Monday, January 21, 2019

Review: Cruising to Murder by Mark McCrum

Cruising to Murder by Mark McCrum, June 2018, 224 pages, Severn House Publishers Ltd ISBN: 0727888072

Reviewed by Geoff Jones.

(Read more of Geoff's reviews for Euro Crime here.)

Francis Meadowes is a crime writer and has been invited to give a lecture on the cruise ship the Golden Adventurer in return for a free cruise. This is the high end of cruising, mainly wealthy Americans, some British and a German. Most cruise ships have between 800 and 1200 passengers on board, but this one has considerably less. Sailing the west coast of Africa, the itinerary is not the usual tourist visits but unusual and rare sights.

Francis is befriended by German retired surgeon, Klaus, an elderly lady who is a widow and has sailed on many cruises and looking forward to more, Eve, and an American single lady, Sadie, travelling with her aunt.

When Eve is found dead in her bed and the ship's doctor is reluctant to sign the death certificate everyone is naturally alarmed. When there is then a “man overboard” situation and they realise it is a young woman who is travelling with an older man, everyone is then convinced there is a murderer on board, despite the captain suggesting it is suicide. Francis is asked by the captain to investigate because of his previous success at a literary festival murder. One of the excursion staff accompanies Francis in his investigations on behalf of the captain.

Francis gets deeper into the mystery and soon realises his own life is at risk. Can he solve the case before it is too late?

The author knows his cruising. I've only been on the larger ships, but the description of the activities and the life on board is similar. He has written mainly non-fiction books except THE FESTIVAL MURDERS which also featured Francis. This was very enjoyable and I highly recommend it. I look forward to reading more about Francis, starting with his previous book.

Geoff Jones, January 2019

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Cover Theme: Children's Playgrounds (& Balloons)

Saturday fun. The latest in my cover theme posts.

Aside from Julie Corbin's Tell Me No Secrets, these are all recent covers.















Tuesday, January 08, 2019

TV News: Coroner


Not to be confused with the BBC's The Coroner....Canadian series Coroner is based on MR (Matthew) Hall's series of books featuring Coroner Jenny Cooper. The action has moved from the Welsh-English border near Bristol, to Toronto.

Coroner has just begun its run of 8 episodes in Canada but we don't have to wait long here in the UK. The first episode is on the Universal Channel at 9pm on 21 January.

Here's some of the the official blurb from CBC:
Inspired by the best-selling series of books by M.R. Hall and created by Morwyn Brebner (Saving Hope), CORONER (8x60) is a character-driven one-hour drama about Dr. Jenny Cooper (SERINDA SWAN), a recently widowed new coroner who investigates suspicious, unnatural or sudden deaths in Toronto. The series reflects the rich diversity of Toronto, and each case brings Jenny into a new arena in the city, touching on buzz-worthy themes. Jenny taps into her intuition as much as her intellect and heart as she solves cases with the help of homicide detective Donovan McAvoy (ROGER CROSS), a man who isn’t afraid of challenging the status quo; pathologist Dr. Dwayne Allen (LOVELL ADAMS-GRAY) and his assistant River Baitz (KILEY MAY); and Alison Trent (TAMARA PODEMSKI), Jenny’s assistant who keeps it real. And while Jenny solves mysterious deaths, she also deals with clinical anxiety; a teenage son, Ross (EHREN KASSAM), who is still grieving the death of his father; and the prospect of starting a new relationship with the enigmatic Liam (ÉRIC BRUNEAU).
Coroners feature as the lead characters in three other British/European series to my knowledge:

Bernard Knight's Sir John de Wolfe series set in twelfth century Devon.
Priscilla Masters' Martha Gunn series set in Shrewsbury.
Jutta Profijt's Martin Gänsewein series set in Cologne.

(There are slightly more pathologists.)

