|Book memories: John Ball
||[Aug. 24th, 2015|02:19 pm]
Back in 1986, the seventh novel in the Virgil Tibbs series by John Ball had been published and John was going to various bookstores in the area to do signings. At the time I was working at Grounds for Murder in San Diego and the signing he did there wasn't extremely well attended, but several devoted fans showed up to get Singapore in hardcover. I remember one of them was a regular who was an elderly woman who was always dressed sharply and with perfect hair. She and John were talking next to the counter then she grabbed a book off the pile and had him sign it. When he handed it back to her, she said, "Oh, I just love that Virgil Tibbs!"
John Ball died just over a year after that. The television show based on his books had aired a first season by then. I don't know what he thought of it. Since then, he's faded into semi-obscurity in the mystery world, but there are those of us who still remember him and what he accomplished in the genre before leaving us.