Since I was a kid, I've always been fascinated by the way fictional characters can have such reach and influence over us. How they can become ingrained in our lives, these people and stories made up in someone else's head. I still think fondly of some of the 'characters' that were important to me as a child: Asterix, the Hardy Boys, Hercule Poirot, Bilbo Baggins, and MacGyver, amongst others. With well-drawn and beloved characters, you can feel you know them as well as you do some of your friends. Their likes and dislikes, thoughts and quirks.
This week, my friend and fellow Ngaio Marsh Award judge Graham Beattie took a look at a new book that spans that fictional-real life crossover: BRUNETTI'S COOKBOOK, which includes tales from Commissario Brunetti's creator, Donna Leon, and Brunetti-inspired recipes from an Italian chef.
The Venetian setting is a strong part of Leon's crime fiction, so I'd be interested to see how that translates into this cookbook. You can listen to Graham's thoughts on this book in a his latest segment for Radio Live here.