? One is the vocabulary that Deborah catches so well in her books. Another? Pub food, like bangers and mash (or is that just Scotland?). And, finally, a lovely English garden, which is hard to grow in dry old Texas.
    My least favorite thing: Heathrow!

  17. The chocolate - so much better than here, can't stop eating it!

  18. I would LOVE to win that book, Deb! Whenever I read one of your books, I feel as though I am RIGHT THERE in the midst of it all.

    I've never been to Great Britain so I can't answer the question - about what I like best - from personal experience. (Perhaps I will some day have a fairy godmother who will wave a wand and whisk me over there!)I have loved all things British for much of my life. One of the reasons I majored in English was so that I would have a good excuse for reading all that literature. So, what do I love? Hard to pin it down: I love the photos I've seen of the gardens; I envy a friend's sister who did a walking tour of English gardens around a decade ago. I really love so very much the humor! My love of British humor (and tea) make me wonder if there is an ounce of British blood in me somewhere. The humor just cracks me up! My friends and relatives say "oh, that's...nice, I guess...if you go in for that sort of thing", while I am trying to pull myself up off the floor and start breathing again!
    And to go on: I love the mysteries, I love the satire, I love...oh, no more time to go on!

    Deb Romano

  19. Like others, my favorite British thing is the crime novels, and this is my favorite series. Sorry I will be out of town and can't go meet Deborah at the Poisoned Pen.

  20. Afternoon tea is my favorite with cucumber sandwiches with the crusts cut off and tiny biscuits with jam.

  21. Hi! I can't wait to read the new book. I can't pick just one favorite British thing, sorry. Beer and mysteries are at the top of my list. Right now I am also a big fan of the women from the Row for Freedom team, who rowed across the Atlantic to raise funds and awareness to combat human trafficking. Should I win my email address is tthorme at yahoo dot com.

  22. OH, how about Monty Python? (That parrot is pushing up daisies!)

    And yes, Roberta/Lucy..Hugh Grant, of course. And Leslie Howard. (Did anyone see Pimpernel Smith?)

    Who here has actually been to Stonehenge?

  23. Hank, I've been to Stonehenge. The most amazing thing is that you're driving across Salisbury Plain, and suddenly--there it is! It is magical, but would love to have seen it before it was fenced and had guided tours . . .

    CindyD, so sorry you can't be there. But you can have a book signed for you.

    Susannah, love the train to Edinburgh, too. The Flying Scotsman!

    Judy, hate Heathrow. I SO miss flying into Gatwick...

    Chocolate--I always buy a bar of Cadbury Fruit and Nut as soon as I land at the airport:-)

    Afternoon tea, cucumber sandwiches, cathedrals... oh, sigh. I wish I could say beer, because I always want my characters to drink the right beer. But even though I like British beer better than American, not my fave.

  24. British things I love: Mystery! (esp Inspector Lewis), Sherlock Holmes, and the British stiff upper lip.

    Nice to see you here, Deb.

  25. Mores, Morse! I LOVE Morse.

    And also Inspector Rutledge. (Poor thing..)

  26. I've been to Stonehenge - had to go, it was a rite of passage.

  27. Deb, I LOVE your Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James series, I of course started reading them out of order, had to rectify that right away and now I just salivate when I know there's a new one on the horizon.
    I could not believe you were a Yank after I started reading them, they are more authentic then some written by actual Brits.
    Hmm, my favorite British thing is actually, oh I can't decide, there are too many.
    I LOVED No Mark Upon Her Deb, it was fabulous. I love how your characters interact with each other, I love the stiff upper lips that some of them have and how you get them to become more human as the read progresses. Oh Heck I just love the series.

    Hi Hank, love you too :)


  28. Deb,

    What I want to know is: can you sing the Eton Boating Song?

  29. OH, wish we had audio blog..what's the Eton boating song??

  30. Julia, no! Help! Find us an audio link, and we'll all sing together:-)

  31. One of my favorite things is afternoon tea. So civilized! A chance to take a break and refresh before going on with the day.

  32. Peg, me, too. At least once every visit I try to do the really proper full afternoon tea. One of my favorite places is Sketch in Mayfair. I used to love afternoon tea at the Basil Street Hotel near Harrod's. It was really comfy old-fashioned afternoon tea--squashy sofas, the day's newspapers, take all the time you like . . .

