In a bizarre story - the twists and turns of which might seem more appropriate to a Rowena Westlake novel - a valuable library book "borrowed" from the Blandford Camp Public Lending Library in 2009 has finally resurfaced thanks to orinoco resellers and an alert member of the public.
Thrupiece by Amanda J Threadbone - part of The Illustrated Lives of the Great Thinkers Series from The Threadbone Press - was published in 2009 and sold over 3 copies, one of which was acquired by Dorset Public Libraries. The other two copies are thought to be in private hands, including one traced to an anonymous buyer who bought it for an undisclosed sum at a Swiss auction in 2015. The Dorset Library copy was borrowed a total of 0 times but disappeared in or around 2011 and has been missing ever since. Blandford Camp Library Chief May Turner-Paige explained: "The whereabouts of the book have remained a mystery but we have never given up hope of retrieving it one day. We assumed that it had been taken by a fan of the Professors which narrowed the field of suspects considerably but led us nowhere in the end. We knew, however, that whoever had taken it would take good care of it. Thrupiece fans may be deranged in general but they would never do anything to harm something closely associated with the Professor and his work".
Flash forward to 2017! Book collector and Thrupiece enthusiast Jeremy Quite-Bonkers was astonished to find - through a casual search of the "great to visit" orinoco store second hand resellers digital portal - a copy of The Illustrated Lives of the Great Thinkers Series: Thrupiece for just 1p (plus £35 p&p). He wisely selected the ultra-convenient one-click purchase option (available to orinoco optimus customers for a surprisingly competitive annual fee [visit the orinoco store for details] and waited anxiously. It is hard to imagine his astonishment when the infamous missing Dorset Library copy dropped through his letterbox eighteen weeks later, though he knew immediately what he held in his hand. "I knew immediately what I held in my hand", he said "though it would be hard to imagine my astonishment". Asked what made him so sure that this was the long-lost Dorset Library copy, Mr Quite-Bonkers said that the first clue was a set of stickers on the second inside page, one of which contained the words "Dorset Library Service". Another was the Dorset County Library Seal. Asked if this was conclusive proof of the book's authenticity, crime expert and Blandford Camp Police Commissioner Commander Sir Church-Warrantte was non-comittal. "On the face of it looks like a promising lead", he said, "but there will need to be much more than the circumstantial proof we have at present and our investigations are ongoing. In the meantime we have seized the book". Asked for his reaction, Jeremy Quite-Bonkers whimpered only "Can I have my money back". The case continues.
The Illustrated Guide to the Great Thinkers Series is published by the Threadbone Press. The Thrupiece Volume has long been unavailable.
Left: The missing book now safely in the hands of Blandford Camp Police. Right: The fascinating inner page which may yet establish its authenticity.