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Fran Fuller: Fan Guest of Honor

Fran FullerWorking at Seattle Mystery Bookshop was the culmination of a lifetime of reading for me. I grew up in a small southern New Mexico town with an absolutely outstanding library, and my mom and grandmother were avid readers so I never stood a chance. I’ve always been drawn to puzzles, so mysteries were obvious. I did read Nancy and the Hardys and the Bobbseys, but I also went farther afield and fell hard for Bruce Campbell’s “Ken Holt” series. Yeah, I read horse stories and dog stories and cat stories. I was a girl, after all. But I always came back to the puzzles, and mysteries.

As a teacher, I managed to incorporate mysteries into my curriculum along with the required reading. Subversive as always. And when I became a seller/buyer for Half Price Books, being put in charge of the mystery section only made sense. Imagine the grief I gave my assistant manager when he got the Graftons out of order! It was at HPB that my tastes really deepened because I was caught up in the book world. When JB asked me at my interview for SMB who I read, I could reel off not just Jonathan Kellerman and Carolyn Hart but Rennie Airth and Barbara Hambly.

Now that I’m out of the book world officially, I can’t let go of it completely. I never will. I've met too many wonderful people, writers and fans and sellers and publishers and, well, you get the picture, and they’re so important to me, I can’t begin to articulate it. Books, especially mysteries, will always be my friends, but I’ve come a long way from that shy kid in small town NM, and I’ve grown to love the people behind the books. I can’t think of a greater gift.