I have always been more of a library guy. I borrow books read them and return for another person to enjoy. Up until my late twenties I only owned a handful of books most of them reference or required for school. Truth be told I am still more of a library guy but as I've gotten older I find myself more willing to buy books. (Side note I do collect items kitschy things, comics, koa items, memorabilia, so why not books). I had been to this books sale once or twice when I was very little and my mom bought me some random Batman and Superman comics. Then I did not return until 2005 and I bought a coffee table book "A Day in the Life of Hawaii" and a snorkeling book for a girl I was dating at the time.
It was not until the 2009 book sale when I started my annual attendance and my search for The Judas Goat. As some of you readers may remember 2009 was a bit of a bad year (click here to read about 2009), by the summer I was at a new job working at Barnes and Noble and trying to find my way in the world. As I was feeling lost and in a routine I was not super happy with I found myself turning to books more than ever.
I have been a fan of mystery books since I was little (Encyclopedia Brown Anyone?) one of my favorite authors (mystery or otherwise) is Robert B. Parker (he sadly passed away in January 2010, but he died at his desk writing!). His books were immensely popular (70s-00s) and spawned the TV Series "Spenser for Hire" and the "Jesse Stone" TV Movie series, as well as the big screen western Appaloosa. Parker is the author that made me want to read mysteries as an adult and eventually write mystery books for my in progress Master of Fine Arts degree. The first book I read of his was The Godwulf Manuscript a true heir to Chandler and Phillip Marlowe. It is one of the few books I've read more than once. The novel features Parker's Private Investigator Spenser searching for the medieval book of the title and running into corruption, cults, and murder at a Boston University Campus.
By 2009 I was on the fifth book in the Spenser mystery series: The Judas Goat. This book is less of a mystery and more of an adventure and character study. Spenser is hired to track down and kill a terrorist group who killed (collateral damage style) a millionaire's family and left the millionaire in a wheelchair. While most of the books take place in Boston, this entry finds Spenser traveling to London and Canada. Along for the ride is Spenser's badass friend Hawk who carries a shotgun under his leather coat.
|The Hardcover Edition I passed on|
As you probably guessed I went back and searched for hours and could not find that hardcover edition I had put back on the shelf. Someone bought it during my time of wishy-washiness. From that day forward I vowed to find myself a used older edition of The Judas Goat. For the next four years I returned to the book sale searching for this one specific book. It became something of a game I played with myself in every used book store I went into I checked the mystery section for a copy of this book. I never found it. Although I always looked for the book I began to tell myself it would never be, I would never find it.
August 2014. I was in a bit of a funk (actually I guess like all people the funk comes and goes). On this day the funk was there. I went down to Berkeley looking to purchase something to make me feel better (I know not the best tactic but it was what I was doing at the time). I purchased some comic books on Shattuck Ave. Ghostbusters ongoing series (that sadly ended in September 2014) is something wonderful to behold but I still felt a little sad because I had not been reading Ghostbusters just purchasing the issues and saving them to read when I had time.
On my way back to the car I was passing Moe's Books. I had been there several times before and always looked for the book but never found it. I decided to play my game and headed for the basement where the used mystery books are kept. I scanned the Parker area and I thought I saw the title. I passed it and then my eyes darted back. There it was on the shelf. A different edition than I had ever seen.