The woman first showed up at the bookstore about seven months ago, asking about mysteries. She was buying some books for a friend, someone who liked detective and crime stories. We talked for a bit about what her friend might like: suspenseful and twisty, but not hardcore violent. I suggested she try something by Mary Higgins Clark, and she left with a copy of On the Street Where You Live, which had the added benefit of a Jersey Shore setting.
She turned up again a few weeks later, happy to announce that her friend loved the Clark book and wanted some more. She left with a small stack of Clark titles: A Cry in the Night, Stillwatch, and a couple of others I don’t recall.
It was on her third visit that she told me her friend was stricken with a terminal illness and found great comfort in reading. We talked a while, and instead of going for more Mary Higgins Clark she went with a Sue Grafton title.
It’s been about a month since that last visit. I hope her friend is doing okay, and I hope she is, too.