    Sadly, gone now. The hotel was "redeveloped."

  33. I am so excited that this day is finally here! I got a Kindle for Christmas and wanted to pre-order this right away, but Amazon has this weird thing where you can't pay for a pre-order with a gift I will be logging on momentarily to finally, finally get my Duncan/Gemma fix!

    Can't name one favorite British thing, either. Am also a huge reader of British mysteries and a huge consumer of Masterpiece Theater. One of my favorite effects this has on my life is that both my teenage sons, having been exposed to so much British syntax over the years, occasionally drop "sort it out" or "you lot" or other British phrases in their every day conversation. I always wonder what their friends think when they do that.

  34. Afternoon tea! Lovely! (Did that sound British?) Shall we make it a Jungle Red tradition? I'm big on Tazo Calm these days...

  35. Hank, I need Tazo Calm today:-)

  36. I have my bubbly glass Hank just waiting for the bubbles to die down.

  37. DEbs,
    I don't care what you say, your life is glamorous, and
    I TOTALLY relate to your early love England via Masterpiece Theatre. But I also think there is just something wonderfully appealling about all things British and especially British mysteries like yours.

    Congrats on the wonderful success of this newest book!

  38. I can't wait to read No Mark Upon Her, 'cause I love Gemma's character. My favorite British thing is definitely the accent. And their word choices - they make the most banal statements seem profound. Oh, and their wicked sense of humor!

  39. Right now, my favorite British thing is Downton Abbey. And Deb, you go to England to research 2-3X/year? Why on earth did I set my series in the town where I live??

  40. Champagne. Why didn't I think of that. Have to run to the grocery store this afternoon--will get something. It will be cheap but bubbly:-)

    (If I was in Brit mode, I'd have said "go to the shops.")

  41. Oh Deb, I've read every Duncan/Gemma books and been impatiently waiting for the next! I was stunned when I realized that you weren't British, but like you, when the plane comes over the green fields into Gatwick or Heathrow, it always feels like I'm coming home.
    My favorite thing...hard to choose but I love Limply Stoke, the tiny village just outside Bath.

  42. Hey, Debbie! xoxo

    "Go to the shops"--see? It's already nicer.

    What do we say for "going to lunch" ?

  43. You needn't enter me for a copy since I've already read, reviewed, and greatly enjoyed the book! I have a question, though. Where did the title come from?

  44. Absolutely brilliant interview . . . really, really, really interesting. Wow!

    I miss Oxford. You'd think I'd spent a lifetime there but only went to research church history. I miss my room at Peck Quad 8, 2B. I miss the walk out to Tom Gate and the prawn sandwiches with avocado slices to be found across the street. I miss Boots-- ordinary pharm I know, but I loved their stuff. I miss people walking down the street eating their lunches as they went. I miss the Isis-- not the punting, though. I miss the dinners in the Great Hall at ChCh, especially drinkies beforehand in Woolsey's buttery. Although I could do without the gavel-banging call to dinner and standing for prayer, however charming the tradition!

    Sounds like -- feels like -- I was there for years. Not though. Really not. So I do understand that feeling. Thanks for taking me back. xoxoxo

  45. Deb? The Poisoned Pen? You're going to be at the Poisoned Pen? I could have arranged a ride up there had I known. How is it I did not know this? :(

  46. Reine, I'm so sorry! Anyway to remedy? Where are you? I'm also going to be in Tempe on the 8th, Glendale on the 9th, and Sedona on the 9th (evening, at the Well Red Coyote.)

    And now you've got me missing Oxford!


  47. Hi Deb, I'm living in Tucson now. I don't find your name on the authors' list for the Tucson Festival of Books. Might you be coming here for that? I wish I could go to any one of those events you mention, but being a quad now, makes arranging transportation a chore-- not impossible, just time consuming. xoxo

    Hah! Word Code: PISAMIST.

  48. Pisamist..what do you supposed that means? You believe in leaning towers?

  49. Hank, you're too funny.

    Reine, I asked to come to Tucson. I have a good friend who manages a B&N there and I've signed there before. But alas, not this time. We'll hope for next time...

