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Visit a crime scene on Tynwald Day? 21 June 2011

IT would be a crime not to visit the Department of Education and Children’s Mobile Library on Tynwald Day.

The library will be turned over to crime, both true and fictional, when it opens to the public in the lay-by opposite Tynwald Hill during the national day celebrations.

‘Crime is a popular subject with Mobile Library members,’ said Sandra Henderson, librarian in charge. ‘We get requests for everything from “nice” crime to “British” crime, crime that is gory or not too gory, and of course, true crime.’

Some of the library’s extensive selection of crime books will be available for inspection, Sandra said.

‘Agatha Christie wrote a story specifically for the Island, Manx Gold, which we have in a collection of short stories of hers. Visitors can also read about who solved the 1930 mystery on the Island in an historical newspaper display.
‘Some crime authors we stock are becoming more heavily borrowed because of television, for example the recent Vera Stanhope series, written by Ann Cleeves. Books about Morse, Wycliffe and Adam Dalgliesh have always been popular. We have books on Manx murders and mystery novels by local authors such as George Bellairs, Chris Ewan and Linda Mann.
‘A Chronicle of the 20th Century offers intriguing reading about Isle of Man crimes – from Peg-Leg-Caley in Douglas to famous continental pickpocket Henry Ankel being arrested on board a steamer arriving in Douglas.
‘There are books about forensics, police biographies and true crime of a ghastly nature.’

The library will mount a ‘Whodunnit’ display on Manx crimes of old, sourced from newspapers from the Manx National Heritage’s new iMuseum. The Mobile Library is linking with the iMuseum (which will be at the nearby Bunscoill on Tynwald Day) to promote both services.

The Mobile Library has 3,000 items on board and a further 33,000 back at its base in Noble’s Hall, Westmoreland Road, Douglas, that can be loaned out on request. It operates over 10 routes Island-wide, visiting each stop once a fortnight. Membership is a modest £15 for adults and £2 for juniors.

The public can investigate all that the library has to offer from 10am to 3pm on Tuesday 5th July.

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