Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Help! Calling all book detectives...

Here are the clues:

Set in France.

Was Radio 4 book at bedtime about four years ago.

The story concerns a painter who has to travel a great deal to collect materials for a particular dye/colour that he uses for his paintings.

The title of the novel is the name of this colour/dye.

The painter has an affair with someone while he is on his travels.

Those are the clues.

If anyone can work out what the book is then they will win a special prize...


  1. Colour of Heaven, by James Runcie ? All about a man who travels to find lapis lazuli, which is then turned into ultramarine...

  2. There is a strong possibility that this is the book...

    Not set in France but it IS set in other places (Venice/China etc)

    Will try the customer and let you know.

  3. Isn't it Silk by Alessandro Barrico? Set in France, about a man who goes to China to buy silk, and falls in love with a woman there... Last time I checked it was on the table at C&P.

    And to think you let me go.

  4. Silk isn't a colour!

    I will try both of these with the customer...

    In fact I'll call her now and let you know the result!

  5. Aaaargh...voicemail.

    I'll keep you posted...

    Who will win the "special" prize?

    The Bookseller or the "struggling" author?

  6. Silk may not be a colour but Venice is not in France either... I wanna win! I wanna win!

  7. Actually I woke up this morning and thought, Silk...

    But I'm sticking with Venice and COLOUR...and painting.

    Man, I can taste that prize.

  8. Still no word from our customer.

    The tension mounts.

    In the office sits a prize, a glittering prize...

  9. She just called...

    And the winner is...

    Colour of Heaven! (She thinks)

    And guess what! It's reprinting!

  10. Jonathan - yoou are the winner!

    (Booksellers 1 - Authors 0)

    Your prize is an Emma Bridgewater tea towel that celebrates the Queens 8th birthday!

    Well done!

  11. I said I could taste it.

  12. I'm a bit hurt that I've been dumped so quickly as a bookseller. I was one of you once, you may recall. Of course, you may choose not to recall, when I'm so far off the mark. Consarnnit.

  13. We'll call you whatever you put on your passport. So, is that Bookseller or Best-selling Writer?

  14. OI ! You nicked that Emma Bridgewater Tea Towel from one of our Goody bags.

  15. Err, I'd rather not be done for receiving if it's all the same with you guys...

  16. Marie - All the booksellers I know would secretly love to be authors. Don't tell me the reverse is also true!

    Susan - Your excellent goody bags were much appreciated by us and our customers.

    Jonathan - You are the champion, you are the champion, no time for losers 'cos you are the champion - tea towell in the post today...