TAoD day 6

Friday\’e2\’80\’99s flight was restored to the normal complement of children, or else I\’e2\’80\’99d have begun to wonder if a home-schooling project was following me around. I arrived to find the delightfully named Pierre O\’e2\’80\’99Rourke waiting for me, my usual Phoenix escort, and he drove me around this huge city to sign at one store after another. Mostly chains, as you would expect in a city growing faster than a baby whale, but the staff for the most part knew what it was doing, and at the managerial level I found book lovers all.

In the afternoon I had an event in the library in Tempe, the university town at the southern end of Phoenix. This is a library that embodies the new definition of such as a community center rather than a book repository\’e2\’80\’94as I sat waiting for Pierre to pick up up afterwards, the doors never stopped opening and closing, with every possible variation of humanity coming and going: old folks and kids, dark and light, skirts-and-heels to dusty grunge. They even have a caf\’c3\’a9, which always tickles me in a library. And they managed to round up nearly fifty people to listen to LRK on a Thursday afternoon, then sell some books on top of that. I love libraries.

We had some confusion at the end of it, one of those situations where a well-laid plan is sure to go awry, and it did. My evening event was to be with Les Klinger, whose three-volume Annotated Sherlock Holmes lays the groundwork for all Sherlockian scholarship for the next generation (and who is currently working on a similar volume for Dracula\’e2\’80\’942008 pub date.) His email indicating that his flight arrived at 4 sent Pierre to the airport while I was at my event, only there was no LA flight arriving then, and none with the number given. The mystery of the missing Sherlockian!

Of course, he arrived, took a taxi to the bookstore, and we met up just before the event. And what a lot of fun it was. Take two very different writers who like each other and have enormous respect for each other\’e2\’80\’99s work, add a dozen local Sherlockians (\’e2\’80\’9cThe Desert Beekeepers\’e2\’80\’9d) and forty or fifty other mystery readers, put them into a well-run bookstore with a couple of tall chairs and mikes, and you have a classic Poisoned Pen Books event, an hour of laughter and interesting ideas.

I\’e2\’80\’99ll take that show on the road any time.

Afterwards, Pierre whisked Les off to get his flight back to LA, and I came home with Barbara, owner of the Poisoned Pen, to have dinner with her and her husband Rob, owner of the Poisoned Pen Press, my new UK publisher.

Today, Friday, I have two more library events and a stack of books to sign for the Poisoned Pen, then home for a whole thirty-six hours before flying to Seattle. I may not post a blog for today, unless something particularly interesting happens, but will write from Seattle.

Take care, enjoy your reading, and thank you, Mary from Nashville, for the Starbucks gift card\’e2\’80\’94I toasted you with my latte in LA.

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