Thanks for reminding me of that incident, one of my favorite
Bouchercon memories. Hal Rice was one of the folks I most anticipated
seeing at conventions. He was a huge fan but he also added the view
of a fellow who owed several pharmacies in Rockford, Illinois (not
Chicago, Bill) and he had magazine racks in each with the likes of
Manhunt (of which he had nearly a complete run) and paperback racks
with Gold Medal, Pocket Books, Ace and other gems.
I can see him now taking a drag on his Pall Mall and smiling as he
pealed a hundred dollar bill off his roll and bought the book from
under Otto's nose.
--- In email@example.com, "Bill Crider" <macavityabc@...> wrote:
> Actually, the story doesn't involve Westlake himself. It involves
> his books, COMFORT STATION, published as by J. Morgan Cunningham.
This is a
> rare book, the cheapest copy on abebooks right now being offered at
> $139.50. It became a topic of conversation in the dealers' room at the
> first Toronto Bouchercon because Otto Penzler said it was the only
> book he didn't own. George Kelley, who had a table in the room,
> he had a fine copy back home in North Tonawanda. Not only that, it was
> signed by Westlake. George said he'd drive home that night and get
> Otto would buy it for $100. Otto agreed, and the next day George
> book at his table. Otto hemmed and hawed about the $100, which he
> a little steep for a paperback original. Several of us were
> the conversation, including Hal Rice. After a few minutes, Hal
> to George and said, "I'll take that book." He handed George a $100
> and George gave him the book. Hal walked away, leaving Otto gaping.
> Hal being Hal, he took the book back to Chicago, read it, and then
> to Otto.
> Bill Crider
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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