At Long Last!

On our first trip to Scotland, my wife & I wound up w/ a LOT of time to spare at Glasgow’s Queen Street Station. Since we had not slept a wink on the flight over, we were seriously looking for ways to keep our eyes open. Judi wandered into the W.H. Smith newsstand and came out with a copy of that day’s edition of The Scotsman and a detective novel. Judi had never heard of the author but it looked good so she bought it. The novel was Black and Blue by Ian Rankin and it was good! So good that we wound up taking turns reading it during our stay in the highlands. I had discovered that I was allergic to Heather – probably the reason my ancestors emigrated – reading that book made things a bit more bearable.

Thus began a 12 year love affair with Ian Rankin’s detective fiction and Detective Inspector John Rebus. We went as far as to order copies of his works from Amazon.co.uk so we could read them in the original and not have to deal with the Americanised versions sold on this side of the pond. (Bloody Yankers!) That’s not all, either; we have two marvelous moggies named “Rebus” and “Rankin”. This factoid has been communicated to Ian Rankin by a member of Edinburgh’s Really Terrible Orchestra but no indication has yet been received as to how Mr. Rankin felt about this singular honour.

Although Ian Rankin has written other detective/crime novels with other central characters, the “Rebus Series” ended with D.I. Rebus’ retirement in the 2007 novel, Exit Music. Needless to say, it’s been a long, cold, lonely winter of discontent since John Rebus was put out to pasture. Ian Rankin had said on several occasions that he wasn’t through with D.I. Rebus and that Rebus wasn’t through with him. Five years have come and gone since Exit Music and Judi & I had come to think that John Rebus had finally consumed too many drams at the Oxford Bar.

We have since discovered that this is not the case. Ian Rankin’s occasional newsletter announced this morning that Standing In Another Man’s Grave – a.k.a. Rebus Returns – is scheduled for release in a few days. (And there was much rejoicing!) Dr. Data now has one of Lady Judith’s Christmas gifts sorted and he assures you that Standing In Another Man’s Grave will be reviewed here on The Parsons’ Rant. When that happens is another matter as Lady Judith will hold on to the book with a death grip!

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