Monday, January 07, 2019

New Releases - January 2019

Many apologies for the extended delay since my last post. We've had a few technological issues over the last few weeks. Thank you for continuing to visit Euro Crime and best wishes for 2019 (and on).
Here's the latest in my regular feature, of monthly releases.
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Here's a snapshot of what I think is published for the first time in January 2019 (and is usually a UK date but occasionally will be a US or Australian date). January and future months (and years) can be found on the Future Releases page. If I've missed anything or got the date wrong, do please leave a comment.
• Alfon, Dov - A Long Night in Paris
• Allan, Claire - Apple of My Eye
• Allen, Hania - Clearing The Dark #2 DS Dania Gorska
• Amphlett, Rachel - Bridge to Burn #7 Detective Kay Hunter
• Bailey, R J - Winner Kills All #3 Sam Wylde, Close Protection Officer
• Bannister, Jo - Silent Footsteps #3 Detective Constable Hazel Best & Gabriel Ash
• Barber, Lizzy - My Name is Anna
• Barton, Fiona - The Suspect
• Bradley, Alan - The Golden Tresses of the Dead #10 Eleven year old Flavia de Luce, 1950s England
• Broadribb, Steph - Deep Dirty Truth #3 Lori Anderson
• Brooke, Amanda - Don't Turn Around
• Butler, D S - Where Secrets Lie #2 Detective Karen Hart
• Clements, Rory - Nemesis #3 Thomas Wilde, 1930s
• Connolly, Sheila - The Lost Traveller #7 Maura Donovan, County Cork
• Cutts, Lisa - Lost Lives
• Dahl, Arne - Hunted #2 Detective Sam Berger
• Dean, Will - Red Snow #2 Tuva Moodyson, Sweden
• Deegan, James - The Angry Sea #2 John Carr, Ex SAS
• Dunford, Caroline - A Death at a Gentleman's Club #12 Euphemia Martins
• Eldridge, Jim - Murder at the British Museum #2 Former Detective Inspector Daniel Wilson
• Finlay, Mick - The Murder Pit #2 Arrowood, PI, 1895
• Foley, Lucy - The Hunting Party
• Fortin, Sue - Schoolgirl Missing
• Grant, Andrew - Invisible
• Griffin, Eamonn - East of England
• Hilton, Matt - False Move #5 Grey and Villere, Louisiana
• Hodge, Sibel - The Disappeared
• Hunter, Maddy - Catch Me if Yukon #12 Emily Andrews
• Hurley, Graham - Curtain Call
• Ivar, Katja - Evil Things #1 Hella Mauzer
• James, Bill - Hitmen I Have Known #35 DCS Harpur and ACC Iles
• Jameson, Hanna - The Last
• Kavanagh, Emma - To Catch a Killer
• Keane, Jessie - The Edge #3 Darke family
• Law, J S - The Coldest Blood #3 Lieutenant Danielle Lewis, Royal Navy
• Laws, Peter - Severed #3 Professor Matt Hunter
• Leather, Stephen - Last Man Standing
• Lehtolainen, Leena - Where Have All the Young Girls Gone #11 Detective Maria Kallio, Helsinki
• Lindstein, Mariette - The Cult on Fog Island #1 The Cult on Fog Island Trilogy
• Mark, David - Cold Bones #8 Detective Sergeant McAvoy of Humberside CID
• Martinez, Agustin - Village of the Lost Girls
• Maxwell, Alyssa - A Murderous Marriage #4 Lady and Lady's Maid Mystery
• May, Peter - The Man With No Face
• McCulloch, Ian - A Lot of Nerve
• McGuire, Michael - Flight Risk
• Mundy, Elizabeth - A Clean Canvas #2 Lena Szarka, Hungarian cleaner, London
• Parks, Alan - February's Son #2 Harry McCoy, Police Officer, Glasgow, 1973
• Rose, Jacqui - Fatal
• Rosett, Sara - Murder at Blackburn Hall #2 High Society Lady Detective, 1920s England
• Rowland, Laura Joh - The Hangman's Secret #3 Miss Sarah Bain, Victorian Era
• Savage, Vanessa - The Woman in the Dark
• Seymour, Gerald - Battle Sight Zero
• Shepherd-Robinson, Laura - Blood & Sugar
• Shimada, Soji - Murder in the Crooked House
• Sveistrup, Soren - The Chestnut Man
• Taylor, June - Keep Your Friends Close
• Wesolowski, Matt - Changeling #3 Six Stories
• Wilkins, Susan - It Should Have Been Me

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

International Dagger Speculation (2019)

It's time to consider the titles eligible for the 2019 CWA International Dagger.

Here's the list of translated crime novels published between 1 April 2018 and 31 March 2019 ie the period of eligibility. There's 98* so far (cf 110 last year).

