The Art of Successful Side-Tracking.
Well, actually, Dr Grump gets there first. She rips it open, pulls out the book, and for a few minutes just stands there gawping at the cover.
And it is this: THE ISLE OF DOGS by Daniel Davies from Serpent's Tail.
'What is that girl up to?' she says. 'Has she mistaken a car for a changing room?'
Then she taps the cover with one beautifully laquered finger-nail. ' I do hope she's alone in there, but I have my suspicions that she isn't. And what is that white strappy thing in her hand - surely not the rest of her underwear because, if it is, I feel compelled to point out that it doesn't match. Black bra, white thong - well, personally I would never go there...'
She hands the book to me and I am so busy peering into the car-window that it takes me a few minutes to notice the camera at the top right that is peering too.
And this is the point of the novel - our obsession with spying on each other.
Anyway, I have to tell you that the cover worked. My prurient curiosity now awakened, I looked eagerly inside. The initial conceit is excellent - rather like a modern, snappier version of James Robertson's at the start of THE TESTAMENT OF GIDEON MACK - and then it's straight into the first chapter which is set in a town two hours away from London.
At last a book set in a provincial town by a narrator who has rejected London! Londoners, he says, are too exhausted to do anything. A good point.
'If you want life, if you want intrigue, if you want possibilities, come out here - to the provinces.' Daniel Davies says.
And I feel inspired - and almost too excited to get back to the imaginal cells of the silkworm.