PAN Fans Club

Let's talk about PAN paperbacks, the blog for those that do judge a book by its cover. Main site is at or

PAN Fans Club - Let's talk about PAN paperbacks, the blog for those that do judge a book by its cover. Main site is at or

Rosalind Erskine, Ian McEwan, Mika Waltari and The Pop Up Bookshop

I knew ‘The Passion Flower Hotel’ supposedly written by a 15 year old schoolgirl, which was was its big selling point, was not true although I did presume Rosalind Erskine was female. This turns out to be incorrect as well as ‘Rosalind’ was Roger Longrigg, the creative director of an advertising agency. Roger Erskine Longrigg (1 May 1929 – 26 February 2000) was a prolific British novelist from a  Scottish military family. As well as publishing some books under his own name, he principally wrote popular novels in a wide range of different styles, using different pseudonyms for each including Scottish historical novels as Laura Black; spy thrillers as Ivor Drummond; mystery thrillers as Frank Parrish. A sequel, ‘Passion Flowers in Italy’ was published by PAN but not the third title, ‘Passion Flowers in Business’

I picked up a three Picador Ian McEwan titles recently which were all signed to ‘Claire’ and only £1.99 each. These will join the several other signed McEwan titles I have as he seems to be prolific in this respect. While looking at his biography I was struck by the similarity between his background and Longrigg above, in that his father was a Scotsman who had worked his way up through the army to the rank of major. I’ve put the three covers on a page HERE but they are not amongst my favourites.

Mika Toimi Waltari was born and died in Helsinki (19/09/1908 to 26/08/1079) He was a Finnish writer, best known for his novel The Egyptian. He was extremely productive and  besides his novels he also wrote poetry, short stories, crime novels, plays, essays, travel stories, film scripts, and rhymed texts for comic strips by Asmo Alho

PAN published just one of his numerous historical novels, namely ‘The Roman’ The 100th anniversary of Waltari’s birth was celebrated by selecting the writer as the main motif for a high value commemorative coin, the €10 minted in 2008. The reverse depicts a vigilant Pharaoh watchdog referencing his famous book. The obverse is decorated with Waltari’s signature and a stylized pen nib that symbolizes the diversity of the writer’s production.

The pop up bookshop in Wolverhampton closed last Saturday after a longer than usual stay from January 22nd. I’ve been a couple of times including last Friday as there was a half price sale but sad to say I’ve not bought anything on either of the visits. Disappointing as I usually come away with a few although often not PANs. There were a some older paperbacks but the vast majority were for more recent novels but if that is what people want and brings them and their money in I can’t blame the booksellers. It is back later in the year and I live in hope …… To make up for my disappointment my wife is allowing me to go to the Astley Book Farm tomorrow so fingers crossed.

Category: PAN Books
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