Small Business Saturday (Nov. 29th)
We’re joining in with Pioneer Square to wheel and deal and have great things going on! And we’re working on getting extra staff (as in local authors Urban Waite and Jeanne Matthews) to help us sell books, along with Bernadette Pajer, who will be here signing her latest novel!
For future reference, our calendar of holidays and our hours as we head toward the end of the year:
Thurs, Nov 27 – Thanksgiving:Closed
Fri, Nov 28 – Black Friday:Open regular hours (Sorry NOT midnight…)
Tues, Dec 16 – Chanukah Begins: Open
Sun, Dec 21 – Winter Solstice: Open
Wed, Dec 24 – Christmas Eve:Closing at 2pm
Thurs, Dec 25 – Christmas Day:Closed
Fri, Dec 26 – Boxing Day, Kwanza Begins: Open
Wed, Dec 31 – New Year’s Eve:Closing at 2pm
Thurs, Jan 1 – New Year’s Day:Closed
We’ve been looking at our Facebook numbers, and we’re considering putting the page on hold – out of over 2000 people who are our friends, the number of people our posts reach are only in the double digits. If you’d like us to keep posting there, let us know. Otherwise at the first of the year, we’ll be cutting back our time there. Thanks!
They’re available in Whatever Denomination You Want; They Don’t Expire; You can Order Them by Phone, e-mail or through the Website, and we can Mail them directly to the Recipient if you’d like. Perfect for all sorts of occasions -they make great stocking stuffers!
Links of Interest:
The webisphere has been active this week with news of mystery-related TV items:
~ cancelled by A&E, “Longmire” is said to be coming to Netflix for season 4
~ Joe R. Lansdale’s Hap & Leonard are coming to Sundance for a six-episode season. Funny and dark ‘southern noir’ set in West Texas in the 80s.
It’s nice to know that politicians all around the world have questionable histories, and that some – or at least one, MP Phineas Devenish Phibbs – has been memorialized in a plaque!
Of interest to book collectors in general: A lawsuit over Maurice Sendak’s Estate rests on the question of the collectability of Children’s Books
This, too, is a bit off-topic but how can we pass it up:
Ladies and Gentlemen – the 2014 Bad Sex Writing Nominees (you’ll recognize at least a couple of the authors)
And it is time for the Biennial “Pulp Fiction Contest” at the New York Times!
While we specialize in mystery and crime books, we can order virtually any new book that you might want, no matter what its topic.
New Signings(with authors who will be visiting the shop)
Sat., Dec 13, noon -Waverly Curtis signs The Chihuahua Always Sniffs Twice (Kensington pbo, $7.99). 4th with PI Geri Sullivan and her talking companion Pepe. The estate of wealthy widow Lucille Carpenter was left entirely to her beloved dogs and now someone is poisoning them. As you might imagine, this makes Pepecaliente under the collar. “Waverly Curtis” is the local writing team ofWaverly Fitzgerald and Curt Colbert.
See the calendar ofall currently-scheduled events on our website. The website calendar contains plot synopses. At the bottom of it is the updated, complete list of signed copies that we’ll be getting from other sources. Click Here.
Maia Chance, Nov 15
Timothy Hallinan, Nov 18
F. Paul Wilson, Nov 19
Bernadette Pajer, Nov 29
Phillip Margolin, Dec 11
Jayne Ann Krentz, Jan 6
Tracy Weber & M.A. Lawson, Jan 10
Jeanne Matthews, Jan 14
Thomas Perry, Jan 16
Pamela Christie, Jan 17
Tessa Arlen, Jan 24
Yasmine Galenorn, Jan 31
Yasmine Galenorn, Jan 31, noon
Burt Weissbourd, Jan 31 at 3:00pm
Cara Black, Mar 2
Glen Erik Hamilton, Mar 3
C.S. Harris, Mar 7
And there are always more on the way!
Remember, too, that while it is always fun to come in and meet the author in person, that isn’t always possible. So reserve a signed copy to be mailed to you or for you to pick up later. Those who reserve in advance get the copies in the best condition!
