Doug says the shop is really starting to "sing", and I tend to agree with him. I probably talk about all our wondrous cleaning and organizing too much, but it's wondrous! I recently asked Shelley to half-price all our sheet music; during this effort, she found a bunch of unpriced pieces, which I made Affordable (they were already Interesting):
I really like a lot of the illustrations on the covers of these old music, but not as much as I like the idea of some of these musicals. I had no idea that there was a musical version of "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court"! What will they think of next? And just look at the soulful gazes of some of those old-time stars ... ah, Sinatra, I never understood why older women thought you handsome till I saw you in this light!
Plus, this bear is just amazing-looking.
I spent a few unproductive minutes trying to imitate its facial expression, then Alan did it perfectly and I laughed forever. This whole stack of music bits is now $2.00-4.00 apiece (I think the only $4.00 one is Sinatra), and if anyone else wants to stop by and imitate bear expressions with me before someone snatches up that piece, I'm sure we'll have a fine time.
We acquired a bunch of cool Sherlock Holmes material recently, and I have thus discovered that the Holmesian subculture goes further than ever I imagined. Did you know that August Derleth, the famous fantasy/horror writer, was totally crazy about Sherlock Holmes? Check out this week's Favorite:
When Derleth heard that Arthur Conan Doyle intended to write no more Holmes stories, he took action by creating Solar Pons! Solar Pons, as I understand it, is basically just like Sherlock Holmes except that his cases are set slightly later (the 1920s-30s), and he is aware of -- admiring of! -- the great Holmes. Apparently Derleth wanted to simply continue the Holmes series -- he even wrote to Doyle and asked for permission! -- but Doyle refused, so Derleth simply created Pons. Indeed, it seems that August Derleth eventually published more Solar Pons stories than Doyle ever did Holmes stories. The Casebook of Solar Pons contains cases with names such as that of the "Fatal Glance", the "Spurious Tamerlane", the "Whispering Knights", etc. etc. .... you may also discover the secret of the "Haunted Library", the "Missing Huntsman", the "Sussex Archers" and heaven only knows how many other English things. This First Edition is $60.00, and we have several other Pons collections as well!
And for those who devote even more love to their Holmesian habit, we can offer Collector's Items:
The Illustrious Client's Casebooks were a series put out by (who else?) the "Illustrious Clients", a group whose shared love of Holmes led to fabulous writerly feats. As I glance through the third, I see that it contains some very recognizable names: Derleth -- of course -- and others like Vincent Starrett and Christopher Morley. It also contains all manner of literary thingies: essays and poems, pastiches and quizzes, parodies, "tales-in-verse", and even limericks! Isaac S. George's limerick, for instance:
There once was "The Woman" Irene
Whose mind was most active and keen.
With good-natured pleasure
She quite took his measure
And stole from the Master the scene.
I didn't get many of the inside jokes in these, since I haven't read an enormous amount of Holmes material myself; but I am charmed by the geekery involved in such an endeavor (being somewhat of a geek myself). Perhaps whoever buys this $200.00 third casebook will be able to fill me in a bit.
I'll look for mysteries to bring you from my conference, dear readers! With luck none will afflict the shop while I'm gone, and I'll return to the same quiet little place next week.