Letter: June 2009

Dear Readers,
I am delighted to report to you that I am getting better with each passing day. Recently (May 19th) I went for a check up at the Conquest Hospital which went so well that I do not have to see them again for another three months.

The Cartier Diamond Dagger

And now to far more cheerful things. My book Death and the Black Pyramid has just been published (on 28th May to be precise) and is already selling on Amazon. As I have mentioned before, it will not be available in bookshops unless you go to the counter and order it by name, by author and also the publisher, Severn House (you may also find it helpful to give them the ISBN: 978-0-7278-6770-4). I do hope that you will enjoy it and let me know your opinions in due course.

I went to London to attend the awarding of the Cartier Diamond Dagger on 28th April. This was held at the Gore Hotel, Kensington, which is rather gothic and shadowy and a very suitable venue for crime writers. Dear Andrew Taylor won the prestigious award this year and I was very pleased indeed to see it go to a British writer and not an American. Believe me, I have nothing against American crime writers but I do find it rather irritating when they win a top British prize. Ah well!

I met up with several old pals, especially my dear friend Lindsey Davis, who was relieved to see me still alive and kicking; my agent, Vanessa Halt, who was also present and on sparkling form, and my dear friend Ruth Dudley Edwards, who was as delightful and Irish as ever. We all drank a great deal of champagne and watched Monsieur Bamberger of Cartier, who simply oozes Gallic charm, present the award to Andrew.

Last time I promised you a load of pictures and so here they are. The first is of the Diamond Dagger itself. This is worth a fortune because the top is made of solid diamonds. It comes out of the safe at Cartier on the morning of the award and goes back that night. All that Andrew gets is a highly sought-after lapel badge while the women winners get a brooch. The dagger itself is only theirs for a night.

The second picture is of the presentation to Andrew. Do you agree that the French Monsieur is a real pin-up?

M. Bamberger presents the Diamond Dagger to Andrew Taylor

The third is of me with two male crime writers, both of whom are quite the best thing since sliced bread. Please notice my hat which closely represents a bald-headed man with jug ears standing behind me.

Deryn with two crime-writing friends

Here are the fourth, fifth and sixth pictures:

Deryn Lake with Lindsey Davis and Maureen Lyle

Me with Lindsey Davis and Maureen Lyle

Deryn with Vanessa Holt (her agent)

Me and my redoubtable agent Vanessa

Deryn with Ruth Dudley Edwards

Me and my dear friend Ruth Dudley Edwards

My cousin, Gret Jensen

The last photograph is of my cousin Greta Jensen, holding in her hand what looks alike a lethal cocktail but which is really non-alcoholic. Greta lives in Devon but on the night of the Diamond Dagger she happened to be in London so I raced back with a friend of mine, Neil Clephane-Cameron (would you believe it?) to meet her in the Charing Cross Hotel. The result was the last train home but it certainly rounded off a wonderful evening for me.

That's all, folks. Next time I will tell you all about the book launch I am having for Death and the Black Pyramid.

Meanwhile, take care of yourselves and keep reading,
Deryn Lake

June 2009