Today is the birthday of the presiding spirit of paperback mysteries, Milly Zysman. This is the small bolt of lightning who has been there to answer questions about “I’ve just finished the last Sue Grafton! Who can i read next who’s nearly as good?” She was at home with cozies and thrillers, and made us a heap of money by spreading her knowledge around.
For a couple of years, she worked a table at the Farmer’s Market by the Museum of Contemporary Art. She would buy cheese and a pint of blueberries from the vendors there, and then hand people a blueberry, slice of cheese, a cracker, and a Book fair bookmark. We HAD customers who would say, “I never heard of this Book fair, but this lady at the farmer’s market gave me cheese and fruit and told me I had to come.” Milly was NOT someone who could sit still.
This was why, when they told her her kidneys were failing, she declined dialysis. “I can’t sit still for two hours!” she told me. They told her she would be dead by mid-February. That was mid-February, 2016. She disappointed her doctors so thoroughly by making it this far that they told the New York Times on her. In the Times interview she gave credit to the black and white postcards she bought so she could color them in and give them to us to sell at the A.C. McClurg Bookstore.
She was troubled when, for the very first time, she could not summon the strength to take up her position in Paperback Mystery this year. Her greetings go out to the lovers of Mystery (or blueberries). If anyone has greetings in reply for her ninety-third (and probably final) birthday, we can pass those along.