*as usual this total includes titles published by AmazonCrossing. I am not sure if these count as UK publications for the CWA Dagger however I imagine people interested in this list will also be interested in these books. 

In addition to the list I have set up a Good Reads widget on the right-hand side of the blog. This allows the covers to be visible. You can subscribe to this list through RSS.

In the list below I've also included the country of birth and gender of the author(s) plus the translator's name and the publisher.

Stats:

The breakdown by gender is 63 Male, 34 Female, 1 Male & Female team.
Authors are from 22 countries. The most represented country is Sweden (24) followed by Italy (12) and Germany (10).
Over 70 translators (including pairs of translators) brought you these titles, with at least 14 individuals having translated more than one. (I've put "tbc" when I cannot find the name of the translator.)

NB. The CWA website has the list of official submissions

As it's December I've put 2018's titles in one list and only 2019's by month:

April 2018 - December 2018

Boris Akunin - Black City (Russia, M) (tr. Andrew Bromfield, W&N)

Alex Beer - The Second Rider (Austria, F) (tr. Tim Mohr, World Noir)
Lina Bengtsdotter - For the Missing (Sweden, F) (tr. Agnes Broome, Orion)
Jonas Bonnier - The Helicopter Heist (Sweden, M)(tr. Alice Menzies, Zaffre)
Oliver Bottini - A Summer of Murder (Germany, M) (tr. Jamie Bulloch, MacLehose Press)
Riccardo Bruni - The Hawthorne Season (Italy, M) (tr. Hillary Locke, AmazonCrossing)
Karin Brynard - Weeping Waters (South Africa, F) (tr. Maya Fowler and Isobel Dixon, World Noir)
Michel Bussi - Time is a Killer (France, M) (tr. Shaun Whiteside, W&N)

Bernadette Calonego - The Stranger on the Ice (Switzerland, F) (tr. Gerald Chapple, AmazonCrossing)
Christoffer Carlsson - The Thin Blue Line (Sweden, M) (tr. Michael Gallagher, Scribe)
Gianrico Carofiglio - The Cold Summer (Italy, M) (tr. Howard Curtis, Bitter Lemon Press)

Kjell Ola Dahl - The Ice Swimmer (Norway, M) (tr. Don Bartlett, Orenda Books)
Sandrone Dazieri - Kill the Angel (Italy, M) (tr. Anthony Shugaar, Simon & Schuster)
Giancarlo De Cataldo & Carlo Bonini - The Night of Rome (Italy, M & M) (tr. Antony Shugaar, Europa Editions)
Maurizio De Giovanni - Nameless Serenade (Italy, M) (tr. Antony Shugaar, World Noir)
Virginie Despentes - Vernon Subutex Two (France, F) (tr. Frank Wynne, MacLehose Press)

Marc Elsberg - Zero (Austria, M) (tr. Simon Pare, Doubleday)
Caroline Eriksson - The Watcher (Sweden, F) (tr. Tara F Chace, AmazonCrossing)
Ramon Diaz Eterovic - Angels & Loners (Chile, M) (tr. Patrick Blaine, AmazonCrossing)

Karin Fossum - The Whisperer (Norway, F) (tr. Kari Dickson, Harvill Secker)

Frank Goldammer - The Air Raid Killer (Germany, M) (tr. Steve Anderson, AmazonCrossing)
Frank Goldammer - A Thousand Devils (Germany, M) (tr. Steve Anderson, AmazonCrossing)
Johana Gustawsson - Keeper (France, F) (tr. Maxim Jakubowski, Orenda Books)

Zhou Haohui - Death Notice (China, M) (tr. Zac Haluza, Head of Zeus)
Sophie Henaff - Stick Together (France, F) (tr. Sam Gordon, MacLehose Press)
Nir Hezroni - Last Instructions (Israel, M) (tr. Steven Cohen, Point Blank)
Keigo Higashino - Newcomer (Japan, M) (tr. Giles Murray, Little, Brown)
Martin Holmen - Slugger (Sweden, M) (tr. Annie Prime, Pushkin Vertigo)
Jorn Lier Horst - The Katharina Code (Norway, M) (tr. Anne Bruce, Michael Joseph)