  50. Hank, you have the best sense of humor. One might think you live in Boston. I actually try not to stand beside leaning towers, wherever located. I won't even go near the Pru-- remember those exploding windows?

  51. Deb, I will keep my fingers crossed for "next year in Tucson." The B&Ns here are very well done, always individual attention and . . . well, just lovely. Maybe I will have the series finished by the time we do meet. xo

  52. Oh no . . . that was John Hancock-- sorry Pru tower.

  53. Hi, Debs! I can't wait for tomorrow and the launch of NO MARK UPON HER, and I'm sure you can't, either.

    My favorite British thing is Oxford. Love the town! Oh, more specific? The tearoom at the Ashmolean with its wonderful homemade breads and its lentil soup.

    Well, actually, my real favorite British thing is that everywhere I go I get a real pot of real tea when I order tea. And then there's the bangers and mash at Salisbury Cathedral. Oh, and Cathedral City cheese. And on and on.

    Great interview, Hank! And Stonehenge is another of my faves. It's all touristed up with speakers you carry to hear about it, but once you get out in the midst of it, a kind of power hits and all that falls away. Don't know if it's just all the energy from centuries of people treating it as a sacred place or what, but it's definitely there.

    Anyway, I'd love another copy of NO MARK UPON HER to give as a gift.

    llrodriguez (at) sbdcglobal (dot) net

  54. I wanna win! Enter me! Enter me!

    My husband and I went to England for our 1 year wedding anniversary, with much kicking and whining on his part. My great grandfather came over in the early 1900's from England and Wales, and I always felt an affinity for the area. I was in my glory, and my husband really got into it after he was actually there.

    One of the most fascinating things about England we found was the sense of age! Things are sooo old there, there is such history. We were in castles, at Westminster Abbey, Stonehenge, Bath...and the entire time we were saying "500 years ago so Queen Elizabeth walked these floors. 700 years ago King Henry touched this wall...etc." We found that hard to conceive...coming from the Liberty Bell 200plus years ago. Not the same thing at all!

    Do you find it hard to go back and forth with the weather? Im in FL now, and I often think I would like to go back and spend some time there but I am so comfortable with the FL weather. I remember England being a little damp! How does that reconcile with Texas weather?

  55. Congrats on the publication of your new book!
    I like the chocolates I got in Britain!

  56. Anoyomous--if you win should I send the package to General Delivery?? xxoo

  57. My favorite British thing "The Saint" loved that show and a dozen others I could name.
    Theresa N

  58. Theresa N--Oh, I loved The Saint! And how about the Prisoner?

  59. Blogger won't let me embed a video, but here's a link to the Eton Boating Song. In this version, the chorus substitutes the phrase, "With our backs between our knees" for the more-humorous-to-modern-ears original: "For we'll swing, swing together, with our bodies between our knees."

  60. Julia, I love it!!!!!!!!!! I wanna go to Henley Regatta! Waaaa!

  61. Arghhhh! I was not supposed to be 'anonymous'; I was supposed to be "Lora in Florida!" How do I fix that? I think the problem was my "word verification" was phallically oriented and I was distracted...

  62. Loved it, wrote a review, FBed you the links.
    and though I love to win books-I have this one so don't enter me.

  63. I'm so happy the new book is nearly here. My husband grew up in England (altho' he's German) and we used to go every few years to visit family. My favorite things in England are the gardens - they are gorgeous!

    Please enter me in the drawing.

    clitchfi18 AT yahoo DOT com

  64. Hmmm, I think it's the accent I love...

    And tea.

  65. The word was "penisi" ...which made me giggle...because it's not really the word, but made me wonder if it was a word?! Is that more than one on the same person? "He had many penisi". bahaha
    Not sure if my version would be bad or good??? See now my mind is in the gutter again...

  66. Oh, Candace, of course, the gardens! Last time I was in England, I took millions of closeup photos of gardens. When I got home, I had NO idea where anything was.

    Lora in Florida. Oh, I SEE! A true classic captcha.

    Do other people love the captcha words as much as readers and writers do? Antersio! Is mine. Which is clearly right out of Harry Potter.

