Bill and B Jo Farley moved to Seattle at the end of 1989 with the aim of opening their own specialty Mystery bookshop. In the summer of 1990, they opened the Seattle Mystery Bookshop with the intention that it be a place where readers could meet authors, authors could be exposed to readers, questions could be asked and information given, where the casual reader and the serious collector could all find something of interest. As Bill put it, "For mystery lovers who know what they want and for those who haven't a clue!"
Bill was a serious bookman but was armed with a lively sense of humor and a raucous laugh.
We're so sorry he won't be here for the shop's 25th birthday on July 1st, but we'll be here doing what he loved - being surrounded by mystery books.
As we've mentioned, we just took in a MASSIVE collection of paperbacks. Nearly all are from the 60s through the 80s but there are some earlier than that and later, too. Espionage, police procedural, private eye, legal thriller, suspense, whodunnits, British, North American, European, Asian, African... massive. About the only facet of crime and mystery not represented are cozies.
The majority are in beautiful condition. He probably bought them new and read them very carefully. But he was also a big buyer of used books, too. Lots of stamps from Southern California bookshops. There are some $10 copies, a few higher, but most are range from $1.98 to $7.98. Full runs of some authors and nearly full runs of others. Many of these authors we've not seen since the shop opened in 1990. Many we don't see very often. Many we've never seen. There are so many it is safe to say that the stock of the shop has flipped from mostly new to mostly used.
To give you a taste, here's a list of authors: Marvin Albert, Peter Alding, Delano Ames, Jeffrey Ashford, Desmond Bagley, John Ball, Robert Barnard, George Bellairs, Dick Belsky, John Bingham, Gavin Black, Nicholas Blake, Christiana Brand, Simon Brett, Leo Bruce, Rex Burns, Victor Canning, Douglas Clark, V.C. Clinton-Baddeley, Liza Cody, Bill Crider, E.V. Cunningham, Philip Daniels, Lionel Davidson, Len Deighton, Peter Dickinson, Stephen Dobyns, Peter Driscoll, Aaron Elkins, Stanley Ellin, Howard Engels, Robert L. Fish, Nicholas Freeling, Andrew Garve, Paul Geddes, Val Gelgud, Michael Gilbert, Kenneth Giles, William Haggard, Adam Hall, Cyril Hare, Roy Hart, Cecil Henry, Mark Hebden, Laurence Henderson, Reginald Hill, Timothy Holme, Joseph Hone, Elspeth Huxely, Robert Irvine, Sebastian Jasprisot, Stuart Kaminsky (Rostnikovs), H.R.F. Keating, Patrick Kelley, Edwin Lanham, Emma Lathen, Roy Lewis, Michael Z. Lewin, Nicholas Luard, Gavin Lyall, Arthur Maling, Harold Q. Masur, Berkely Matther, James McClure, Ralph MacInerny, James Melville, Margaret Millar, James Mitchell, Patricia Moyes, James Munro, Michael Pearce, Ian Pears, Robert L. Pike, Bill Pronzini, Anthony Price, Patrick Quentin, Jonathan Ross, Robert Rostand, Kenneth Royce, Francis Ryck, Alan Russell, George Sims, Edward Sklepowich, Bart Spicer, Richard Stark, Rex Stout, Julian Symons, William G. Tapply, Graham Thomas, Ross Thomas (and Bleek), Michael Underwood, Arthur Upfield, Hillary Waugh, Henry Wade, Charles Williams, David Williams, Ted Wood, Eric Wright...
There's no way to make a list of the books. Making a list of the authors was a big enough job. This represents the bulk of the authors, but really only those who showed up with, say, six or more titles. That tells you that there are a large number of authors not on this list. The shelves are as tight as they've ever been. If you're looking for something, a particular title or want to know what we have by this author or that author, let us know.
Send us your list and we'll see if we can fill your shelves with what we've got on ours!
The end of his Boston Trilogy continues with Joe Coughlin older and wiser, a single father, and officially out of the rackets. Not to say he’s out of the world of crime. He’s become a trusted member of The Commission, the governing body of the national organized crime world, working with Lansky, Luciano and those who run Florida. But life is not peaceful and relaxing. There are always those jockeying for power, to move up, to become the boss. Some are reasonable men, business men, and some are just killers. A melancholy and literary slice of noir.
Due to the attendant lunacy of the impending move, a couple of hundred orders for the new Jayne Castle, and trying like mad to get the Autumn newsletter finished, there will be no newzine this week (that is, Friday, Aug 21st, 2014).
Sorry to disappoint our 8.3 trillion fans, especially those of you in the far reaches of the Milky Way, Orion Nebula, and parts yet to be charted.
In the meantime, here's a photo of the old shop (future new space) from the time it opened in 1990, with Mr. Bill at the ready. Pre-computer, we wrote up all sales by hand on that counter, on legal pads.
Here's an old poloroid that Bill took when the Seattle Mystery Bookshop was brand new. It's fuzzy, just as the 25 year old photo is. You can see the transfers of white lettering that will spell out the shop's name on the tops of the widows. If you knew what you were looking at, you could even make out the old circular rug with the claw-footed table atop it.
Notes from the 1990 insurance appraisal conducted in Philadelphia before the Seattle Mystery Bookshop opened:
"AMERICAN VICTORIAN WALNUT PHYSICIAN'S OR PHARMACIST'S DOUBLE PEDESTAL DESK, Middle West, circa 1875, in two sections: the upper section having straight molded lift-lid cornice enclosing 17 letter slots, narrow ribbed molding, oblong center space with six small drawers in two stacks above, 12 small drawers in two stacks to left and paneled cabinet door enclosing numerous cubbyholes to right; the outset lower section having oblong writing area with blue-green felt covered insert over kneehole with two small drawers above flanked by twin pedestals, each fitted with five drawers (all drawers with white porcelain pulls), base with quarter-round spool-tured molding, caster feet. Height 67 1/4 inches. Width 66 1/4 inches. Depth: 30 inches."
We add these comments:
~ Behind cabinet door are 12 small cubbyholes and one at the bottom that spans the width of the area
~ One rear caster foot broken off (casualty of the previous move)
~ Lock to cabinet door loose, and key to that lock also works in some of the pedestal's drawers
~ 24 years of slight wear since the desk moved West