Books: Cover Stories

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The Independent Culture
THE DEATH of Jennifer Paterson brings to a premature end the most engaging cookery partnership since Fanny and Johnny Craddock entertained the nation with their discussions of holes and doughnuts. Poignantly, Clarissa Dickson Wright this month releases Highland Foodie, a Scottish culinary voyage co-written with Henry Crichton-Stuart. Published by NMS Publishing of Edinburgh, home to Paterson's Cooks' Bookshop, in which Crichton-Stuart is a partner, it takes readers on a gastronomic tour of Scotland's history and features such delights as "Mary, Queen of Scots Bombe" and "Haggis, Clapshot and Beetroot in Puff Pastry." Even more poignantly, the back cover features an ancient, sidecar-less motorcycle.

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FROM THE day the marriage of publishers Anthony and Rosemary Cheetham broke up, it was all but inevitable that their career paths would separate. For over 25 years, since Cheetham hired young Rosemary de Courcy as his secretary, the two worked together, through Macdonald (a Maxwell-owned company), Century, which they co-founded, Century Hutchinson and then Random House, from which Anthony was fired the morning after one of his authors - Ben Okri - had won the Booker. His wife followed him and together they set up Orion, bought last year by the French giant Hachette. Divorce and remarriage must have made an office partnership tricky, so this week's announcement that de Courcy is working out her two-year notice period and will join Headline as Publisher at Large was no surprise. Cheetham must be worrying that many of his ex's authors will follow her. Orion's brightest star is mega-selling Maeve Binchy and, should she defect, the loss would be felt on the group's balance sheet.

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AS THE floral tributes left to JFK Jr and his wife wilt, publishers are planning, ever so tastefully, their bookish tributes. Among the anodyne cuttings jobs, there's little of interest. But members of the Kennedy clan will not be best pleased to hear that C David Heymann has put together a book proposal. For his previous biographies, on Jacqueline and Robert Kennedy, have not been in the best of taste. The dead cannot be libelled - not yet, anyway.

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