Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Right from the Start

In my column this week for the Kirkus Reviews Web site, I look way back to my beginnings as a crime-fiction reader, and the woman who introduced me to this genre: my high school’s well-read assistant librarian, Rosemary Lacey (shown in the ancient yearbook photo at right). As I explain:
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.

Most importantly, though, Mrs. Lacey passed along a cheap Bantam paperback copy of
The Moving Target, by Ross Macdonald.
You’ll find my full column here.

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.

1 comment:

Alan Orloff said...

I grew up reading scifi, then horror. In my twenties, I was working in Boston and had a boss who was gushing about this detective series, set right there in Boston. From that point on, I was a total Robert B. Parker fan, and I began to read other wiseguy PI books and mysteries and thrillers. So thanks, Pat Catalano, wherever you are!