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10

Friday

John Keller is an average guy living an ordinary life. He collects stamps and does jury duty. Every once in a while, though, he goes out of town and kills someone. Keller is a hit man—a hit man, it seems, who finds himself a target in Hit List, the second in Lawrence Block’s latest mystery series. His first series, which featured protagonist Evan Tanner, was published in the ’60s by Gold Medal, the champion of the paperback original. (Block now has more than 50 novels to his credit—and that’s not even counting his early, pseudonymous soft-core-sex books. Block certainly doesn’t count them, so don’t ask him to sign any of those rent-paying quickies.) Block is also a champion of independent booksellers. At his book signing at Mystery Books (as at all of his signings), he will sign any of his own books that you buy tonight, but he will sign only three already-owned books for each new hardback purchased. That way, he says, the publisher is happy, the bookstore is happy, and—most of all—he is happy. At 6 p.m. at Mystery Books, 1715 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free. (202) 483-1600. (Mark W. Sullivan)