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January 25, 2010



This is terrible news! I will miss you. And, while I wish you best of luck on your new endeavors, it's definitely a sad day for the Indy metro. Ohio is lucky to have you.

Gerald So

Best of luck, Jim.

Hank Phillippi Ryan

JIM!!! You are the best...the absolute genuine article. We all adore you, and I can't wait to hear what wonderful things
happen to you...

You have helped each and every one of us with your advice, and your humor, and your skill, and your amazing knowledge and devotion to the mystery world.!

YOu have created a world of friends and admirers and colleagues..and that is something the will never change.


The mystery world weeps ~ but this is all so understandable. Thanks for giving us insight into the publishing industry. And thanks too for the warmth you have always shown to writers, esp. the new kids on the block.

Joanna Campbell Slan

Many hugs to you and your wife. I can only imagine how hard this decision is for all of you. That said, the people at Kenyon College should be doing major cartwheels! I look forward to seeing you at your new store. It's just another chapter, my friend, the book is still open.


This is sad news, indeed. I enjoyed getting to know you last year in Denver at ALA, at Malice and of course at the wonderful event that you arranged for my first signing at TMC. Not only did you get a great crowd for a newbie, you got a couple of dozen people to stick around for my talk on Tanzania (not an easy thing to sell!) Would that energy, smarts and passion counted for more in this economy. Good luck to you and your family.

Vicki Lane

These are strange times in the world of books and the world in general, alas! -- and this is sad news. Best wishes to you and yours in the move and the new job. And of course you'll still be a part of the world of mystery! Keep us posted!

Keith Raffel

Jim, Alas! It's disappointing to see you closing. Glad though you were able to find another position that will keep you in the book business. Best of luck, Keith

Roberta Isleib

Jim, you are a trooper! Hats off to all you have done for the mystery community, Sisters in Crime in particular. I'm very sad about your store but so glad you found a new place in the book business--they are darned lucky to have you!

Jamie Freveletti

So sad to read this. Thank you for your insights here and your help at Bouchercon. You helped make my first B'con as a published author successful.

Best of luck in the new store! They are lucky to have you.

Sharon Fiffer

So sorry to hear you're closing, Jim. The work you did on Bouchercon was phenomenal--a great conference and everyone who attended owes his/her gratitude. Kenyon College has a magical campus--I love it there--and they are so lucky to now have you. I hope you and your family thrive there!

Wendelin Van Draanen

You and your family are such gems. I feel for you and the hard decision this must have been. I also sypmathize with Jennie's works situation, as my husband's going through (what sounds like) a very similar situation. The big picture is compromised for short term gains (and downsizing bonuses). It's beyond sad, it's stupid. (As is getting info at a retail store and then buying on-line.) But I know your new position and situation will bring lots of opportunity and joy. Here's to your new beginnings!



I understand fully, but man it is such a sad day to hear of this.

But I know you'll still be a main part of the mystery / thriller community

Keep you chin up


G.M. Malliet

I wish you the best, Jim.

You did everything right, never doubt it.

Patricia Sprinkle

As always, you have keen insights into the problems facing you and the systems that create them. Thanks for sharing this very frank analysis of how the current book world and economic crisis are affecting your family. It resonates with a lot of us. I am so glad you have found a place at Kenyon, and like Roberta, I hope they know how lucky they are to have you. Best wishes for a happy landing.

Tom Schreck

Sounds like you're staying true to your mission and just adapting to the crummy environment.

Thank you so much for supporting this fringe mystery writer...I'll never forget it.

Jane K Cleland

Thank you, Jim, for everything. I look forward to working with you in the future.

Warmly, Jane

Con Lehane

So sorry to see the store go. You are truly one of the bright lights of the mystery world. I hope when the smoke clears and you've settled in at Kenyon that you'll find a way to continue to be a major presence in the mystery community. Best of everything for you and your family.

Rick Helms

The really sad thing is that your situation is so typical, Jim. I hate to the TMC go the way of so many indie mystery booksellers. It's a depressing trend.

I hope you have a much better experience at Kenyon, but this is as much our loss as it is yours. Very best wishes for success in your new position.

Sarah Smith

Jim, I've had the privilege of knowing you since the days of LMI and Eastgate. You've spread your vision of bookselling through Crum Creek Press, IMBA, Drood, Deadly Passions, the books, the terrific Bouchercon 2009, and The Mystery Company. Such valuable work, and it's not going away. One door closes but the road stretches wide to Ohio.

Jennie, the family, and the good folks at The Mystery Company, the same to you, and I'm so sorry for this upheaval in your lives. It's a sad economy right now. Here's to better times.

