Hb has commented, on my Bryson post below, that he does visit his family in Notes From A Small Island. And that is true. And that reminded me that I should have updated that blog entry, since after writing it (naturally, why do research before you write, when you can publicly humiliate yourself afterwards) I googled a little, found some interviews, and deduced that he just doesn't write about the family trips. Also he confirms that his books are not meant as, and in fact are rubbish if read as travel guides. (That was a bad sentence. But I can't piece it together in a better way at the moment. Very annoying.) So colour me embarrassed and efterklok.
Spent all weekend feeling sorry for myself as I have a cold. Reread Trent Intervenes by EC Bentley. This is a book I picked up somewhere quite accidentally, and I'm glad I did. Bentley only wrote three books featuring his detective/journalist/artist Philip Trent, and they are hard to find. By which I mean that no library in town has even one copy, and I haven't come across them in any second-hand book stalls. I'm not desperate enough to start trawling the internet for copies, but that day may come. Trent Intervenes is the last in the series. It was published in 1938, and preceded by Trent's Own Case in 1936 and Trent's Last Case (great title, considering!) in (wait for it) 1913.
Apparently Dorothy Sayers was a Bentley fan, which is of course a mark of quality. The book itself is a collection of short stories. Trent sometimes aids the police, sometimes acts alone to help a friend or an accquantaince. He always reserves the right to choose how to act on what he has discovered. They are clever, not complete whodunnits as Trent has more information than we do, but close, as there are enough clues so as to help us guess the truth. Recommended.