Susanne Jansson - The Forbidden Place (Sweden, F) (tr. Rachel Willson-Broyles, Mulholland Books)
You-Jeong Jeong - The Good Son (South Korea, F) (tr. Chi-Young Kim, Little, Brown)

Robert Karjel - After the Monsoon (Sweden, M) (tr. Nancy Pick & Robert Karjel, HarperCollins)
Lars Kepler - The Rabbit Hunter (Sweden, M & F) (tr. Neil Smith, HarperCollins)
Pol Koutsakis - Baby Blue (Greece, M) (tr. Anne-Marie Stanton-Ife, Bitter Lemon Press)
Volker Kutscher - Goldstein (Germany, M) (tr. Niall Sellar, Sandstone)

Jens Lapidus - Top Dog (Sweden, M) (tr. Alice Menzies, Vintage Crime)
Antoine Laurain - Smoking Kills (France, M) (tr. Louise Rogers Lalaurie, Gallic Books)
Leena Lehtolainen - Derailed (Finland, F) (Owen F Witesman, AmazonCrossing)
Pierre Lemaitre - Inhuman Resources (France, M) (tr. Sam Gordon, MacLehose Press)
Marc Levy - The Last of the Stanfields (France, M) (tr. Daniel Wasserman, AmazonCrossing)
Minna Lindgren - The Lavender Ladies Detective Agency: The End of Sunset Grove (Finland, F) (tr. Kristian London, Pan)
Walter Lucius - Angel in the Shadows (Holland, M) (tr. Lorraine T Miller & Laura Vroomen, Michael Joseph)

Franco Marks - Blood in the Snow (Italy, M) (tr.  Richard McKenna, Aria)
Deon Meyer - The Woman in the Blue Cloak (South Africa, M) (tr. K L Seegers, Hodder)
Zygmunt  Miloszewski - Priceless (Poland, M) (tr. Antonia Lloyd-Jones, AmazonCrossing)
Emiliano Monge - Among the Lost (Mexico, M) (tr. Frank Wynne, Scribe UK)

Fuminori Nakamura - Cult X (Japan, M) (tr. Kalau Almony, Soho Press)
Jo Nesbo - Macbeth (Norway, M) (tr. Don Bartlett, Hogarth)
Hakan Nesser - The Root of Evil (Sweden, M) (tr. Sarah Death, Mantle)
Elisabeth Noreback - Tell Me You're Mine (Sweden, F) (tr. Elizabeth Clark Wessel, Allison & Busby)

Kristina Ohlsson - The Lies We Tell (Sweden, F) (tr. Neil Smith, Simon & Schuster)
Martin Osterdahl - Ask No Mercy (Sweden, M) (tr. Peter Sean Woltemade, AmazonCrossing)

Andreas Pfluger - A Shadow Falls (Germany, M) (tr. Astrid Freuler, Head of Zeus)

Marc Raabe - Homesick (Germany, M) (tr. Isabel Adey, Zaffre)
Melanie Raabe - The Stranger Upstairs (Germany, F) (tr. Imogen Taylor, Pan)
Cay Rademacher - The Forger (Germany, M) (tr. Peter Millar, Arcadia)
Dolores Redondo - All This I Will Give to You (Spain, F) (tr. Michael Meigs, AmazonCrossing)
Ane Riel - Resin (Denmark, F) (tr. Charlotte Barslund, Doubleday)

Roberto Saviano - The Piranhas (Italy, M) (tr. Antony Shugaar, Picador)
Emelie Schepp - Slowly We Die (UK: ebook only) (Sweden, F) (tr. Suzanne Martin Cheadle, HQ, HarperCollins)
Lilja Sigurdardottir - Trap (Iceland, F) (tr. Quentin Bates, Orenda Books)
Yrsa Sigurdardottir - The Reckoning (Iceland, F) (tr. Victoria Cribb, Hodder & Stoughton)
Gunnar Staalesen - Big Sister (Norway, M) (tr. Don Bartlett, Orenda Books)
Jesper Stein - Unrest (Denmark, M) (tr. David Young, Mirror Books)
Viveca Sten - In Harm's Way (Sweden, F) (tr. Marlaine Delargy, AmazonCrossing)
Viveca Sten - In the Heat of the Moment (Sweden, F) (tr. Marlaine Delargy, AmazonCrossing)
Martin Suter - The Last Weynfeldt (Switzerland, M) (tr. Steph Morris, No Exit Press)

