If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.

Check out our March author interviews: 3/7--Karen Cantwell, 3/14--Shawn Reilly, 3/21--Annette Dashofy, and 3/28--WWK Blogger Debra Sennefelder (on her debut novel!). Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.

Our March Saturday Guest Blogger Schedule: 3/3-Heather Weidner, 3/10-Holly Chaille, 3/17-Margaret S. Hamilton, 3/24-Kait Carson, 3/31-Charles Saltzberg.

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Tina Whittle's sixth Tai Randolph mystery, Necessary Ends, debuts on April 3, 2018. Look for it here: https://www.amazon.com/Necessary-Ends-Tai-Randolph-Book-ebook/dp/B079MS67CM/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1520014972&sr=8-2&keywords=Tina+Whittle

James M. Jackson's Empty Promises, the next in the Seamus McCree mystery series (5th), will be available on April 3, 2018 at: https://www.amazon.com/Empty-Promises-Seamus-McCree-Book-ebook/dp/B078XJRYDG/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1520089649&sr=8-2&keywords=James+M.+Jackson&dpID=51kcxPsst-L&preST=_SY445_QL70_&dpSrc=srch

Dark Sister, a poetry collection, is Linda Rodriguez's tenth published book. It's available for sale here: https://mammothpublications.net/writers-m-to-z/rodriguez-linda-dark-sister/

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.

Shari Randall's second Lobster Shack Mystery, Against the Claw, will be available in August, 2018.

In addition, our prolific KM has had the following shorts published as well: "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017 and "Turkey Underfoot," appears in the anthology The Killer Wore Cranberry: A Fifth Course of Chaos.


Friday, July 8, 2016

Ellery Queen on Book collectors by Warren Bull

Ellery Queen on Book collectors by Warren Bull

In the Queen’s Parlor and Other Leaves from the Editor’s Notebook by Ellery Queen was published in 1957. The author(s) present fifty snippets of writing about including anecdotes, reflections and reminiscences. All of them have to do with telling mystery stores. It is the equivalent of inside baseball as told by baseball insiders.  

One of the topics that interested me was book collections and book collectors. I have a modest mystery book collection of my own. This section of the book is called: Evolution of a Biblomanic.  Queen describes four stages of evolution. The earliest stage is the fledgling stage in which a person surrounds himself or herself with a menagerie of books on a variety of topics in a variety of conditions for the purpose of reading. To satisfy what George Bernard Show calls a “dangerous amusement” the pre-collector gloms onto whatever looks interesting about whatever subject matter appeals at the moment.

However, Queen warns that a virus may have been contracted with alarming symptoms such as looking at his or her piles and experiencing pain that can be relived only by replacing perfectly readable books with the first edition of those same books. The person now revels in the identification of self as a Connoisseur.

Should the symptoms worsen the person will be next seized by the desire to have not only first editions, but first editions in the finest state of preservation. He or she seeks books as pristine as when they came hot off the press. Along side the desire for pristine books comes an even greater problem, the desire for original dust jackets. Without question the collector has now entered the realm of a Fanatic. Queen suggests that in this state the word bibliophile may also be spelled “biblofool.”
Unfortunately there is one more level with even more severe symptoms.  Unsatisfied by the mint condition books that rest side by side, and may never be read, the person plunges deeply into the depths by haunting bookstores, online purveyors of all things written and auctions.  The person is now in pursuit of books that meet the highest standards and have been inscribed by the author. At this point the poor person (and he or she may be poor as the result of paying for first editions) is now in the full stage of bibliomanic.

Queen states the attraction of signed first editions is that the owner has a totally unique work. This is followed by thoughts about inscriptions. Queen, of course, has written many. The author notes that, while mundane messages are highly valued, on occasion the author pens something personal. As examples cited were, Katherine Anne Porter who once wrote: “I wish I knew how to inscribe books, but I don’t.” Israel Zangwill once wrote at a forty-five degree angle: “Don’t read the last page in the middle.” Richard Harding Davis once struggled to find a way to avoid the hackneyed best wishes. Opposite the last printed page he repeated the last line of the book: “You sign it,” he said. — Richard Harding Davis.

I could continue but I don’t want to steal the fun of discovery from those who have not read the book.  There is no plot and little mystery but, if you want to know what one or two of the great mystery writers and publishers thought about, this is the book to read.


Jacqueline Seewald said...


It does sound interesting. I'm also a book collector as are most readers. But alas, few first editions!

Gloria Alden said...

I'm a big book collector, but not of first editions. I have a brother-in-law who sounds like the one he describes, but I don't know that he goes to auctions. He does haunt bookshops in the Seattle area as well as the ones in Portland and wherever he goes on my sister's and his travels.

jrlindermuth said...

Anyone who reads can become afflicted with this disease. But, oh, it's so much fun. Seems like Queen has diagnosed the ailment and issued a good warning on what happens when it runs to extremes. Enjoyed the post, Warren.

Margaret Turkevich said...

interesting! I'm in a book purging mode--if I'll never look at it again out it goes--but I have some old family books I want to keep.