RARA-AVIS: This & that

From: Moorich2@aol.com
Date: 24 Dec 2002

In his last posting Bill Crider clearly has an outsized estimate of my book collection/accumulation. I have to confess that I have contributed to that inflated view.

By giving the page citation of a 1933 issue of Black Mask a few days ago, I left everyone with the impression that I owned that issue and probably a vast collection of the ultra-rare pulp. Alas, I own only a handful of issues but I do have E.R. Hagemann's A COMPREHENSIVE INDEX TO BLACK MASK, 1920-1951 which provided me with the page number of the story in question.

I did recently unpacked a box with my Black Mask issues and was reminded that I owned one of them (September 1947) due to a mistake. The issue featured the story "Murder Makes the Cock Crow" by Fergus Thuslow and when I spotted it at a Bouchercon a few years ago, I snatched it up with hardly a second glance. When I got back to my hotel room I discovered the damn story was about cockfighting! It taught me to slow down and read titles more carefully before whipping out my wallet.

I will brag about one purchase that arrived just today--the September 1942 issue of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine. This was the only one of the 738 EQ issues published to date that I did not own. It feels great to have them all--even though some are in boxes at the moment. I do not have all the variants, such as alternate covers but I was driven by the desire to have the content not a truly "complete" collection. The magazine has given me and continues to give me so much reading pleasure. I tip my hat to the ghost of Fred Dannay, who was the founder and guiding genius of EQ as the bibliographically minded cousin of the Ellery Queen cousin duo.

Richard Moore

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