In May I spoke at the Yorkshire Post Literary Lunch at the Cairn Hotel, Harrogate, alongside Roy Hattersley, author and former deputy leader of the Labour Party. I had the pleasure of sitting next to the outgoing mayoress. This was the final event she and her husband would attend, after which she would be free to resume her private life and catch up with gardening.
Roy Hattersley was promoting The Devonshires – The Story of a Family and a Nation. He begins with William Cavendish, father of the first earl who dissolved monasteries for Henry VIII and ends in 2004 with the death of the 11th Duke of Devonshire. The topic of the Devonshires gave us something in common. Kate Shackleton’s next case, Murder on a Summer’s Day, takes her to Bolton Abbey, a vast tract of Yorkshire owned by the Devonshire family.
Mr Hattersley’s most popular book was the one that featured his dog, Buster. Buster died in 2010 but his successor was outside, in the care of the driver. After the book signing, several of us trooped out to meet heir-to-Buster who graciously put his head out of the car window and accepted all greetings.