Our website has a Wish List capability. If folks want to know what you’d like for a given holiday or birthday, it is easy to point people to our website. Amber has put together a dandy blog post explaining it and how it works.
Word of the Week
connive (v.) c.1600, from Latin connivere, also conivere "to wink," hence, "to wink at (a crime), be secretly privy," fromcom- "together" (see com-) + base akin to nictare "to wink," from PIE root*kneigwh- (see nictitate). Related: Connived; conniving. (thanks to etymonline.com)
You can browse our collectable and hard-to-find books, as well as signed copies from earlier author events, on Biblio.com. You do not have to place an order through them, especially if you’re a long-time customer and we have your ordering info. Just email us to order.
What We’ve Been Reading:
Amber’s project for 2014:My 52 Weeks of Agatha Christie. Here’s her explanation.
This Week: 17th Century Playwrights, Sin & Ethics
At the time of the release of A Walk Among the Tombstones in the theatres, I thought I should re-read it before I saw it. After all, it’d been a couple of decades since I had.
When I began working with Bill back in 1990, he was forever horrified by the authors I’d not yet read – Loren Estleman, Richard Stark, Jon Jackson, the list was long – but the one that shocked him the most was that I’d never read Lawrence Block. Hard to say he forced me to read a Scudder - let’s say he avidly encouraged me to. He handed me When the Sacred Ginmill Closes and I’ve been hooked ever since.
Ginmill is actually the 6th in his timeless Matt Scudder series.Tombstones is #10. The Scudder series is solidly in the Hammett school of writing – true noir with a smooth narrative drive, without ‘happy endings’ though with justice served. Scudder was a NYC cop for a dozen years but left the force a couple of years before the series begins. He’s left his wife and sons, too, and moved into a cheap hotel near Columbus Circle in Manhattan. Mostly what he does is read the papers and drink bourbon-laced coffee. And he occasionally does favors for people and they pay him for his time. Favors = investigations. He’s not a licensed private eye and he doesn’t do anything normal like writing reports or keep track of expenses. He’s dogged and smart and always figures out what happened and always, somehow, effects justice.
The books are inventive, witty, with a dark, dim view of humanity and life. It isn’t that Scudder has quit living, but he’s scaled back to the very basics. One of his basics is that murder cannot be tolerated. The plots are inventive, quirky, the characters lively and, like Hammet’s, true to life – Elaine, Mick Ballou, Danny Boy.
The first three books were released within the same year. The 4th came out a year or so later. They can be read in any order. But read them before you read the 5th,Eight Million Ways to Die. At the end of that book, Block had gotten Scudder to a point where he thought he had finished the series. Luckily for us, he was wrong. Ginmill is the 6th – that’s the one Bill had me read first and you can, as it is told as a flashback to the days of the earlier books. Past that, though, there are things in Scudder’s life that progress and it would be better to read them in order.
These are thoughtful books, meditative upon the choices and questions of life and justice, fair in that you have all of the clues Scudder has but the way they come together is both logical and surprising. You never know what it is that is going to trip the facts into the right line-up and give Scudder the picture. They’re not particularly bloody but they are, at times, violent. Scudder is a man of his time, as are the stories. He’s cynical and sedate until moved to action. Hardboiled, sure – but all of the women Scudder meets find him to be a ‘sweet man’.
It was over 20 years ago that I first read the Scudders. Bill was right, of course, they’re some of the finest myteries every written. Yesterday morning on the bus to work I finished re-reading the 10th straight Scudder book. I can’t say I remembered much of the plots from the first time, so it was like reading them for the first time –a great treat!
By the way, I never did get to see “A Walk Among the Tombstones”. But I will someday.
We have three Tumblr blogs, in addition to our regular shop blog:
Books and Decay, maintained by Amber – interesting photos with literary quotes to match
Hardboiled, maintained by JB – pulp covers, film noir and other images of crime and mystery.
On This Date
Nov 17, 1876 – birth of early mystery writer Hesketh Prichard, born in India
Nov 17, 1910 – Edgar award-winner Jean Potts was born in St. Paul, NE
Nov 17, 1939 –Another Thin Man – the third and last movie in the series based on something Hammett wrote was released
Nov 17, 1942 – Martin Scorsese was born in Queens, NY. Do we need to list the great movies?NO.
