When doing a book tour for Dot Dead, the most good ol' fashioned fun I had was at High Crimes Mystery Bookshop in Boulder, Colorado. I was introducing myself to patrons when Cynthia Nye, the proprietor, mentioned that when Joe Konrath came to the store, he went into the street and dragged people in. Nothing I like better than a challenge. I followed his example and managed to inveigle a couple of passersby into listening to me. I even got an email of thanks from one of them. As a result of my stop at High Crimes, Dot Dead made it to #3 on the Boulder Daily Camera's paperback bestseller list.
After my presentation, I went out for dinner with friends. Even though I live in the land of oeno-snobs, I am a blue-collar beer-drinker. What Napa is to wine, Boulder is to beer. What a great night!
Now High Crimes is closing its physical store and going virtual. Sigh. They say that death comes in threes. With Black Orchid and Murder Ink in New York having shuttered their stores, High Crimes makes #3 according to my count.
A column in the Camera captures the "wistfulness" of it all:
"I learned as much from my customers as they did from me," Nye says, unable to disguise a hint of wistfulness. "There was a terrific camaraderie, and you knew from the second someone walked in the store that you had something in common. I had hour-long conversations with people I'd never met before about the definition of 'noir'."
That spirit won't quite fail when High Crimes shutters. Nye will keep her book group going, and no doubt she'll still have loyal customers. But there will be no more author signings or hour-long conversations....
I for one will sure miss stopping there.