Thursday, May 28, 2009

Strictly business in New York

This evening's Soho Crime event at Partners & Crime in New York was more meet and mingle than rap and read, and time passed too quickly for me to do all the meeting and mingling with the authors that I'd have liked to do. Still, editors, publicists, booksellers and a collector and fan with apparently wide Irish crime-fiction contacts made for an enjoyable and possibly productive evening.

Eliot Pattison, one of the six featured meeters and minglers, writes series about Tibet and colonial America, but he's a big fan of Irish and other Celtic music, it transpires. We didn't get the chance to chat about his Tibet books, of which I've read two and bought a third at the event. But he did tell me about some good places to hear Celtic music. (The other authors were Cara Black, Garry Disher, Mick Herron, Henry Chang and James R. Benn. I'd particularly have liked more time to talk technique with Disher.) I also saw a copy of Adrian McKinty's Fifty Grand on display, and a Soho editor told me about a new title they're really excited about: Stuart Neville's Ghosts of Belfast. There's something to this Irish crime fiction thing.

Alas, my train ride home called to mind another Irish crime novel. Three passengers on the Amtrak Quiet Car, where cell-phone use is barred, were using their cell phones. The serial killer in Ken Bruen's Calibre would have known what to do about that.

© Peter Rozovsky 2009

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11 Comments:

Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

The persistent use of cell phones on trains is enough to drive the sanest of people to become psychopathic killers.

"I'm on the train!" and after a two hour call you know every detail of this person's life.

May 28, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

These users at least kept their calls short. One looked at me with that familiar sense of astonishment I sometimes get when I remind talkers that they are on a quiet car.

Another talked over the annoucement tof quet-car regulations and seemed to rush to finish his call before the ticket-taker came through. But no Amtrak staff member I have seen has made an effort to enforce the rules other than the initial announcement.

May 28, 2009  
Anonymous May said...

Sadly, I no longer live in my home town of New York, but I do go back occasionally to visit family and friends. How does one find out about such events? Was it open to the public?

May 28, 2009  
Anonymous may said...

Ah...I just noticed you announced the event in a different post. I should really read oldest first...

May 28, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Yes, Partners & Crime holds periodic readings open to the public. The events are usually single-author readings. This one was a six-author minglefest because everyone was in New York for Bookexpo America 2009. The store also maintains an e-mail mailing list that provides notice of its events. I signed up for the list on a visit to the shop, but you might be able to sign up via the store’s Web site. The In Reference to Murder site also provides periodic roundups of author events around the country.

May 28, 2009  
Blogger seanag said...

It's nice to know that Stuart's book will be available here before too long, or perhaps actuall is, though I haven't seen it come in to our store yet. Wonder if the two titles it has in English is going to be confusing--at least for the blogosphere.

I remember the first time I took the train after some whole strata of society had gotten them. Peace shattered. I have to say, though, that it's never been that bad again. And I've long gotten used to it pervading every aspect of the bookstore. People are apologetic when they take a call just as you are about to ring up their sale, but on the other hand, they still do it.

May 28, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I've often thought that if I were working a cash register and a customer tried to complete a transaction while talking on a cell phone, I'd say and do nothing until that person ended the call.

I think Ghosts of Belfast/The Twelve is to have its U.S. release in the fall. For some reason, advance reader copies are exceedingly hard to come by in the U.K., where the book is to be released any day now if it has not been released yet. Stuart wrote that he had to buy a copy on ebay to give to someone. And I saw just one copy in No Alibis in Belfast, but it had already been sold.

May 29, 2009  
Blogger seanag said...

People do often make a point of not continuing with the sale until they can have the customer's full attention. For some reason, it's not one of the things that makes my blood boil. If they're holding up a whole line of people behind them by being oblivious, that's a different matter. But I don't always mind just doing the sale and not having to make small talk, especially when it's so completely obvious that I am just another part of the selling machinery. It's not like I need to have a conversation with those kind of people.

I am very interested in Stuart's book, so I'll keep an eye out for a galley here, but I can probably wait till fall with the stack of stuff I have to read already.

May 29, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

What drives me nuts are the customers who order the cashier around with hand motions because they can't be bothered to interrupt their phone conversations.

May 29, 2009  
Blogger seanag said...

I'm sure hand motions are made on the other side of the counter in those instances too--but different, and slightly more discreet.

May 29, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I'd have high respect for a cashier who would bestow such gestures on a deserving customer.

May 29, 2009  

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