On The Road: Brad Parks

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Mr. Parks and the two Malmons.

Brad Parks recently completed his promotional tour (Dubbed  the Khaki is the New Black Tour) for THE GOOD COP (Read Bryan’s review), his fourth book.

Brad was lucky enough to visit Once Upon A Crime while the Twin Cities were receiving an April snowstorm. As a result, the turnout was a bit cozy. In addition to Dan and Kate Malmon, my wife and I, novelist Julie Kramer came by.

We were treated to a delightful event that included one of the most inspired readings (Uncle Bernie!) I have heard.

With the tour behind him, I asked Brad to tell me about some of the more memorable moments:

It started with a launch party organized by the Friends of the Essex (Va.) Public Library. It was attended by 120 folks, which maybe doesn’t sound THAT impressive, except that’s more than 1 percent of the entire population of Essex County, Va.

There was an event at a Barnes & Noble in New Jersey where eight people showed up. “Don’t feel bad,” the store manager told me. “Leeza Gibbons only got four.”

Jen Forbus and I wanted to get off campus during Left Coast Crime and ended up at a dive bar called “The Hatch Cover.” I was in a black tuxedo, having just played the role of James Bond in a Concealed Weapons Fashion Show. When I ordered a beer, the waitress – a cute young thang who couldn’t have been more than 23 – carded me. I asked her if she was serious – I mean, what’s the drinking age in Colorado? 90? – then produced my license (birth year: 1974). She took one look at it and said, “NO WAY!” It might have been the highlight of the tour. At the end of the meal, she asked if we needed anything else and I said, “Yeah, can you card me again?”

Later at Left Coast Crime, I got a hug from Lou Diamond Phillips, serenaded Laura Lippman and won the Lefty Award. Otherwise it was a pretty typical conference.

You missed your chance to hear Parks, but it is not too late to read the book. The Good Cop features reporter Carter Ross and is a fun read. Parks manages to mix humor and colorful characters with tight stories and a smart plot. Check him out.