Monday, September 29, 2008

Even Hit Men Love Collecting the Classics

I've been reading reviews of Hit and Run, the latest novel by Lawrence Block in his Keller series. The main protagonist is a paid assassin who happens to be a stamp collector. Although I'm not into mysteries, our local public library had a copy which I had to, um, checkout. While I knew Keller was a stamp collector, I just assumed that hit man types would be into something like the Brazilian Bullseyes or maybe guns on stamps topicals. It is with some chagrin that I must report that Keller collects the world, 1840-1940 (plus the British empire through 1952--i.e., the range covered by the Scott Classics catalog). Do I need to worry that collectors of the first 100 years of philately may have latent homicidal tendencies? Fortunately, we are told that he owns ten albums and and it would taken millions of dollars to fill them, so that eliminates Keller as a "Blue" International collector. That's a relief. Now if you are a "Brown" International or Specialty Album collector...

While on the topic of books, I'm halfway through Helen Morgan's most entertaining Blue Mauritius and am looking forward to the US release of The Error World: An Affair with Stamps by Simon Garfield. At some point, I also need to read Nicholas Courtney’s The Queen’s Stamps — The Authorized History of the Royal Philatelic Collection.

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