Once upon a time I read books. Not pulp fiction, chick lit or the latest supermarket book shelf craze, oh no: books. Proper books. Classics, early twentieth century domestic and women's literature, the occasional play. Books with words I didn't understand, books that improved my mind and books with idea's and concepts I couldn't wait to discuss with anyone who would listen.
I sneered at Harry Potter. Laughed at those who discussed The Da Vinci Code or The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo as if they mattered. Caused arguments at my book club with my sniffy condescension, and generally considered myself a cut above the literary rest.
Hell yeah: I was a book snob. Lordy, I never said I was nice now did I??
And then the Winter of my Discontent arrived and words danced around on the page in front of me and nothing made sense and some books were simply to painful to read and others reminded me of all that I had lost and my brain was squiffy with misery and my eyes puffy, blind marshmallows and one day my lovely Kindle solved the lack of words in my life by offering me a copy of the very first Agatha Raisin cosy mystery, and darn it, if my doom wasn't sealed in one hiss of "snakes and bastards!"
But the thing is this: I want to blame Agatha Raisin but it isn't her fault. No Sireee! Indeed it wasn't until I had ploughed my way through all of the Agatha's published and moved on to her author's other cosy series, Hamish Macbeth, that the rot really set in.
Ah Hamish, you aren't real, but how I love thee. You are all ginger and skinny and for want of a better word, a bit arsey. You are difficult to love, a rogue in a policeman's hat, lazy, difficult and a mystery solving genius, content to live on pasta and cause havoc with the women of Lochdubh. You are in fact the antithesis of the man of my dreams and despite all that, there isn't a man on the literary planet I want more.
Oh yes. There you go: I've said it - I fancy the bum off Hamish Macbeth and the dear man has ruined my life.
When I finally finished the existing series I was devastated. Mourning. Worried that M.C Beaton had tired of his antics and would devote all her energies to Georgian matchmakers instead. I filled up my Kindle with books that would improve my mind and make me a sensible human being again and every night I fell asleep discontented and alert, not lulled to sleep by the bookish equivalent of an Ovaltine, but poked in the brain by literary Lucozade and wide awake for my troubles.
Hamish had not only stole my ability to discern between pulp mysteries and decent reading, but had gone so far as to steal my ability to sleep. So there was nothing for it, but to have a bookish fling in his absence. To look for man who could fill his shoes and then some, while providing me with comforting sleepy fodder and a mystery to solve to boot.
My darlings, I give you Evan Evans. Another shambling copper, this time wreaking gentle havoc in Wales, lusting after the prim and proper schoolteacher and solving all that troubling the little village of Llanfair: a hotbed of murder and mayhem if ever there was one.
So there you have it. I'm having an affair. One quick romp with Evan per night and I sleep like a baby. Trouble is there are only nine books in the series and I'm almost through and then what to do?
No-one likes a cosy floozy do they??