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Friday, October 11, 2013

Launching Murder And Mendelssohn

This morning I left my mother's place early, to go across town to the Sun Bookshop in Yarraville, which is in the nicer part of the western suburbs(the nicest is Williamstown, which is by the sea). The occasion was the annual launch of Kerry Greenwood's latest piece of crime fiction. Usually, she alternates between the Phryne Fisher mysteries, set in the 1920s, and the present day stories centred around Corinna Chapman, baker extraordinaire who lives in a wonderful block of flats in Melbourne's CBD.

No one gets murdered in the Chapman mysteries. Teens go missing. Shonky televangelists do their thing to make money. The local chocolate shop's products are sabotaged, mysterious drugs are causing unintended deaths, but not murders. That sort of stuff. I love them and was looking forward to the next one for this year, but instead, there was a new Phryne Fisher adventure with not one, but two murders! Both victims are choir conductors of the same amateur choir about to perform Mendelssohn's oratorio Elijah. And we discover that Phryne has choral experience(what has this chick not done?). The author has fun with Sherlock Holmes, creating a character who is like Holmes in personality, suggesting that a real-life Holmes, as opposed to Dr Bell, his inspiration, would be impossible to live with for most of us. The venue is Scots Church on Collins St, which is still there, and I think one of the characters lives on the site where the Education Department was located when I started teaching, a tower building considerably bigger than the digs of the choir's accompanist. This is one of the things I love about the series - Melbourne is familiar, and not.

I arrived at Yarraville in plenty of time and as I approached the bookshop, a voice called to me from behind: it was Kerry herself. We sat on a bench for a chat before going on to to the launch. She was wearing a robe which had hand painted titles of all her books on it.  I think she may have done  that herself. She is multi-talented.

As usual, there were plenty of people, though I only saw one familiar face apart from Kerry and her partner  David - a gentleman called Steve, whom I have known since my days in the SCA and now see at the Nova Mob science fiction club meetings. He knows Kerry and  David through the SCA. However, it was a nice event as always. David, who sings, runs the launch and organises the choir
which sings every time.

The bookshop is next to the Sun Theatre and the launch spills over into the cinema foyer. I bought my book - I had already bought the ebook, but I share these books with my family - and wandered into the foyer.

They always have munchies, soft drink and celebratory champagne and catering people hired to serve them. I enjoyed some sushi, cupcakes and toast with cheese.

It was impossible to get a decent photo with my poor little phone; every time I tried, someone woud wander past or bob up in the crowd to put their heads in front of me. And when I did get in a shot, there was strong light coming from outside, removing David's head! Ah, well...

Afterwards, I lined up to have my book signed - ony one this year, alas, since my poor friend Jan Finder the Wombat passed away.

I asked Kerry's Mum to be in a pic with me for my mother, whom I couldn't persuade to come along, though she loves Kerry's books, because she doesn't like travelling all that way from home; Jean Greenwood is five years older than Mum and more fragile. She kindly agreed and one of her other daughters took the photo. I came out blurry, alas, but never mind.

I believe that this afternoon there's to be a singalong of Elijah, but I am home, writing this and about to watch this week's Miss Fisher's Murder Mystery which is the Jock McHale's Hat story with a murder added to it. 

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