Some people enter your life and leave an indelible mark.  David Thompson of Murder By The Book, the mystery book store in Houston, was one of those people.

And now, too soon, he’s gone.  At the young age of 38, David passed away on Monday, September 13.

No one loved mystery novels and the authors who wrote them more than he did.  His business, his life, centered around promoting these books.  I did several signings at his store–two for true crime and two for my mysteries. (photo on left)

I’m not a big name, New York Times bestseller like many of the writers who graced Murder by the Book, but David always treated me as if I was.

He was a great guy, an energetic advocate and one-of-a-kind.  He will be missed by authors and readers all over the country.  I feel honored to have known him.  I extend my heartfelt sympathies to David’s wife, McKenna, and to all the staff at my favorite book store in the world, Murder by the Book.

Adding to my sadness are memories of my dad, Leon Butcher.  Wednesday would have been his 83rd birthday.  But we lost him five years ago on the same day Katrina launched its assault on New Orleans.  This week has been one of reflection and sorrow.  And a reminder of our vulnerability and mortality.