Mrs GOB and I are having one of our periodic clear-outs. Among other strange things which have emerged from dark corners of the loft and garage are several boxes of my own books: i.e. books wot I have wrote.
In some cases these books are the remains of the complimentary copies supplied by the publisher. American publishers often gave me 20 free ones, compared with the usual 6 in the UK. In other cases, I seem to have bought extra supplies for some reason, and never got around to sending them out.
Anyway, there they are. And they are yours, free, for the asking. The point is, I didn't write those books to have them sit around in boxes. I wrote them in the hope that they would be read. So you can have free copies if you like. But there is one condition. Please don't put the book on your shelf and keep it there for the next twenty years. When you've read it, or decided that it's not for you, put it in a charity shop, or give it to a friend.
For the same reason, I will sign every free book. But I would be reluctant to write 'To Jane' or whatever, because if I do that you will be inclined to hang on to it.
Set out below is a list of the books available, roughly in order of publication. If you click on the linked title you will find a bit more information, and quotes from reviews, about each one. You will also see that some of these novels are published under pen-names
If you decide that you would like one or more of these books, send me an email (see profile, top of right column). Don't forget to include your snailmail address!
Do I want you to cover the postage? No. Far too complicated and fiddly. Yes, airmail is rather expensive, but if you feel guilty about it, put a dollar (or whatever) in the poor box.
This offer holds good until 1 December, when the post office gets ridiculously busy because of Christmas.
The Leavers (1963). A typical first novel of the 1960s. I cannot imagine why anyone would want to read it now, but I have some copies if you do.
Spence in Petal Park (Spence and the Holiday Murders in the US) (1977)
Spence at the Blue Bazaar (1979)
Spence at Marlby Manor (1982)
These three are classic English whodunits, with a policeman called Spence as the detective. Spence at the Blue Bazaar is also available in French (La Scandaleuse du Blue Bazaar) and Danish (Thana Betyder Dod), if you prefer those languages. If you ask for one of these books you might as well have all three.
Counter-Coup (1980). A thriller/adventure story in the Wilbur Smith mould, set in Africa.
Topp Family Secrets (2002). A family saga.
Beautiful Lady (2002). A thriller set in wartime England.
Passionate Affairs (2002). Two interlocking love affairs; set in 1960.
Scrooge and the Widow of Pewsey (2003). A sequel to Dickens's A Christmas Carol.
The Suppression of Vice (2003). A nineteenth-century crime novel.
King Albert's Words of Advice (2003). Short stories.
The Truth about Writing (2003). A handbook for novelists, playwrights, and screenwriters.
Grumpy Old Bookman (2005). The first six months of the blog in book form.
How and why Lisa's Dad got to be famous (2006). A novel about reality TV.
Lucius the Club (2007). A crime-fiction novella.
Mr Fenman's Farewell to His Readers (2007). A short memoir (?) by a nineteenth-century novelist.
Hurry, hurry, while stocks last. Or something like that.