Saturday, January 31, 2009

I Heart Toronto

I’m in Toronto, at the gorgeous hotel that H.B. Fenn, the Canadian distributor of my books, parked me at after the fun and busy events of yesterday.

It was great to meet so many librarians and teachers at the Ontario Library Association’s SuperConference at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. I signed a lot of books and had the privilege of chatting with so many people who are absolutely passionate about books. What a treat!

A treat also to meet Marian Misters and JD Singh and their cinnamon standard poodle puppy at Sleuth of Baker Street in Toronto. The store is at 1600 Bayview Avenue, in the Leaside area of Toronto. The night before (while I was still in Ottawa, where I visited the fabulous Prime Crime Mystery Bookstore on Bank Street) J.D. and Marian had hosted a launch for José Latour’s new book Crimes of Passion (McLelland & Stewart).

I didn’t realize as I read the book -- because I don’t know Toronto very well at all -- but parts of the book take place very near this great mystery bookstore. Hey: I bet that’s no coincidence! And one can’t help but wondering if Latour had to physically stop himself from having one of his characters drop by the store to buy a great book!

Publicist extraordinaire Lisa Mior had me popping in and out of so many taxis all day, I wasn’t sure where I was half the time. (And there are some very interesting taxi drivers in Toronto, BTW.) But we ended our day at a lovely gathering of booksellers at a great Italian place. Wonderful food, great company -- more books to sign of course -- and really, really super to get the chance to meet people actively involved in the marketing of my books.

This morning, since I was in Toronto, it seemed somehow appropriate that my friend, Toronto-based author John McFetridge (Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere) should e-mail that I should grab a copy of the Globe and Mail, which I of course did, only to find a photo of me and a nice mention of Death Was in the Picture in Margaret Canon’s super twice monthly crime fiction column. Some great company, too, with reviews of A Secret Alchemy by Emma Darwin (Headline), Portobello by Ruth Rendell (Doubleday Canada), Dante's Numbers by David Hewson (Macmillan), A Beautiful Place to Die by Malla Nunn (Atria), Contagious by Scott Sigler (Crown) and Coast Growers by John Gleeson (RendezVous).

About Death Was in the Picture, Canon says, in part:
Those too young to have grown up on stories of survival in the Dirty Thirties may find this novel informative. It's intended as a clever bit of escapism -- back to the days of the original King Kong and Busby Berkeley dance routines -- but the scenes of joblessness and want are a bit too much like the evening news to be much of a flight from reality.
This seems the perfect end to my week in Ontario. Later today I’ll fly West. The tour isn’t over yet, though. I’ll post more tales from the road soon. Before that, though, I’ll be blogging at Minotaur’s blog, Moments in Crime for the next week, beginning tomorrow.

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