When my first novel, Murder at the War, came out in 1987, a local independent bookstore, Once Upon A Crime, held the pub party. Mary Cannon, who also wrote book reviews for Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, owned OUAC. She and the various owners down the years were very generous to local writers and the underground store was often raucous with parties. Mystery authors from around the country – the world – stopped by to autograph their books and the store became legendary. They held – I can’t believe this number – thirty for me as my name changed from Mary Monica Pulver to Margaret Frazer to the current Monica Ferris. Now, as has been the case before, the store is struggling. But apparently the struggle has become really desperate and they have started a Go Fund Me account. I have donated, and I hope you will, too. It would be a shame if this landmark shop closed for good.
We had an excellent Thanksgiving and with the onset of the Christmas season I am discovering the joys and aggravations of online shopping. Amazon, for example, managed to hang onto our old address from years back and sent two items there. When they were late and I ran their tracing route back, I discovered their error. We went to our old address and the current owner claimed not to know anything about two boxes in succession left on her doorstep, even though we had a photograph of one of them leaning against her front door. Grrrr . . . I could write a book. Couldn’t I? Hmmm . . . Maybe a short story, make it with a sweet touch, someone sad because she had no money to buy gifts, then they start arriving. Gifts of the Magi – no, Amazon. (So some portion of my muse is alive and well, it seems.)