Friday, June 24, 2016

Blackstock, Charity. Dewey Death (New York: London House & Maxwell, 1959) 285 p. Bound with The Foggy, Foggy Dew.
The Inter-Libraries Despatch Association (I.L.D.A.) seems to be a kind of interlibrary loan institution which accepts requests from many British libraries and attempts to fill them. To this end they borrow material from European and American libraries and even have a collection of their own. The latter is kept in stacks in the basement, where surprise encounters occur.
When an I.L.D.A. employee is found murdered Scotland Yard investigates. The Chief Librarian Mr. Ridley reluctantly reveals that many rare and valuable books have gone missing in the previous weeks. The story focuses on two employees in particular: Mark Allen, the librarian in charge of microfilms and photostats, and Barbara Smith, a young clerk in the Locations Department. Mark is exceptionally handsome and has a fierce temper. Before coming to I.L.D.A. he had fought with the French resistance during the war and later worked as a school teacher. “Did I never tell you I was a schoolmaster? Quite a good one, too, though I am not a very patient man … I taught physics. I didn't mind the boys, but I didn't like my colleagues, so I became a librarian instead, and don't care much for my colleagues either. Still, one has more privacy.” (p.236). Barbara writes swashbuckling adventure novels in her spare time.

The chapter titles follow Melvil Dewey's orthography, and include an appropriate decimal classification number.

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