Michael Theurillat - Death in Summer (Switzerland, M) (tr. Ayca Türkoglu, Zaffre)
Olga Tokarczuk - Drive your Plow over the Bones of the Dead (Poland, F) (tr. Antonia Lloyd-Jones, Fitzcarraldo Editions)
Antti Tuomainen - Palm Beach, Finland (Finland, M) (tr. David Hackston, Orenda Books)

Valerio Varesi - The Lizard Strategy (Italy, M) (tr. Joseph Farrell, MacLehose Press)
Marco Vichi - Ghosts of the Past (Italy, M) (tr. Stephen Sartarelli, Hodder)

Inger Wolf - Frost and Ashes (Denmark, F) (tr. Mark Kline, People's Press)
Inger Wolf - Songbird (ebook only) (Denmark, F) (tr. tbc, People's Press)


January 2019

Dov Alfon - A Long Night in Paris (Israel, M) (tr. Daniella Zamir, MacLehose Press)
Arne Dahl - Hunted (Sweden, M) (tr. Neil Smith, Harvill Secker)
Leena Lehtolainen - Where Have All the Young Girls Gone (Finland, F) (tr. Owen F Witesman, AmazonCrossing)
Mariette Lindstein - The Cult on Fog Island (Sweden, F) (tr. tbc, HQ)
Agustin Martinez - Village of the Lost Girls (Spain, M) (tr. Frank Wynne, Quercus)
Soji Shimada - Murder in the Crooked House (Japan, M) (tr. Louise Heal Kawai, Pushkin Vertigo)
Soren Sveistrup - The Chestnut Man (Denmark, M) (tr. Caroline Waight, Michael Joseph)

February 2019

Simone Buchholz - Beton Rouge (Germany, F) (tr. Rachel Ward, Orenda Books)
Andrea Camilleri - The Overnight Kidnapper (Italy, M) (tr. Stephen Sartarelli, Mantle)
Thomas Enger - Inborn (Norway, M) (tr. Kari Dickson, Orenda Books)
Mariette Lindstein - The Shadow of the Cult (Sweden, F) (tr. tbc, HQ)
Valerio Massimo Manfredi - Wolves of Rome (Italy, M) (tr. Christine Feddersen Manfredi, Pan)
Bernard Minier - Night (France, M) (tr. tbc, Mulholland Books)
Niklas Natt och Dag - The Wolf and the Watchman (Sweden, M) (tr. Ebba Segerberg, John Murray)
Mads Peder Nordbo - The Girl Without Skin (Denmark, M) (tr. Charlotte Barslund, Text Publishing)
Jan-Philipp Sendker - The Far Side of the Night (Germany, M)(tr. tbc, Polygon)
Helene Tursten - Hunting Game (Sweden, F) (tr. Paul Norlen, Soho Press)
Ilaria Tuti - Flowers Over the Inferno (Italy, F) (tr. Ekin Oklap, W&N)

March 2019

Samuel Bjork - The Boy in the Headlights (Norway, M) (tr. Charlotte Barslund, Doubleday)
Kjell Ola Dahl - The Courier (Norway, M) (tr. Don Bartlett, Orenda Books)
Camilla Grebe - After She's Gone (Sweden, F) (tr. Elizabeth Clark Wessel, Zaffre)
Stina Jackson - The Silver Road (Sweden, F) (tr. Susan Beard, Corvus)
Hideo Yokoyama - Prefecture D (Japan, M) (tr. tbc, riverrun)
Joakim Zander - The Friend (Sweden, M) (tr. Elizabeth Clark Wessel, Head of Zeus)

Also published but ineligible - Short Story collections

Andrea Camilleri - Death at Sea (tr. Stephen Sartarelli )
Hakan Nesser - Intrigo (tr. tbc)
Teresa Solana - The First Prehistoric Serial Killer and other stories (tr. Peter Bush)
Helene Tursten - An Elderly Lady Is Up to No Good (tr. Marlaine Delargy)

Thursday, December 06, 2018

Review: A Maigret Christmas and other stories by Georges Simenon tr. David Coward

Today's review is courtesy of CrimeTime's Bob Cornwell. Read more of his reviews on Euro Crime.