Nov 17, 1966 – Sam Sheppard was acquitted in the second murder trial over the death of his wife. The case would become the basis for the long-running series ‘The Fugitive’.
Nov 17, 1973 – President Richard Nixon declared to a reporter “Well, I am not a crook.”
Nov 18, 1933 – future ‘Man from U.N.C.L.E.’agent and ‘NCIS’ coroner David McCallum was born in Glasglow
Nov 18, 1940 – the “Mad Bomber” sets off his first device in NYC
Nov 18, 1948 - Frances Fyfield was born Frances Hagarty in (1948, Derbyshire), Nancy Livingston (1935, County Durham) and Sheila Robinson was born in Cogenhoe, Northamptonshire in 1928. She would write the DCI Quantrill series as Sheila Radley
Nov 18, 1978 – in an act of astonishing madness that still defies sense, the residents of Jonestown self-destruct
Nov 19, 1889 – actor Clifton Webb was born Webb Parmelee Hollenbeck in Indianapolis
Nov 19, 1904 – Nathan Leopold was born in Chicago. Born an intellectual prodigy, he spoke his first words at four months, graduated college Phi Beta Kappa, was an expert ornithologist and was attending law school at 19. In the classic sense, this was all tragic as he and another fellow – another young genius – viewed themselves to be ‘supermen’ and decided they could get away with murder. In 1924, he and Richard Loeb kidnapped and murdered Bobby Franks. Life would again be imitated by art when Hitchcock used the gist of the story for his movieRope in 1948
Nov 19, 1920 – Gene Tierney was born in Brooklyn, 31 years after herLaura costar Webb
Nov 19, 1940 – the “Mad Bomber” – George Metesky – planted his first bomb
Nov 19, 1943 - Doug Hornig was born in NYC
Nov 19, 1963 – Jodie Foster was born Alicia Christian Foster in LA. In 1976, when she was just 12, she’d be in fellow-November-birthday-celebrator Scorsese’sTaxi Driver. In 1991 cameThe Silence of the Lambs
Nov 19, 1963 – Portland mystery writer Bill Cameron was born in Cincinnati
Nov 20, 1900 – future cartoonist Chester Gould was born in Pawnee, OK. ‘Dick Tracy’ is first published in 1931
Nov 20, 1920 - Dulcie Winifred Catherine Bailey Denison was born in Kuala Lumpur. She not only wrote theatrical mysteries under the as Dulcie Gray, she was a stage actress who once played Miss Marple!
Nov 20, 1921 - future District Attorney and Judge Jim Garrison was born in Denison, IA
Nov 20, 1922 – noir writer Gil Brewer was born in Cauandaigua, NY
Nov 20, 1925 - future Attorney General and Senator Robert F Kennedy was born in Brookline, MA
Nov 20, 1926 – British espionage writer John Gardner was born in Northumberland
Nov 20, 1936 – novelist Don DeLillo was born in NYC
Nov 20, 1943 – Veronica Hamel was born in Philadelphia. 38 years later she will co-star in the landmark series “Hill Street Blues” as defense attorney Joyce Davenport. She had such an erotic way of saying ‘pizza man’.
Nov 21, 1860 - lawman, regulator, one-time Pinkerton Agent, “range detective”, gunman Tom Horn was born in Scotland County, MO. A man of many abilities, as a scout with the Army he acted as the interpreter for Geronimo’s surrender
Nov 21, 1873 – Vernon George Waldegrave Kell was born in Great Yarmouth, England. In 1909, he would be appointed head of the Secret Intelligence Bureau, the government’s first espionage agency. In 1911, it would be split into domestic and foreign sections and Kell headed the domestic section, what would become MI5
Nov 21, 1920 - future actor Ralph Meeker was born in Minneapolis, the first actor to play Mike Hammer
Nov 21, 1927 - the Columbine Mine Massacre took place
Nov 21, 1931 – courtroom writer William Harrington was born in Marietta, OH
Nov 21, 1948 – local writer Martin Limón was born in LA Happy Early Birthday!
And Have a Relaxing and Book-Filled Weekend!