15. Amy Lovewise

15. Amy Lovewise

A Chapter by Peter Rogerson



It was a week or so later and Jennifer Dewberry was paying what amounted to what had become a daily visit to the book shop in order to pass the odd hour in pleasant conversation with Mrs Bookworm. They both enjoyed reading the same genre of books, which gave them endless routes into conversation, and Jennifer had to pass the door of the shop on her way to the part time job she had as a cleaner at the dentist’s surgery before she took her dusters and brushes on to the florist in the afternoon.

The demise of Walter Archer had rapidly become a thing of the past. Detective Inspector Joy Delerium had tried to suggest that Mrs Bookworm herself had been complicit in the man’s suicide by selling him a colourfully illustrated book that was plainly of a very obscene nature and likely to lead a man with a delicate disposition astray, but her well-moustached Chief Constable had put an instant stop to that because he and his almost equally moustached wife at home enjoyed the odd hour learning, as he put it, Eastern ways as a means of ensuring that his county was as culturally diverse as possible. He also added that is she opened her mouth much wider she may cause an international incident, and everyone knows where they can lead to.

So Walter Archer was interred in the graveyard and the council unexpectedly put a great deal of effort into refurbishing his flat and even improving the one next door, where Jennifer Dewberry lived. Nobody said why that should be necessary and even Jennifer thought the triple glazing was an extravagance too far and would do little to inhibit future tenants from diving head first onto the concrete below if they felt like it. But she said less than she thought, which was probably just as well.

On the particular day in question Mrs Bookworm was all adither. She, in fact was so excited that she had put her dress on back to front and was wearing her best hat on a Friday, which was most unusual and went against her normal understanding of the order of things.

My, what is it?” asked an alarmed Jennifer, “I’ve not seen you like this since you won ten pounds on the lottery!”

I’ve had a vital communiqué!” announced Mrs Bookworm, “from the geniuses who publish the best books ever written, the romances of Doctor Flynn!”

That sounds impressive,” murmured Jennifer, not quite sure what the communiqué might be about.

They have done some research, and in the category of small book shops we are in the top ten of their sales figures!” smiled the book shop keeper to her friend, “the city shops sell thousands, of course, but we manage to, on occasion, sell dozens, and as a reward they are sending the author herself, Amy Lovewise, to chat to our customers and sign copies of her books, personally! We have been chosen and I couldn’t be more excited if the doctor himself were to walk through that door dressed only in see-through swimming shorts!”

So much so,” pointed out Jennifer, “that your pretty dress is on back to front so that an extravagant amount of your cleavage and a fair percentage of your bra is on general display, and you’re usually so wonderfully modest and particular about such things. And is that your best Sunday hat you’re wearing, and it’s only Friday?”

Wouldn’t you be in a dither if you ran a bookshop and Amy Lovewise was going to pop in?” demanded Mrs Bookworm. “I’ve never dreamed, not in all my days, that I would ever meet the wonderful creator of Doctor Flynn! Why, she must have had a romantic life, in and out of beds like her doctor is, a true gentleman who is never unkind to anyone and hardly ever critical even when he considers the sheets should have been changed a week ago?”

What do you know about the author?” asked Jennifer, “because isn’t it often true that the writers of works of genius are most unexpectedly different from what you might think they ought to be?”

Maybe some men might buff up their public image, but not a lady like Amy Lovewise,” sighed Mrs Bookworm.

Have you a picture of her?” asked Jennifer, “so that you recognise her when she puts in an appearance?”

Oh, I don’t need anything like that,” rebuffed Mrs Bookworm, “I’ve read all of her books until I’m sure I’d know her straight away, I’ve enjoyed every kiss bestowed by Doctor Flynn on as many nurses as he’s kissed, and his kisses, you know, are rather continental!”

You mean French?” asked Jennifer.

Maybe I do and maybe a don’t,” wittered Mrs Bookworm, “and it’s not just his kisses I know a lot about! There are little hints on almost every page, teensy little suggestions about this or that aspect of his love making, and they’ve got to be written by someone of experience!”

But,” murmured Jennifer, “Doctor Flynn is a man and surely someone with a name like Amy Lovewise is a woman?”

Just shows how very talented she is,” almost swooned Mrs Bookwise, “and we’ll be able to ask her when she comes next week! Now be an angel, Jennifer dear, and watch the shop for me while I go and straighten myself out. Fancy putting my dress on back to front! Of all the silly things! But I was in such a dither when I read the communiqué.

Go on, dear, and I‘ll do my best to boost your profits!” smiled Jennifer Dewberry, and Mrs Bookworm veritably danced out of the shop and into a back room just as the door bell made its musical chime and someone walked in.

See who that is, dear,” asked Mrs Bookworm.

Okie dokie,” responded Jennifer and she turned to face the customer smiling a warm-heated welcome. It was an elderly man, smart, clean shaven and with the sort of eyes you’d normally expect to find enhancing the face of a much younger man, and he was a stranger to her.

I hope you don’t mind,” he said in a squeaky voice that made the corners of Jennifer’s lips threaten to twitch, “but I’m moving to live in a flat down the road today and when I saw this book shop I just had to see what it was like because I so love out-of-the way books shops, and was right! gorgeous is the word, really gorgeous!”

I live in one of the flats,” she said, “so maybe we’ll be neighbours!”

How thrilling,” he tinkled, “how absolutely too thrilling for words! Tell me, is this your bookshop?”

No. It belongs to a friend, Mrs Bookworm, who’s preparing herself for a day’s toil,” said Jennifer, and as if to prove the truth of her words Mrs Bookworm, minus her best hat and with her dress the right way round reappeared.

This is Mrs Bookworm,” Jennifer said to the customer who, as yet, didn’t seem to be motivated to actually buy one of the books on display.

Can I help you, sir?” asked the book seller, “we have a wide variety of titles, and may I recommend Amy Lovewise’s romances? I find them both entertaining and informative, and recommend them to all my customers.”

Oh, Amy Lovewise,” he said, frowning, “I was hoping to get well away from that woman! That’s why I’m going to live in this back-water of a village! The woman plagues me, she really does!”

Jennifer’s mouth fell open as a penny thought of dropping, but Mrs Bookworm was outraged. “Well, I love every word that she writes,” she said hotly, scowling at the man, “and I won’t hear a word said against her! Not a single word!”

© Peter Rogerson 07.07.20

© 2020 Peter Rogerson

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Added on July 7, 2020
Last Updated on July 7, 2020
Tags: author, book signing, Amy Loveweise, communiqué


Peter Rogerson
Peter Rogerson

Forest Town, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom

I am 76 years old, but as a single dad with four children that I had sole responsibility for I found myself driving insanity away by writing. At first it was short stories (all lost now, unfortunately.. more..