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September 14, 2010


Jennifer Jordan

Thanks for putting all of this in one place. He was so damned lovely.

Jim Winter

Having a hard time not crying as I'm at work. Will probably bawl my eyes out on the way home.

Dana Kaye

Thanks for compiling this. David was one of the first booksellers I met as a publicist. He treated me with such enthusiasm and respect, I could never forget him. The mystery community has truly lost a great man and the world feels different without him.


I'm sorry for the loss of your friend, Sarah. It sounds like David was a wonderful man. I wish I'd known him.

Craig Thornton

There was a documentary in 1995 called "Frank and Ollie" about two of the animators who worked for Disney back in the golden years (1930s through the 1960s). The beautiful thing about these two men was that they seemed to have THE PERFECT JOB for themselves. Even in their twilight years, their enthusiasm was obvious when talking about the movies they had helped make.

It is very rare to find anyone who seems to have found THE PERFECT JOB. David Thompson was one of the only people I knew who fit that category. I will miss him, as will most anyone who was ever around him for any length of time.


This is just so shocking. I'm not old and he was several years younger than me. I didn't know him well, but damn... My heart goes out to McKenna.


I was one of those folks who only met David once but was engaged by the "social media force". He regularly Tweeted me with book suggestions based on my Tweets (the latest, "Gatsby's Vineyard" was based on my obsessive Tweeting about Finger Lakes wines). I blogged about our only "in person" meeting today, and I've been reflecting all day on the connections we are able to make via social media, over shared interests. My condolences go out to his family and friends.


I can't believe it. Did ed call the ambulance company to confirm?

Susan Albert

Bill and I have known David since the publication of the first China Bayles book in 1992. He was unfailingly kind, enthusiastic, irreverent, joyful, and incredibly dedicated to books and book people. Such a huge loss--leaves an enormous hole in all our lives.

Charles Ardai

I was floored when I got this news earlier today -- such a terrible, terrible shock. I was just talking with David a couple of weeks ago, and he was (as always) generous above and beyond the call, irrepressibly enthusiastic, knowledgeable and well-connected, incredibly kind, friendly, decent. And I know the Tyrus sale gave him a degree of comfort and relief (the stress of running a small, independent press out of your own pocket can be considerable); I was so excited to see what it freed him up to do next.

38. Jesus.


Lisa Brackmann

I only met David once--the second stop on my first book tour, just this past June. He and McKenna made me feel so welcome. Funny, warm, wonderful people, the kind of folks who made me say, I'm writing another book and coming back to Houston just to hang out with them.

So terribly sad. My condolences to his family, friends and loved ones.

David Phillips

Wow, this really hurts to hear news like this. David was one of the truly good guys in the business, his enthusiasm could even come through in an email. Just last month was wishing him and McKenna a happy anniversary and many happy years together, my heart breaks for her now.

My condolences also to McKenna, his family, MBB and all those he touched. He will be missed.


Forgive me if you've read this elsewhere, but David was such a good guy that one wants to talk about him.

I spent this evening at a reading for a crime novel set in South Africa, which means I was telling people about Roger Smith's "Wake Up Dead," one of my year's top three, or two, or one.

I found out about the book last year in Houston. I'd bought a bunch of books at Murder by the Book. Then David stuck an ARC of "Wake Up Dead" in my hands and said, "I think you might like this."

What an ambassador for his genre and his industries. What a nice guy he was.
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"

Jeanne Devlin

David was always so enthusiastic when we had authors with new mysteries to tell the world -- and especially Houston -- about. You could feel him like a force of nature on the phone, as his mind engaged and the plans started forming.
It was so good knowing mysteries had such a lovely champion.
He will be sorely missed.

Charles Roberts

I had known David for 20+ years. What a man! he had more energy in his index fingers than most have in their whole body. If you ever watched him type, you'd know what I mean. I can't begin to tell you how saddened and shocked I was to hear of his death. David was one of the good guys whose love of the business and enthusiasm was infectious. He always made me feel welcomed and appreciated and I think he was this way with everyone. His passing is a great loss to all of us who knew him, admired him and called him a friend. A void has been created that won't be filled. My heartfelt condolences to McKenna and David's family.

Harley Jane Kozak

A prince of a man. Booksellers are some of the kindest, most generous people on the planet, but even so, David stood out.

My heart goes out to McKenna and all who were close to him.

Cornelia Read

Sarah, thank you for this. And Harley is right, he was a prince of a man. True menschismo.

Suzanne Crawford

Everytime I talked with David, his love and passion for books, the book industry, and his life were infectious. He will truly be missed.

kathy d.

This news is so incredibly sad. What a loss to his family, his friends and those in the mystery world who knew David Thomson. He sounds like a wonderful person who made a make on all who knew him.

Does anyone know what happened to him?

kathy d.

Errata: I meant to say that David Thomson sounds like a wonderful person who made a mark on all who knew him. Apologies for 3 a.m. posting.

Nancy Dillow

I want to thank all those whose schedules were flexible enough to be able to come to the Celebration of Life for David this afternoon. I was both amazed and speechless at the number of people who showed up. It was exactly the type of "party" that David would have enjoyed. On behalf of David's sister Shelley and his brother Oneal, I want to tell you how gratified I was by all the wondrous things you said about my son. I hope that I have made friends with a lot of you that I had never met before. Please tell me the stories so I can share them with his family. Ben, with Tyrus Press, wants to put out an anthology of the stories that have emerged of David's work throughout the years. Please check his website for the information.

Shelley, Oneal and I will do our best to tell you the stories of his growing up years so that you will have a small hint of why he is the way he is.

Nancy Thompson Dillow, his mom. armadillow@windstream.net

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