We went to the library on Saturday, as part 1 of a two-part activity. Part TWO was to go to the Splash Park, which is of course Mr F's favorite thing in the entire world, ahead of even Cheese Puffs:
but Mr Bunches hates the Splash Park, and has to go play on the playground while we are there, which he is ALSO not crazy about, since he tends to wilt in the sun and it was about 95 degrees out.
So the library was first, in order to make sure Mr Bunches, too, had something fun about the trip. While we are at the library, I usually read a book or two with Mr F while Mr Bunches finds a new alphabet book to check out. Mr F sometimes picks out a DVD or two to borrow, and we play in the reading room a bit. I also wander around and look at books on display to see if there are any I might want to check out, electronically if possible because this is, after all, the future.
This Saturday, Mr F and I first stopped at the computer to check the catalog, because the book Someone Is Killing The Great Chefs Of Europe
had popped into my head.
I read this book once. I am not sure when I read it. I want to say I was about 16, which would mean I read the book in 1985. The timing on that would work out, because the book itself was published sometime before 1978; I know that because there was a movie, Who Is Killing The Great Chefs Of Europe, made in 1978.
That is everything I know about this book, at this point: everything I can remember, at least. I haven't gone and looked up anything else about it. I didn't even remember who the author was (no big surprise there, for me at least.)
I figured this was perfect for the library. I had previously tried to borrow it from the online library, but there was no e-copy of the book. (Odd, because there is a Kindle version of it on Amazon.) So I was resigned to reading it in hard copy, but the library didn't even have that! The only book the library had that came close was Someone Is Killing The Great Chefs Of America. It's by the same authors, which means that there is a series potentially, of books about killing chefs on various continents?
I know why the book popped into my head. I was listening to the newest podcast I love, Mystery Show by Starlee Kine. On it, she solves mysteries for people. Minor mysteries, like the one that made me think of chefs: a friend of hers had a belt buckle with an inscription on it, a really fancy belt buckle with a little working simulacra of a toaster, and Kine tracked down the chef it belonged to and gave it back to him, getting the story behind it. (The podcast is really really great. You should listen to it.)
That made me think of chefs, which made me remember reading this book, which made me look for it at the library. Only it's not there. So I have added it to my list of books to buy and keep. Heirloom books, books that I want in hard copy because they mean something to me, personally, and which I keep on a shelf to look at and (like Footfall) sometimes read.
Already off of that list I have bought, and have to keep forever:
Foucault's Pendulum, by Umberto Eco
A Prayer For Owen Meany, by John Irving.
Footfall, by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle.
The Last Of The Really Great Whangdoodles, by Julie Andrews.
Bridge To Terabithia, which I mentioned here a while back.
Still to buy:
The Master of Magics series by Lyndon Hardy: I've found books 2 and 3 in Milwaukee at a bookstore near my office but need to still buy them.
Stranger In A Strange Land.
The Mouse That Roared
The Hotel New Hampshire
among others, now joined by Someone Is Killing The Great Chefs Of Europe.
Maybe one day I'll do a memoir built around books that were important to me.
The thing about this book is it kind of bugs me that I can't remember a single thing about it, other than I read it, one time. I can't really remember how old I was, or why I might have read it, or how I even found out about it. It doesn't seem like the kind of thing a teenage me would have read. I don't even like mysteries!
Like my memories of the book, the book itself barely seems to exist. The cover image on Amazon is one of those blank placeholder covers. The author page seems sketchy, like it was put together by bots. There is no Wikipedia entry for the book or the authors (but there is for the movie, which also seems weird: books I think have a far greater tendency to make a lasting impact than movies). The cover of the book on Goodreads is clearly a photo of an actual book taken by someone and posted there. That's where it's listed as "Someone Is Killing #1" but when you click that link it just shows you a list consisting of solely that book.
When I first thought of the book, it was merely a curiosity. I wanted to check it out to re-read it and see what had made me want to read it first, way back when, if I did. But having found that the book's existence in this world is tenuous, at best, I now feel almost as if I need to save it.