Posts Tagged ‘Singings’

Los Angeles/Orange

Friday, August 26th, 2011

We were booked into a hotel in Beverly Hills, which is very swanky and great and everything, but Orange is fifty miles away. We had just enough time to swing up to Book Soup (one of the great bookstores anywhere) on Sunset to see what eclectic wonders were on display. Among the latter were two Hard Case Crime racks, with a lot of my stuff face out. In addition, they had copies of BYE BYE, BABY and KISS HER GOODBYE on their shelves. I introduced myself, and wound up dealing with several nice (and seemingly impressed) staffers who had me sign everything. This is about as hip a bookstore as mankind has yet produced, so I was pleased.

We freshened up at the hotel and hit the road — it took an hour and forty-five minutes to get to Orange in traffic that seemed otherworldly to mere Iowans. I was skeptical about Book Carnival, because it had been one of the really superior mystery bookstores but reflected the vision of its original owner, who passed away a while back. Surely the new owner couldn’t maintain that special vibe…but current owner Ann Saller has really pulled it off. The store is stocked with new books and tons of fantastic used books; lots of signed books like the Maureen Jennings “Murdoch” title I snagged for under $20. A clean, brightly-lit store filled with treasures. She served up food and drink for the capacity crowd, who brought tons of books for me to sign and just as many questions. Barb again presented “Barbara Allan” in a funny, real manner that got any number of ANTIQUES books sold, and we sold stacks of BYE BYE, BABY. The people were so nice and warm and knowledgeable, I thought I might be hallucinating.

I also learned that Brandi and Jerrod, my two favorite stars on my new favorite show, “Storage Wars,” have their thrift shop just down the street from Book Carnival. I did not get to stop in and brag about my pal Phil Dingeldein being the guy who shoots “Pickers” back in the Midwest…but maybe we can do a dual promo thing when the next Barbara Allan comes out — ANTIQUES DISPOSAL, dealing with storage-unit auctions!

Three bookstores in three days…and three home runs. Tomorrow: M IS FOR MYSTERY in San Mateo. I have never signed at a bookstore in the San Francisco area, so I am hopeful.