My second bookish event this past weekend was the release party for Duane Swierczynski's new novel, Expiration Date, held at Port Richmond Books on Sunday. If you missed it, fear not, for Swierczy will be signing his new book in Jenkintown on Wed night at the Hiway Theatre (as well as introducing Hickey & Boggs).
Swierczy didn't read from his new book, but he did give a funny, insightful talk about his creative process and his love/hate relationship with Philly. Our noir city always looms large in his works and Expiration is no exception. And you get two Philadelphias! Mickey Wade, a journalist stuck living in his grandfather's digs in the Frankford section of the city, discovers a way to travel back to the Frankford of his own childhood, 1972. Can he prevent the murder of his father? Can he prevent his own murder?
Boy, does he wish he had Mr Peabody's help.
A good time was had by all. How can you beat beer and soft pretzels, surrounded by a great collection of books. Greg Gillespie, owner of the shop, regaled us with a story of how he once shared a hotel room bed with author Michael Avallone (whose worn, cigarette-burned writing desk now resides at Port Richmond Books). Avallone, in boxer shorts and striped knee-high sweat socks, read Gillespie to sleep with a recitiation from memory of the opening of his first Ed Noon detective novel, The Tall Dolores.
Thanks to Swierczy for writing such a swell book and for bringing beer and pretzels to the event. He was so excited at the party, he even wet his pants. I swear. I saw his wet crotch. Swierczy, of course, gives a different version of events.