A Maigret Christmas is being serialised on Radio 4's Book at Bedtime, starting on 24 December.

A Maigret Christmas and other stories by Georges Simenon tr. David Coward, 217 pages, October 2018, Penguin Classics, ISBN: 0241356741

These three first-class Simenon short stories first saw light of day in France in 1951 as a collection titled Un Noël de Maigret. They now return to the Penguin catalogue, newly and ably translated by David Coward, as a Penguin Classic. Then as now, they make an attractive package both for the long-term or intermittent Simenon reader, but also perhaps as a Christmas present for the younger crime reader unfamiliar with his work.

The title story offers an intimate glimpse of the home life of Madame and Monsieur Maigret (not altogether complimentary to the latter) as the former devotedly slips out early on Christmas morning to fetch warm croissants from the local baker for her restless husband. Thereafter the action gradually heats up as two ladies from across the street in Boulevard Richard-Lenoir, one somewhat reluctant, come looking for some advice from their famous neighbour. For whilst delivering some small Christmas gifts that morning to a young girl taken in after her mother’s death by one of the women, they discover her already in possession of an expensive doll – and that Father Christmas has delivered it in person. Astutely, Madame Maigret realises that her husband is unlikely to walk away from such a mystery, however seemingly trivial. “Happy now?” she whispers softly…

In the second tale, Seven Small Crosses in a Notebook, childhood winters and a black pudding of mysterious provenance are the topics of conversation as the night shift telephone operators at the Quai des Orfèvres (Maigret’s HQ in Paris) cope with a busy Christmas Eve. But this not a Maigret story (though Janvier, a young associate of Maigret, makes a little more than peripheral contribution). Instead the focus is on Lecoeur, a twelve-year veteran of the shift, who not only records each incident as it is reported, but also out of idle curiosity the location and the type of crime. So far this evening he has noted three potential suicides, “almost” two hundred of the nastier drunken episodes, 48 stolen vehicles, five stabbings (Paris, 1950 or thereabouts!), a few lost children. There is also a murderer at large. Then Lecoeur, using his intimate knowledge of Parisian geography, spots something deliberate in the pattern he has recorded of seven attacks that have been made on the red emergency phones that line the streets of Paris…

Both these stories evolve into complex investigations. In the first Maigret is soon directing his team of Lucas and Torrence, on Christmas duty in the Quai des Orfèvres, to find the crucial evidence to support his evolving theories. Seven Crosses is even more remarkable. It is also a team effort but it is no less an intimate portrait of Lecoeur, a man fully conscious that, however vital his contribution today “tomorrow he would be just a very ordinary telephone operator sitting at his switchboard”. Simenon’s respect for his humble origins and uncomplaining dedication to his job seeps from every paragraph.

Finally, in another milieu close to Simenon’s heart….just as The Little Restaurant near Place des Ternes (“A Christmas Story for Grown-Ups”) is closing after a low-key Christmas Eve, a tragic event occurs. Two female witnesses are questioned: a pretty young woman, “badly made up”, and the somewhat older Jeanne, known to the police as Long Tall Jeanne. Jeanne casually notes from the young woman’s overheard testimony that she comes from the same coastal area as herself, but decides to leave for ‘home’. The night’s events however have left her troubled, so instead she heads for the bright lights of Place des Ternes, with unexpected consequences. A much shorter tale than its two predecessors, it is another beautifully observed, unsentimental tale that nevertheless warms the heart.

All three stories are packed with background detail, culled from a lifetime of close observation (Lecoeur’s Paris is “a Paris apart…not the Eiffel Tower, the Opera and the Louvre, but dark administrative buildings with a police van parked underneath a blue lamp, and leaning against its wall, the bicycles of the cycle-mounted police patrols” – and a great deal more besides.

Simenon’s “characters grow in this thick soil of sensuous experience…they take colour and conviction from their surroundings”. Thus wrote Julian Symons, crack crime writer and critic in an essay on Simenon in Bloody Murder, his classic study of crime fiction back in 1972. All the more remarkable then that in 1945 Simenon had moved to America and would not return permanently to Europe, apart from two short trips in 1952 and 1954, until 1955. Place du Ternes was written in Tucson, Arizona in 1947, and the other two in Carmel, California in 1950.

Great stuff, I think. One for the collection.

Bob Cornwell
December 2018