UTD bookhunt: 30 special copies to be found

By Paul Slade
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Murder Ballads
Secret London

Paul Slade In December 2017, I visited 30 different London charity shops, donating a special edition copy of my murder ballads book, Unprepared To Die, at every one. Each of these 30 books contains a signed and numbered sticker inside its back cover, inviting the finder to get in touch via Twitter and report on that particular copy's fate.
I didn't tell any of the charity shops what I was up to, but simply handed the book over anonymously and left the staff to price and shelve it as they saw fit. I also took photographs of every shop involved to serve as visual clues for anyone hoping to find a copy.
These photographs appear in the column to your right. I've been careful to always include some little detail unique to that particular shop's location, such as an architectural feature of the building or a glimpse of the shop next door. Just click on any pic there to reach a page showing them all in much larger form.
You'll also see a sample sticker on this page, with a squiggle replacing my real signature and an "XX" to show where I numbered each copy from 1 to 30. I didn't notice the "Decermber" typo on the stickers till it was too late to correct it - but I like to think that just adds a little character. I know exactly which numbered copy went to which shop, so that should allow some degree of verification when people start getting in touch.

I visited 30 London charity shops, donating a single signed & numbered copy at every one

I've also repurposed an old Twitter account to let me update the hunt's progress as we go along, the most recent postings from which you'll find in the box below. Whether the whole thing takes off or not remains to be seen, but I'm hoping a fair number of you will find the idea intriguing enough to join the search. If so, please use your own social media activity to spread the word, ideally by sending people a link to this page.
Obviously, Londoners have a considerable advantage in this particular challenge, and I can only apologise to the rest of the world for that. Much as I'd have liked to distribute the stickered books more widely, it simply wasn't practical to do so.
It does strike me, however, that in the age of Google Earth it may not be Londoners alone who find they can identify the shops involved. If anyone from further afield particularly impresses me with their own efforts, then maybe I'll find a little PlanetSlade gift to send them. Can't say fairer than that now, can I?

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The 30 London charity shops who got a book

Each of the photographs below shows one of the 30 London charity shops where I donated a signed and numbered copy of my book.
    Every picture includes at least one clue to the individual shop's location, such as an architectural feature of the building or a glimpse of the shop next door. All the pics were taken in December 2017.
    Click on any shop's photo to reach a page showing them all in much larger form. Happy hunting!