RARA-AVIS: Browne's Ashes

From: Moorich2@aol.com
Date: 28 Aug 2003

In a message dated 8/28/03 2:13:19 AM Eastern Daylight Time, owner-rara-avis@icomm.ca writes:

 Oh yeah. I remember finally getting my hands on Howard Browne's Taste
 of Ashes, years after reading and loving the other three Paul Pine books
 (but long before it was reprinted). One of my first major finds. Or
 finally completing the Parker (character) series.

Yeah, those are great milestones! I discovered Paul Pine when I picked up an ex-lib copy of the first Halo book and then started collecting them all. The last to come my way was THE TASTE OF ASHES, which at the 1988 Bouchercon I was able to obtain Brownes autograph. On that occasion and one other I was able to tell him how much I admired his work. Ashes is the absolute best. A couple of years ago in a moment of dark thoughts I challenged everyone to name the one novel they would select if they were to become subject to a form of dementia that resulted in the loss of all short term memory. This means that a mystery fan could read and reread the same novel over and over again with each reading being new and fresh. If that happened to me, my choice would be Howard Browne's THE TASTE OF ASHES. No one came forward to name their choices although I had a couple of private emails saying I was one bummer-city kinda dark guy.

Lastly on Browne, I just this past week on my vacation found a copy of his first novel WARRIOR OF THE DAWN in DJ and paid $50 for it. At the same show the issue of Amazing Stories with the novel carried the same price.

Many years ago I passed on a copy of the novel for $20 but at the time it was overpriced without a DJ. I came to regret that but no longer. I find I buy Browne, reprints, English editions and etc., because he is one I lend often.

Richard Moore

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