#1, who is a high school senior, had a college interview in the City (this time New York, not San Francisco) this morning. We flew out from Oakland on Jet Blue Sunday. We're both logged in now tapping away using Jet Blue's free WiFi connection. The plane should be boarding already, but it's running 30 minutes late. I'm using the time to post this blog.
Lucky #1. She got to tag along while we visited bookstores. A couple of weeks ago, I called Manhattan's four mystery bookstores: Partners & Crime, Black Orchid, Murder Ink, and Mysterious Bookshop. The first three ordered copies of Dot Dead. (Why didn't they have them already? I asked myself.) I spoke to the paperback buyer at Mysterious Bookshop, which used to claim they carried every mystery in print; he said they do not carry books published by one of the hottest new imprints on the market, Midnight Ink. Odd?
#1 and I were greeted like long lost relations by Maggie Griffin at Partners & Crime. She and I went through the goings on at Bouchercon. We were in some of the same places at roughly the same times. Don't know how we missed meeting there. What fun! Edgar winner Bonnie Claeson of Black Orchid couldn't have been more gracious. She queried #1 on her college application labors. We both lamented the state of independent bookstores in these United States. Bonnie reported that Dot Dead has been selling at the store; fellow Edgar winner Joe Guglielmelli evidently took a fancy to it. Signed copies at Murder Ink, too, which was just a block or two from where we stayed. Visited another 10 Barnes and Nobles and Borders, eschewing cabs and subways and hoofing it all over the island. Yesterday we started at Partners & Crime in Greenwich Village and trooped to 83rd and Madison. Over half the stores had copies of Dot Dead in stock. Is that good news or bad? Had they just been festering on the shelves since publication date? If they didn't have any copies, were they sold out or had they never had copies? Anyway, the one thing I know is that signed copies prominently displayed do not just lay around. They get bought.
Amidst our peregrinations yesterday we did stop by the Museum of Modern Art. (As is appropriate on a bookshop tour, we ran into Shirley Bob of Bob and Bob in Palo Alto just outside there.) It's amazing to walk into a room and recognize every picture from Van Gogh's Starry Night to Picasso's Demoiselles d'Avignon. Today we wedged in a quick forty-five minute tour of the Met's exhibit of Americans in Paris 1860-1900. Not to be missed. Admired once again Sargent's Daughters of Edward Darley Boit that #1 and I had seen last February at the MFA in Boston.
We're boarding now. Gotta run. Wish we'd had time in the City to visit with more folks. More soon.