Michael Bond died recently and as I was listening to one of the more important obituaries, I was disappointed to hear that Bond was best known for his series of Paddington Bear books. As a kid I’m sure I read at least the first book explaining the origins of Paddington Bear. Perhaps if I hadn’t grown up I might have read the entire series as it was published. But sometime in the early 1980s I was sitting on the floor knitting a pair of socks while my then wife, the librarian, was reading a book and giggling like someone was tickling her unmercifully.
The book was the first Monsieur Pamplemouse novel and instantly immersed my mystery funny-bone in the adventures of Michael Bond’s greatest character: Monsieur Pamplemousse and his well-fed hound Pommes Frites.