When I received the telegram in Skopelos, I should have wired my regrets immediately: “Thanks, but no thanks. Having far too much fun leading sailing holidays. Must respectfully decline offer to take charge of family firm. Stop.”
Instead, I said I’d be on the next plane, and it nearly cost me my life.
I’d had reservations about coming back to manage the small, sedate publishing house I’d inherited, but my worst fear was that I would die of boredom. No one told me that book publishing was a murderous business, and that within a single week in the not-so-distant future I would barely escape death in a dozen exotic forms.