The Paddington Library Readers’ Group met last week to mark National Crime Writers’ Week. We were lucky enough to play host to the author Linda Stratmann, who is a member of the Crime Writers’ Association. Linda gave a talk about her book, Whiteley’s Folly, which is of great interest to local members as it charts the rise and growth of the Whiteley Centre in Queensway. William Whiteley founded and built up the centre in the late Victorian period. It was frequented by royalty and put Bayswater on the map.
The author used a variety of research sources for her subject, including the National Archives and Westminster City Archives, and unearthed material which shed light on William Whiteley’s private life, some of it not very edifying!
Furthermore the author was inspired by her research to write a crime novel, The Poisonous Seed, set in a late Victorian chemist shop in Bayswater. Anyone who missed this event will have another chance to hear Linda Stratmann speak at Queen’s Park Library on 29 June.