The Sudden Loss of David Thompson

I’ve spent the better portion of the afternoon racking my brain trying to remember when I first met David Thompson. And I can’t. Which says less about the state of memory and more about how deeply woven into the mystery community fabric David was. If you were and are part of this world, you knew David. He simply was, with his tremendous enthusiasm for the genre that was his life from the time he started at Murder By the Book more than two decades ago. He inhabited this world as it inhabited him, spurring him to spin off from bookselling to publishing with Busted Flush Press, where he could release all those needlessly neglected books and shine some much-warranted light back upon them.

And the hell of is that things were going so damn well for David. He’d sold Busted Flush to Tyrus Books just weeks ago, prepping for the next stage of his career in the book trade. He still recommended key favorite books at MBTB and was a social media force, tirelessly tweeting and Facebooking and emailing, always on, always engaged. And there was McKenna Jordan, the love of his life, their story straight out of a romantic comedy, complete with a storybook wedding in an Edinburgh castle.

This isn’t the way it was supposed to end. David had enough life force for several people, and instead he’s gone at the way-too-young age of 38. He was meant for such great things, and now it’s up to us – the mystery community – to take the best of him and make it matter, make it mean something to those who didn’t have the pleasure of knowing him, even a little. McKenna has asked that no tributes be sent to the bookstore, but the best tribute I can think of is to buy a book, in person or by mail order. Maybe you’ve been thinking about picking up a Busted Flush title and put it off. Buy one now. Even if it’s merely symbolic, as gestures go it has to mean a hell of a lot.

R.I.P., David Thompson. Condolences to his family, by birth and through the bookstore, and especially to McKenna. Other tributes are linked below, and many more will pour in throughout the day, I expect, but first I’ll sign off with this.

 A memorial is planned, and more details will be posted here when they are available.

UPDATE: On Sunday, September 26, there will be a celebration of David’s life at the Briar Club, 2603 Timmons Lane, Houston, 77027, between 2 and 5 PM. More information on the celebration, as well as on a fund set up for those who wish to donate money in David’s name, is available at the Murder By the Book website.