Here's the confession. If I had to live anywhere in the USA, it would be Seattle. Partly it's because the climate reminds me of the UK. Partly it's because there's a buzz about Seattle that gives me the same kick as Manchester did in the 90s and Newcastle does these days. And partly it's sentiment. My first Bouchercon was Seattle in '94, an eye-opening event that changed my life. By the end of the convention, I had two new American publishers, I'd made friends with the Seattle Mystery Bookshop, I'd been stuck in an elevator with Otto Penzler, Barbara Peters and Minette Walters, and I'd got drunk on Pyramid with Ian Rankin. In my head, Seattle is the city where I really started my relationship with American readers, and the warmth of my welcome here became the benchmark for all my subsequent encounters with booksellers and readers on this side of the Atlantic. I bought so many books on that trip that I had to buy another suitcase to get them home. You only have to walk through the door of this store to understand why that might happen.