Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Fivepenny Mystery Illustration

An illustration from Chapter 2 of Fivepenny Mystery: What Happened in Athens. Deborah goes out for a walk through the city.

Quote of the Day

They were still discussing it when Pips came back accompanied by a very silent, very sulky Robert. Pips alighted and lugged him out of the Sneaker by his left ear. She pulled him into the cabin and confronted him with the footprint. "Up with your foot," she ordered, " and compare them."
"Well, leggo my ear," said Robert. "You'd think I was an acrobat."
Pips, albeit reluctantly, released him. Robert, even more reluctantly, stood on the locker and laid his bare foot on the print: it fitted exactly.

From THE CREW OF THE BELINDA, Chapter 16, The Footprint of Blood.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Map for The Tall Man

This nice map from the Swiss tourist website jungfrau.ch shows many of the locations in The Tall Man. You can see that the villages of Böningberg and Rinigen do not actually exist. In the book, Jane Shaw combined the two villages of Ringgenberg and Bönigen.

Places in Jane Shaw: Mürren

In The Tall Man, the Waring children split up to investigate the hotel guests. Clarissa accompanies the Wicks and Mr. Broadbent to the village of Mürren for the day. She describes it as "glorious".

Quote of the Day

I've often wondered since what the Rinigen guests in all their gorgeous clothes thought of the procession which now trooped down the stairs. However smart we were when we started the evening, we had been through a lot since then, and we were by no means smart by this time - we weren't even clean. Meieli's eyes widened when she looked up and saw us; but nobody moved. In a deep hush we walked across to Frau Rinigen, and Clarissa held out the bundle of crumpled velvet...

From THE TALL MAN, Chapter 9, The End of the Adventure.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Tall Man Frontispiece

Quote of the Day

"We're almost there," said Thomas, self-appointed navigator. "Go straight ahead now and we should just about hit the landing-stage."
"We usually do," muttered Clarissa, who was rowing.
"Tish was busily rehearsing the password in a quiet voice, "Rosen-rot, Rosen-rot-"
"Don't talk so loud," I said. "Remember how voices carry across the water. We don't want the Tall Man to hear us-"
"You need not wor-r-ry," said Meieli's acid voice from the darkness beside us. "He has heard you. The Tall Man has just gone."

From The Tall Man, Chapter 4, Rendezvous with a Robber.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Twopence Coloured B&W Frontispiece

A nice clean scan of the frontispiece of the Triumph edition of Twopence Coloured. The Triumph Series all had black and white frontispieces.

Quote of the Day

The Eliots stood petrified. This was the end. The parents must have heard that and be putting two and two together. It had never dawned on them that the name of Stella's owner would be blazoned abroad like this. They stood huddled together, not daring to glance at their parents, when Candy, red with exertion and rage, cantered up. She dismounted and faced Jennifer furiously. "Where did you get that pony?" she demanded.
"I bought her," said Jennifer, thinking it was neither the time nor the place to mention the younger ones' hand in the affair. "She's mine."
"She's mine"" cried Candy. "You stole her! She's Socks!"

From VENTURE TO SOUTH AFRICA, Chapter 13, The Gymkhana.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Anything Can Happen: Les Deux Magots

An illustration from Anything Can Happen of today's quote. The scene takes place at Les Deux Magots, where Dizzy and Alison have coffee with Pierre and Alain. Funny nowadays to see an ashtray on the table!

Quote of the Day

Pierre said, "Bon. Very pretty. And we forgive you for causing us unquiet moments imagining you to have been attacked by the sinister Madame X."
"Oh," we said, deflated and anxious again. "Is there a sinister Madame X?"
"Bien sûr," said Pierre. "Have some coffee and I will tell you."
If we drink much more coffee, I thought, we'll be a-wash; but that good French coffee was comforting too, I thought, when there was bad news, liable to send cold shivers down your spine, to be told.

From ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN, Chapter 5, Where is Madame Bertholet?

Places in Jane Shaw: Les Deux Magots

Still on the subject of citrons pressés, this is Les Deux Magots, where Dizzy and Alison met Pierre and Alain in Anything Can Happen. Alison remarked on how the French stomach was almost a bottomless pit when it came to drinking coffee. The girls sometimes drank coffee and sometimes the famous citron pressé. The café is just round the corner from Madame Bertholet's flat.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Quote of the Day

With their usual enthusiasm, Kay and Nicky rushed to the courts at the earliest possible opportunity and practised at every available moment. Claire, pictures and the unspeakable Dr. Partridge were forgotten; all their thoughts and energies were devoted to tennis.

From NEW HOUSE AT NORTHMEAD, Chapter 8, Tennis Matches.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Restaurant in Montmartre

In Crooks Tour the girls spend too much money on taxis and find that they don't have enough money to pay their bill at the restaurant in Montmartre where they cool off with a citron pressé. The woman who runs the restaurant is very trusting and even lends the girls their fare back to the hotel. The restaurant is called Chez La Mère Geneviève in the book. Dizzy and Alison also visit this restaurant in Anything Can Happen. In this book, it is given its real name: La Mère Catherine.
The citron pressé features a lot in Jane Shaw's French stories. It is very strong lemonade to which the customer adds a great deal of sugar. I had one at a restaurant here in Curitiba with my daughter a couple of weeks ago. Although I normally love lemonade, this stuff was just too much and had me wincing and my eyes watering! In many Brazilian restaurants, a slightly weaker version is popular. We call it limonada suiça (Swiss lemonade). It's delicious when nice and chilled.

