• The Mystery of the Missing Legs

    18 February 2021

    The Mystery of the Missing Legs.


    That sounds like the title of some surreal Agatha Christie novel, doesn't it?!? But in actual fact this is far stranger than anything the famed mystery author ever came up with, and we're not talking about human legs here -- we're talking about... spider legs!!!


    Basically, a fan wrote to me recently to point out that some of Madam Octa's legs had gone missing from the UK editions of the Saga Of Larten Crepsley books. There were four books in that series, and as a nice little visual bonus, my publishers, HarperCollins, included an illustration of Madam Octa across the spines of the fours books, so when you put them all together on your book shelf, they stood out.


    BUT!! Somehow, over the years, the ends of her legs, which appeared on the book 4 (Brothers to the Death) spine VANISHED! You can see the set with the missing legs in Photo 1, and a close up of the book in Photo 3, while photos 2 and 4 capture the way it SHOULD look.


    An investigation was launched, and it turns out that something went awry with the file for that cover at some point when the books were reprinted. Nobody noticed at the time, so we're not sure how long this has been an issue. HarperCollins have corrected that now, and reinstated Madam Octa’s legs in the files for future printings -- they have some stock left of the latest reprint, but will make sure it’s fixed the next time the books are reprinted.


    Mystery solved! My apologies to anyone with some missing legs in their collection -- all I can offer by way of compensation is the knowledge that you have one of the more unusual sets of my books, and hopefully you'll smile knowingly in the future whenever your gaze sweeps across the four spines, and if anyone ever asks about why the book 4 spine looks different, you can sigh deeply and begin, "Now, THERE is a story..." :-)





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