I'm just so stunned. I've announced the death of authors before, ones that I admired. But, I've never had to announce the death of an author that I knew and hosted at the Velma Teague Library. Leighton Gage was one of the first authors to come to the library. In fact, his publisher, Soho Press, said he wanted to come there because he loved my blog. I was hesitant because he was a first time author, and his Mario Silva mysteries were set in Brazil. I warned them I might not have an audience. He came anyway, and he came on a rainy night (very unusual in Arizona), and enjoyed himself enough that he came back again. Our timing just never seemed right. The second time, he and his lovely wife, Eide, came on the day of Glendale's Chocolate Affaire, a day filled more with chocolate lovers than mystery lovers. But, he bought Eide chocolate covered strawberries.
His daughter, Melina, announced his death today, followed by a beautiful statement by Eide.
"'My Dearest Friends,
The light of my life was extinguished last night.
Leight passed to eternity peacefully in his sleep.
Should we cry because he died or smile because he lived?'"
A little of both, Eide. I'm going to miss his Mario Silva novels, and his notes. The last time we corresponded, I sent him a couple issues of Bookpage when they raved about his most recent book, Perfect Hatred. He wanted to share the review with his daughters. I'm going to miss him. Rest in Peace, Leighton.