"Dan Brown's over," Smyth says. "Lee Child is still chugging along."
Dan Brown might also be over at the Edgeware Paperback Centre in St Albans but who could tell? This is the kind of second-hand shop where it pays to rummage. Books threaten to topple from unsteady stacks along a narrow corridor.
No visible Da Vinci Code but at least three books by Jeremy Clarkson, one poignantly titled Don't Stop Me Now. He looked so much younger then.
The shop is a kind of Tardis. A small suburban house that was once a doctor's surgery somehow has thousands of books inside.