Frisco Beat: Big Sale at Kayo; or, The Adventure of the French Translator

Yesterday I met up with noir writer Kent Harrington from Posse McMillan and Nordine Haddad, Kent’s French translator who is in the burg for a little visit before he and Kent wander off to NoirCon in Philly in a week or so. Did parts of the tour for their amusement, introduced Nordine to the name Charles Willeford. Told him to start with Miami Blues, if he likes that, then plunge in.

When he was a kid Kent’s dad worked in various buildings in the downtown part of Market Street, and he has vivid memories of the city as it was. You know me, I really like the city as it was — the city as it was yesterday, with traffic completely stopped on major freeways for hour after hour all over the area all day, hey, not so much.

As we wandered around Kent decided we should duck into Kayo Books, Post between Leavenworth and Hyde. He did a signing there roughly twenty years ago, for Dia de los Muertas I believe it was. Pretty sure I attended that one. The first Kent novel published by Dennis McMillan.

Got the news from the Kayo guys that at the end of this month they will no longer be open to folk just walking in, like we were doing. At first I thought they were abandoning the storefront, continuing only as an online biz — if so, another loss to that block similar to the closing of the House of Fans.

But no, they’re keeping the space. You can make an appointment if you’re a collector rolling in from out of town.

Guess it’s kind of like when I used to do the Hammett tour every Sunday during the year, year after year, and finally began to cut back. After twenty-one years they don’t want to man the desk for a few days every week, but they’ll still sell you stuff.

Turns out we walked into the midst of an 80% off almost everything sale. They had an ex-library copy of the first edition of Miami Blues, priced around $35ish. But knock 80% off so it was under a tenspot, and Nordine decided he’d grab it and find out real fast if he’d like Willeford or not.

I spotted a perfect copy of the Solar Pons miscellany A Praed Street Dossier by August Derleth for $30 — or $6.50 on sale. Guess finally I will be reading some Solar Pons. . . .

If you’re in striking distance of Kayo, the 80% sale continues today and tomorrow. Next weekend, Thursday-Friday-Saturday, as they clear out the stock Kayo will do a final slashing of prices down to 90% off.

You’ve been informed. 90% off.

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