In the mystery business, everyone knows the name Otto Penzler. Bookstore owner, editor, publisher, writer, and all around amazing guy. He owns the Mysterious Bookshop in NYC. When I first visited many years ago, the shop was in midtown Manhattan, in a gothic looking structure that Edgar Allan Poe would have been proud to haunt. The shop has since moved much farther south on the island, to a big, bright space on Warren Street. This was the site chosen for the launch of the Great Mystery Bus Tour, and it was a great choice.
Okay, so here’s the funny thing. Atria had arranged to pick all us author/bus-mates up at our hotel at 5:30. So we’re waiting in the lobby for our ride. At 5:20 I get a cell phone call.
“Mr. Krueger, your car’s out front.”
My car? What about the other authors?
I step outside. There’s a big sheet of paper with my name on it in the Town Car window. My driver, a guy with a very thick east European accent says, “Yes, Mr. Krueger. Car only for you.”
So I figure, they’re sending a car for each of us. Those wonderful folks at Atria. I step back inside, give the others the word that I’ll see them at Otto’s store, and my driver whisks me away, far down the island. We get to the launch site and David Brown, our incredible Atria publicist and all-around great guy, gives me this horrified look and says, “Where are the others?”
Turns out, the driver was wrong. Car was not only for me.
Everyone who’d gathered at the Mysterious Bookshop waited patiently while the other authors grabbed a cab and arrived only fifteen minutes late. We all had a good laugh and agreed that if this is the worst snafu of the tour, we’ll be in great shape.
The launch, by the way, was a stellar event. A packed house. A wonderful way to hit the road.
The photo, by the way, is me beside our incredible bus. I’ll tell you more about this traveling Taj Mahal tomorrow.