One of Charing Cross’s past crime novel hubs finds itself embroiled in its very own mystery. Murder One, which saw its last spy thriller creep out of its doors back in January after 20 years of touting furtive thrills, and its Charing Cross companion Shipley, a specialist in art books that has also permanently shut up shop, have been gifted cultural landmark status by a clandestine crusader.
The plaques – which resemble the official blue plaques bestowed on sites of significant cultural heritage across a number of UK cities – that have appeared to mark the shell-like site of each shop were spotted by staff of other local bookshops as they rolled up to work last week. According to Time Out’s blog, a bookseller at Charing Cross art bookshop Keonig Books put the plaques puzzle down to “probably just some bullshit art students” (hmm… a faint whiff of culpability…?).
Well, be they presently whitewashed like lazy graffiti or allowed to remain as poignant, mysterious markers, the blue plaques are a fitting salute to this pair of lost literary luminaries.