RARA-AVIS: RE: Prologues

From: Dick Lochte ( dlock@ix.netcom.com)
Date: 23 Jul 2001

The mention of prologues rekindled a memory of why it's so much fun to write mysteries. A few years ago I was invited to sign at a California University campus bookstore along with four other local crime writers. One of them was a recent graduate of the university. The store manager thought the lunch hour would be a good time. She hadn't realized how perfect the day would be -- sunny but cool, with nary a trace of that dreaded California smog. Or that a rock band would be playing a set in the quad. For all I know, Wolfgang Puck was preparing lunch in the cafeteria that day. Kurt Vonnegut may have been lecturing nearby. In any case, nobody was in a bookstore mood. We sat around amusing ourselves with anecdotes about how cheap and duplicitous our publishers were until, finally, as the hour was just about up, one guy entered the store. Appropriately, he was dressed in black. Our table was immediately silent, all eyes on this potential customer. He took his time circling the store before "discovering" us at our table. "Ah, mysteries," he said, staring into our game faces. "Well, let's see." Beginning left to right, he picked up a book, studied its cover, turned a few pages, put it back down, moved on to the next. When he was finished, he gave us all a brief smile and turned to go. His last words were, "Whole lot of prologues."

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 23 Jul 2001 EDT