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Thanks to that excellent institution the British Library, for publishing its Crime Classics series. These are a selection of novels from the Golden Age of detective fiction. Aficionados will have been aware of it for some time, but I’ve just come across it and was fortunate enough to be given two of them for Christmas. I’m currently much enjoying Mystery in White – A Christmas Crime Story, by J Jefferson Farjeon (originally published in 1937): a group of strangers find themselves trapped by heavy snow on Christmas Eve in a country house, which mysteriously has fires burning and food ready, but no-one is home … Great suspense.

My other gift was The Sussex Downs Murder, by John Bude (1936), a delight I have in store. Others in the series have settings such as the London Underground’s Northern Line (Murder Underground by Mavis Doriel Hay), an Oxford college (Death on the Cherwell by the same author), the very centre of London (Murder in Piccadilly by Charles Kingston), and the Hog’s Back beauty spot in Surrey (The Hog’s Back Mystery by the great Freeman Wills Crofts).

For details on some of these see http://www.bl.uk/aboutus/publishing/publications-catalogue-spring-2015.pdf (scroll down to pages 6 to 11) or http://www.bl.uk/aboutus/publishing/publications-catalogue-spring-2014.pdf (pages 10 to 13).