Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Masters of the British mystery

Who doesn't love a well-crafted British mystery with plot twists and quirky, yet very real, characters. I certainly do. I discovered a new one very late last nght. The story is hard-boiled, cutting edge and a psychological thriller all rolled into one. The constant action has my head spinning! Who's the author you ask? There is none. I stumbled upon the HMV- Waterstone's- Ottokar's troika. HMV, an abbreviation for His Master's Voice, is a very well known trademark in the UK music business.

I'll attempt to give a synopsis of all the action in this whodunnit, but it is confusing and full of "You screw me; I'll screw you," cya, some sad aspects and typical high finance tactics. To muddle the storyline further, I did not start at the beginning of this saga, but possibly the middle chapter of yesterday's news that HMV drops Amazon and ponders new bid for Ottakar's. HMV has decided to build a new Waterstone's website (since the original was dispensed with after that buyout) and compete head-to-head with, a very auspicious endeavour. If you click the Amazon link above, you'll see the lovely "about me" page Waterstone's has on You better hurry, since that page may be a fading memory soon with HMV taking their leave of

Here is a partial, current historical outline chronicling the HMV v the world saga:
*Ottakar's founders launch buyout Friday - late August 2005
*Ottakar's is to accept a £100m takeover offer from HMV - mid-September 2005
*The Competition Commission Inquiries (like the US FTC) 2005 December 2005
*Ottakar's lays plans despite bid - late in March 2006
*Ottakar's Takeover (by HMV) Gets Early OK - end of March 2006
*The founder of Waterstone's is trying to buy back his chain for the second time-April's end 2006
*Ottakar's high retail margins tempt WH Smith to bid- just in time for April Fools' Day -Looks as if everyone loves Ottakar's!
*Waterstone's Founder Ends Plan to Buy Chain From HMV (Update2) - start of May 2006
*HMV Says Lazard Withdrew Its Support for Waterstone's Offer - start of May 2006
* Evolution Cuts HMV Target Price - this week
*HMV's Blues - today - non-traditional, discount booksellers and pennysellers abound the world over

Other UK book news from this month: Bookshops fall prey to online sales - with 40 or more independent bookstores closing. This news goes to show that non-traditional, super cheap booksellers and pennysellers thrive everywhere.

For excellent reading, discover the works of these literary greats. You will not be sorry.
M.C. Beaton - the Agatha Raisin and Hamish MacBeth mystery series
Agatha Christie- anything by this grand master
Hazel Holt
Patricia Wentworth
Arthur Conan Doyle -Now I know I don't have to tell you his main character!
John Mortimer - the Rumpole series
P. G. Wodehouse- Jeeves and Wooster books which are highly comedic
Reginald Hill - his Dalziel and Pascoe series
R.D. Wingfield - Detective Inspector Jack Frost series
Colin Dexter - the Inspector Morse series
P. D. James
Catherine Aird
Ruth Rendell
Frances Fyfield
Dorothy Simpson
Catherine Aird
Ellis Peters- the Brother Cadfael series
...and I have barely touched the list of great UK authors!

These and other wonderful authors and their books can be found for sale at your local independent bookstore or by searching by author and keywords at Bookfinder or ADDALL

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