    (Something about the opposite thing happening, maybe?)

  67. Looking forward to the new book, I have read the entire series in order and love the characters. I preordered the Kindle edition weeks ago and am will be reading it soon.

  68. Lora's "penisi" is now my all-time favorite captcha. Well, not Lora's. You know what I mean. Oh right. Now I see captcha is going to make me pay for that by calling me "scomm." I think that's "scum" with a Brit accent.

  69. Goodnight, all! TMorrow...a very very special guest! And we'll announce the winner of Debs' book--stlll 36 minutes to leave a comment!

    And my captcha words is so boring. (It's not actually soboring. It just has no double meaning..sigh.)

  70. Thanks all for such a GREAT day!! (And Lora for ending it on a giggle. That has to be my all-time favorite captcha.

    Mine is "aducion." Am I auditioning, or being abducted? Or just dyslexic?

    Night all, and send lots of positive vibes for NO MARK tomorrow!!


  71. My favorite British thing?? That's a difficult one...but I guess tea, Stratford, and Deborah Crombie's books (not necessarily in that order)!

    I really look forward to "No Mark Upon Her"!

  72. I love Deborah Crombie's mysteries -- she's the author who led me to Jungle Reds, though I had also read Rhys Bowen's novels before I discovered this blog. And Deborah, you are doing what I've dreamed of. Like you, I'm an Anglophile through and through, since my first trip there when I was about 10, when I had the same experience of feeling as though I'd come home.

    My favorite thing about Britain? Hard to choose between Wales, Yorkshire, and the Scottish Highlands; they are each breathtakingly beautiful in their own ways. But if none of those count (they're each pretty big!), then it would have to be either a proper Devon or Cornish tea (with scones and clotted cream, of course!) or British children's books. Frances Hodgson Burnett, Susan Cooper, Elizabeth Goudge, C. S. Lewis, George MacDonald, A. A. Milne, Mary Norton, Arthur Ransome, J. K. Rowling, Noel Streatfield, Rosemary Sutcliffe... Those authors, as much as Masterpiece Theatre or the British mysteries I read as a young adult and adult (Catherine Aird, Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan Doyle, Ngaio Marsh, Dorothy Sayers, Josephine Tey, and more.)

    Whether or not you draw my name, thank you for the chance to listen to a fellow Anglophile rave about Britain!

  73. So enjoyed the posts today! Looking forward to reading the book so very much. My favorite things are many...the gardens, cream teas, British Museum, and on and on. Another Anglophile

  74. Loved the blog today, well, now I guess that'd be yesterday.

    I have a hard time choosing 1 favorite, but I'd say British comedies and mysteries. Just recently saw part of a marathon of AbFab on BBCA, such a hilarious show!

    Deb, if I didn't have an afternoon appointment I'd make the 2 hour trip to Dallas to meet you at B&N. Maybe we'll meet up another time.
    Best of luck with the book, I'm really looking forward to reading it!

    Lynn in Texas

  75. I agree with Reine, about ChristChurch; when there, felt as tho' I'd found my niche. Room atop 5 flights,in Meadow; classroom in Peck Quad.
    One of most wonderful experiences in this life; plan a return in 'l3.
    Until then, I read you,Deborah, for a visit to GB.

  76. Liz, the meadow is gorgeous out back of ChCh, isn't it? I think I was assigned that room you had one year and couldn't do the stairs. The bursar kindly reassigned me to The Old Library. That's OLD, as in Henry VIII's library where he had the books chained so they wouldn't leave the room.

  77. Favorite British thing would be The Beatles. Runners up would include English history, Shakespeare, Vivien Leigh, Clive Owen, High Tea, and English gardens.

  78. Just finished reading NO MARK UPON HER - each book gets better and better - can't wait to read the next one!

    Love Thornton's Toffees!

  79. Yes, the view from my room was an idyllic, pastoral scene.
    I would stop at flight 3 for a gasp (or two), then forge ahead, onward & upward.
    Now, watching Inspectors Morse & Lewis, I see familiar places and get goosebumps.
    We ventured to one location - The Trout pub at Wolvercote - bus, then walking. Across river are abbey ruins where Queen Guinevere was said to have lived later years.