I'd intended to cover a forgotten book by Anthony Berkeley today, but I've heard the sad news of the death of Enid Schantz, and so I've decided instead to pay a small tribute to her.
Enid and her husband Tom were American book-dealers, whom I met several times over the years. Charming and considerate people, with a great passion for mysteries. They ran a store called Rue Morgue, although in recent years they focused on online selling.
They also set up an imprint, Rue Morgue Press, which I've mentioned before on this blog, and which specialised in forgotten books - by such unlikely names as Maureen Sarsfield, as well as the better known Pamela Branch. I bought one of their Branch titles recently, when I was last in Oxford.
They also revived the complete works of Dorothy Bowers, a splendid writer, and their research on Bowers' short life was fascinating. When I last met them, they recommended me to try Clyde Clason, a very interesting writer I'd never heard of before. And their research on H.C. Bailey led to my pilgrimage to his home in North Wales a few months back. I tried to persuade them to republish Henry Wade, but alas to no avail; they weren't Wade fans. But if you check the Rue Morgue catalogue, you'll find plenty of little known gems.
Enid was a lovely lady, and I shall miss her, but I'll remember her not just with affection, but with admiration. I only wish I had been able to spend more time in her company.