In 1977, Bernie Rhodenbarr made his debut in Burglar’s Can’t Be Choosers. In 1995, he had his seventh appearance in The Burglar Who Thought He Was Bogart. And eight years later, in late 2003, a woman in O’Fallon, Illinois, bought the original manuscript of Bogart.
Last fall, I’m sorry to report, she passed away. And last week her daughter got in touch, and we arranged that I’d find a new owner for the manuscript. I’ve just posted it on eBay, with a minimum opening bid of 99¢.
If you’re a collector, well, note that this is a unique item, the copy-edited manuscript that went to the printer and was returned to me after publication. It’s signed on the title page, and there are pencil corrections throughout. I’ve been assured that I could best monetize the item by donating it (or even selling it) to a university library, but I’d much rather it go to someone who wants to own it rather than disappear into an institution’s archives.
There’s no reserve on this. The high bidder gets it, period. But I have a feeling it’s going to run you more than 99¢…