I took “Golden Pavements” off the TBR as I acquired it in 2018 (thank you, Verity), but I knew if I read it as part of my “Getting Rid of 2018” 20 Books of Summer project, I would immediately want to read the other book in the Blue Door Theatre series I had on the TBR from 2019 – and what if I couldn’t fit them both in! (I don’t quite know why I thought that, as I ended up reading “Maddy Again” in part of an afternoon in the garden!). I’m happy to say that this attempt at preparing the early part of my TBR to be whizzed through during 20Books was more successful than my attempt to not have two Tolkien books on there (well, that worked, in that I now don’t … ) even though I ended up having to buy “Blue Door Venture” from Hive (who are actually doing better than Amazon at getting in paperbacks at the moment) to fill in the gap I didn’t realise I had. So, three books by Pamela Brown to round off May.

Pamela Brown – “Golden Pavements”

(22 December 2018 – from Verity)

Third in the Blue Door Theatre series and everyone except Maddy has joined Nigel at stage school. There’s loads of exciting detail as they settle into London life and even naughtily get jobs during the term, as well as touring and working as Assistant Stage Managers in the holidays. They all want to go back home and re-establish a professional theatre in Fenchester … except Lyn feels odd about that and might want “more”. The path her career takes is again given in delicious technical detail as she encounters a powerful older female actor who is not keen on being even inadvertently outshone. Meanwhile, in Fenchester, the Bishop makes a happy re-appearance.

Pamela Brown – “Blue Door Venture”

(28 May 2020)

The Blue Doors are back in Fenchester running a rep theatre in their slightly upgraded and beloved Blue Door Theatre, hoping to be able to pay back the loan they’ve had from the council, but living out the dream they’ve had since their early teens. But when a stranger offers help during panto season, things might not be what they seem to be, and the rest of the book is a caper trying to catch a villain, which is nicely put together and includes some great work from Maddy and her young friends.

Pamela Brown – “Maddy Again”

(16 December 2019 – from Meg)

Last one and we’re back with the ever-popular cheeky Maddy, in Juniors at the drama school and learning about making TV (Brown was a TV producer and I love all the technical details, something I’ve always loved about the whole series). Notable for the entirely positive introduction of a black character (who, nonetheless, highlights that they might not be welcome everywhere) into the cast, which up until now only had the rather stereotyped Indian, Ali, and a good fun read that sees a satisfactory reunion and life for the Blue Door Theatre Company by the end.

I’m so glad Pushkin Press decided to reissue this lovely series – I’ve got my original TV cover “Swish of the Curtain” (anyone remember that, with Sarah Greene as Sandra?) as it gave me a chance to re-read them and find them just as great as before.