I was pleased to learn yesterday that my stepmother liked the Venetian crime novels by Donna Leon that I had sent for her birthday. It’s always a pleasure when someone enjoys something you enjoy and share with them, isn’t it? If I could eat in any kitchen in the history of fiction it would be in Guido Brunetti’s house, having one of Paola’s lunches.
I was then reminded of another fictional detective I love, Michael Dibdin’s Aurelio Zen, because I was sitting in my local coffee shop reading the Observer, which reviewed the new TV show based on a Zen book. I have a distinct memory of being in London for work in 1999, carrying a Zen book in my hand that I’d just been reading on the tube, and passing Rufus Sewell and his amazingly piercing eyes, coming down the other escalator as I went up. Turns out he’s now playing Zen. A funny little nothing, that, such a strange little connection that means nothing really, and yet I find those little ‘nothings’ happen with great frequency and sew up my life here and there with neat little stitches.