Get an exclusive free story about Carey when he was a boy. Click here!Exclusive free story about Robert Carey, aged eight

Purr purrpurr

Well, what do you expect? Being invited to come and talk about history and my books at a bookshop is a bit like inviting a cat to come and sit by a fire with a nice plate of sardines and a side order of catnip. Not much doubt what the answer will be. And that was after I’d been fed blackened catfish for dinner with some delightful book club members. So I happily chuntered on at Aunt Agatha’s Mystery Bookstore in Ann Arbor this evening, taking in Sir Robert Carey’s early life, my experiences while personally researching tall ship sailing for ‘Gloriana’s Torch’ (after one and a half days of puking on a square sail training ship I had a wonderful time) and some four hundred year old gossip. Luckily nobody had warned the owner Robin Agnew that if she let me into her bookstore, I’d be really difficult to get out again and would probably take at least one book with me.

What a great place. And what great fans! I love it when they let me pick their brains to research some of the embryonic books currently bugging me to write them.

Incidentally, has anyone ever thought of putting hotel rooms in bookshops? There are coffee shops in some bookstores, so why not bedrooms? It would save so much effort and you wouldn’t have to chuck me out at closing time.

Mind you, I’m loving where I’m staying tonight as well: the Vitosha Guest Haus has this quiet quirky elegance, old-fashioned style plus hi tech (I’m writing this on their computer) and the most beautiful enormous dog called George. He very politely checked my luggage: perhaps he was looking for my own much smaller dog – Holly the black Labrador. I’m sure he had no designs on my chocolates from Middletown library.

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