Quote of the Day

"Honestly!" said Julie crossly. "Mistresses! They don't listen. We want to tell her about a murder and she just charges off to get the tickets-"
"You don't think," said Ricky anxiously, "that we should abandon Ellie and go to the police instead?"
"Well, it's the same old business," said Julie impatiently. "We don't know where to find the police and we wouldn't know what to say to them if we did find them. No, no, Ellie is our only hope. Come on, we must get her to listen."

From CROOKS TOUR, Chapter 13, Crook in the Rain.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Fivepenny Mystery Colour Frontispiece

The colour frontispiece of Fivepenny Mystery. There were three editions of the Penny books:

1. The original Nelson books, lavishly illustrated with colour frontispieces and high quality paper;
2. The Britannic Series, also with colour frontispieces and many illustrations on high quality paper;
3. The Triumph Series, with a black and white frontis and illustrations but printed on cheaper paper that tends to tan more quickly.
I have no first editions. My Penny Foolish, Fourpenny Fair and Crooked Sixpence are Britannic books, and the others are Triumph editions.
I would like to thank Elizabeth Lindsay for providing the scanned frontispiece.

Quote of the Day

Fiona got such a shock that she almost gave at the knees. She sat down gaping at Mr. Pengelly. "But, but," she stammered, "she introduced us, and said they were to be married. Although I must say," she said, thinking back, "to do the man justice he did look a bit flummoxed when she announced the engagement."

From THE MOOCHERS, Chapter 9, The Council Thinks Again.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Places in Jane Shaw: Abbey Green

In Threepenny Bit, the Carters and Mallorys befriend the le Rouxs, who have inherited a house full of antiques. Penny suggests that they should open a shop to sell all the old coins, etc. The le Rouxs live and work in Abbey Green in Bath. The giant tree in the middle of the green that is mentioned in today's quote is still standing, but the little square is no longer so drab and has been brightened up. The bin for pig swill was removed in the 1950s.

Quote of the Day

They walked along the North Parade and into Abbey Green.
"It's not what I would call a green, exactly," said Jill.
The quiet court was desolate; no touch of colour enlivened the prim Georgian houses. Under the grey sky the rain lashed a weary-looking plane tree and pattered in great drops on the pig-bin that huddled beside it. Already the leaves were falling, swirling dismally across the asphalt.
"No, but there's something nice and secluded about it," said Penny, "sheltered by the Abbey-" and she glanced up at the towering Abbey in the background.

From THREEPENNY BIT, Chapter 3, In Abbey Green.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Threepenny Bit Colour Frontispiece

Places in Jane Shaw: Louella's Bookshop

Louella's bookshop in Wichwood is featured in No Trouble for Susan. When Louella comes down with mumps, Susan and the Carmichaels run the shop for her in the run up to Christmas. In real life, the shop is called Village Books and is located on Calton Avenue in Dulwich. In the story, the children often get coffee and sandwiches at the little tea room next door. There is indeed a tea room and patisserie three doors down to the left. 

Quote of the Day

We were warm as pies, but we filled hot-water bottles, for the night would certainly get colder, and wriggled into our sleeping-bags with them. We were desperately tired and sleepy, but a sleeping-bag on a pile of coir, in a hut with about a dozen other people, who were all breathing and snorting and - in one case at least - snoring, isn't very conducive to sound slumber.

From NOTHING HAPPENED AFTER ALL, Chapter 10, Don't Get Mixed up in Politics. 

Saturday, September 20, 2014


Most of House of the Glimmering Light is set at Tighanleys, a boarding school in winter and hotel in the summer months, located on the edge of Loch Etive, near Oban in Scotland. The House is described as "an ancient house, tall and grey, with crow-stepped gables and high narrow windows. It had begun life as a fortress; on one side its walls went down almost sheer into the Loch, and these grim, stout ramparts still stood, although later additions and alterations in the front of the house had given the whole a mellowed and softer air." The house can still be glimpsed from the road today. According to Alison Lindsay, the house is named Dunfiunary on a map published in 1904 and is actually much smaller than Tighanleys, with many rooms, including a secret room, being added to suit the plot. Like the Carmichaels' house in the Susan stories, Tighanleys has a character of its own and adds a special quality to the story. Indeed, the story is named after the house. In Chapter 6, we are told that Tighanleys means House of the Glimmering Light.
Alison Lindsay described her day at Connel in her article entitled Connel Ferry and the House of the Glimmering Light, published in in Folly Magazine, Volume 18.
A map of the area showing the location of Tighanleys is shown below. Click on it for a larger view.

Quote of the Day

So there was Angela, crouched in a corner of the library, ostensibly reading The Popular Superstitions and Festive Amusements of the Highlands of Scotland, but in reality watching with an unwavering eye poor Mrs. Farquharson, who was sitting at the desk, writing letters. Angela had suddenly recollected, to her intense gratification, her father telling her that one of her less reputable forebears had been a detective, known as Lynx-eyed Winter. She wasn't sure that the story wasn't apocryphal, but she put that thought away, and felt Lynx-eyed Winter's blood coursing strongly in her veins.

From HOUSE OF THE GLIMMERING LIGHT, Chapter 4, Angela Investigates.