She was then in her mid-40s, a short but spirited woman with an ill-behaved head of gray hair, oversized glasses and a bright smile she shared with everyone who entered her domain. Although my responsibilities were limited, I found myself spending a great deal of free time working in the back office of that library and chatting with the warm-hearted and delightful Mrs. Lacey. She was as enthusiastic a reader as one could hope to find, with an omnivorous taste in fiction. It was she who introduced me to horror writers Tom Tryon (The Other, Night Magic) and Stephen King, as well as historical novelist Taylor Caldwell (Captains and the Kings), Peter Benchley (Jaws) and many others.You’ll find my full column here.
Most importantly, though, Mrs. Lacey passed along a cheap Bantam paperback copy of The Moving Target, by Ross Macdonald.
After reading that piece, I hope you will add a comment on the Kirkus page recalling your own start as a crime, mystery, and thriller fan. When did you first discover these books? Who initiated you into the genre? And how did your encounter with crime fiction impact your life? I’m sure I won’t be the only person interested in reading your recollections.