The size and scope of the Shire catalogue is impressive. With over 500 titles in the Shire Library series alone, the range of subjects is quite staggering. By taking the recent scores from an English test match, and applying these random numbers to the catalogue, the link between a pair of Shire books can be discovered.

First Innings: England 546-6, West Indies 544
Shire Books: 546 - Victorian Cartes-de-Visite, 544 - Victorian Photographers at Work

The link here is obvious; the \'carte-de-visite\', introduced in 1854, was an affordable portrait photograph that became so popular that between three and four hundred million were sold every year.
Second Innings: England 237-6, West Indies 114-8
Shire Books: 237 - Motor Cars of the 1930s, 114 - Dry Stone Walls

It may seem that there is no obvious link between motor cars of the 1930s and the art of dry stone walling. However, a little known PG Wodehouse story from 1934 contains a plot heavily reliant on the two.

Cor Blimey Jeeves! sees Bertie Worcester invited to the Lake District to stay the weekend at the estate of an old school friend, Lord Montigue Pratt-Haddock. One night Bertie, mistaking Pratt-Haddock\'s fiancé, Venetia Spiff-Trousers, for a burglar, boshes her over the head with a priceless vase, thus incurring Pratt-Haddock\'s wrath. He flees the house driving a Hillman Minx - a vehicle which typified many British cars of the 1930s and with a top speed above 50mph - with Pratt-Haddock and others in hot pursuit.

Sadly for him, no sooner has he lost his pursuers in the dark country lanes, than he drives straight into a dry stone wall. Fortunately, Jeeves, cycling past at that very moment, is able to attend to Bertie quickly before Pratt-Haddock can find him. He moves the car out of the way and then repairs the wall. Rebuilding it with careful consideration of the batter - degree of taper - he assembles the hearting or fill and throughstones in between the two rows, and has just finished placing the last copestone on top (bringing the wall up to the specified 4 feet 6 inches) when Pratt-Haddock appears.

Fortunately for Bertie, it transpires that Spiff-Trousers is indeed a burglar, specialising in robbing rich men who become engaged to her, and by breaking the vase, Bertie has revealed her getaway plans that she had concealed within.