I have fallen heavily for Scandinavian noir detective novels. I wish I knew why all these dour souls interested me, but I can’t put my finger on it. Unfortunately, I have read a vast quantity of them and since I seldom note author or title, I have to be very careful not to buy one that I have already read. If it is longer than ten years ago, I am safe as I will have forgotten it. Actually, make that two years.

The pleasure of reading is, for me, a little bit like the mortar on buildings. It is the mortar that holds the building together. I really started to understand English furniture through reading, although nothing could replace the time I spent in the workshop. It was, however, through reading that my interest was sparked, mostly through the photographs and, when I found Ralph Symonds, the great English furniture historian, through the text.

Eighteenth century England was a fascinating place and it is interesting to me that it wasn’t until the 19th century before noir style literature, though not looked upon as that at the time, started to be written. Dickens became very noir and there was certainly an edge of noir to Wilkie Collins and Conan Doyle’s novels. They are a great read if you haven’t tried them. Maybe I, too, have a dour personality, but maybe I’m just looking for a little intrigue