Mike Befeler

I'm sorry to hear the store will be closing. You've made a contribution to the mystery world that is greatly appreciated. Good luck with the new endeavors.

Mike Befeler,
Author of LIVING WITH YOUR KIDS IS MURDER, Lefty Award nominee for best humorous mystery

Deb Baker

I never made it to your store but it's always been on my wish list. Best of luck in the future!


Hi Jim, Nice to meet you at Bouchercon, brief though it was, and I hope you made some money with my Stieg Larsson translations. Reminds me of folding up Fjord Press after 20 years; it ain't easy. Best of luck at Kenyon -- looks like some nice hills around there too. Steve

Terrill Lankford


Very, very sorry to hear this news. I wish you and everybody at the store the very best in your next endeavors.

Good luck!

Terrill Lankford

Katherine Hall Page

Oh, Jim. It's hard to take in that you, of all people, won't have a mystery book store any longer. When I think of all the ones in business in the 80's when I started, it makes me sad, and angry. I am glad that the Press will keep going, though, and Kenyon is a wonderful place. Guess I'm looking for silver linings. I thought Bouchercon was such a triumph that it would carry you up to great heights. Hope one of the conventions you mentioned will be Malice.
And don't even get me started on your wife's situation. Something very wrong going on in business these days, and politics...
With great regret, Katherine

Elizabeth Zelvin

Jim, please don't doubt for a second that you did absolutely everything you could have not only to make The Mystery Company work for you and your family and staff, but also for the readers and authors who found such a warm welcome at the store. Wishing you satisfying work and lots less stress at Kenyon, and sending you big hugs!

Julie Kramer

Jim, the Mystery Company was one of my favorite stops last summer. You deserved success for all your hard work in supporting authors and making this past Bouchercon so memorable. I feel despair at how independent bookstores are struggling. If you can't make it, who can? Best of luck as you reinvent yourself.


So glad I got to see you at Bcon and was hoping the sales would turn it around for you. You're such a part of the mystery community we won't let you go that easily.

Libby Hellmann

Oh, Jim... what can I say? Ever since we first met at an ALA convention years ago, I've had nothing but admiration for your knowledge and love for the genre. I'm so sorry we will not see as much of you in future... but our loss is Kenyon's gain.

I hope things settle down for Jenny. Please know I'm thinking of you.

And like Roberta and Patty, I want everyone to know how lucky we were to have our first "male" board member at SINC. You are without peer.

Shane Gericke

Jim, we hardly knew ye! Seriously, your moving on is a tremendous loss to the bookselling community, as well as the writing world. I can say for all of us that we'll miss you tremendously. Great good luck with the new gig, and my best to your wife and family.

Phil Dunlap

Jim: What an asset you have been to our whole community. Your advice and friendship has seen me from my first book to my sixth, coming in August. I don't think I need to tell you what a loss this is to the many authors you've stood by, promoted, and encouraged. I wish you and your family the best and a future full of promise.


I'm so sorry to hear this sad news, but I'm glad that you've been able to think it all through and make a good decision for your family/

Bouchercon 2009 rocked, and I hope to see you in San Francisco - we'll raise a toast to that vanishing breed, the independent bookseller.

Caryn St.Clair

All the best in the future. I'll miss stopping in when we're in town.

John McFetridge

Thank you for such an honest and open post.

Good luck.

Beverle Graves Myers

I wish you the best of luck, Jim. Glad to hear we'll still see you on the mystery front. Hope to make it on Saturday.

Bev Myers

Hallie Ephron

It's hard to imagine the mystery community without Jim and The Mystery Company. Our loss is Kenyon's gain - such a great school and a wonderful place for you to end up. So glad to hear you'll still be sharing your opinions and publishing.

Janet Koch

Good luck, Jim.

Kaye Barley

Wishing you and your family all the best in your future endeavors, Jim.

CJ West

It was a pleasure to meet you at Bouchercon this year, Jim. So sorry to hear that this chapter is closing for now. I wish you and your family the best in this transition and whatever may unfold for you with Kenyon, Crum Creek and beyond.

BV Lawson

In 2007 when I started my blog, I had a long list of author book signings at indie mystery bookstores around the country that I posted each month. That list has shrunk noticeably in just two years, and now I found I'm taking off Mystery Company, too. Every time I have to remove a bookstore from that list, it really, truly hurts, and I feel a deep pang of loss. There will be some who will say about another store closing, "so what?" but as the wise saying goes, no one really appreciates what they've lost until it's gone. Thanks for your years of support to books and crime fiction, and best wishes to you and your family going forward.

Mary Jane Maffini

Jim, I am so sorry to hear you are moving on. You have made an immense contribution to the mystery community in so many way and you'll be missed. I am glad to hear you have some mystery projects in the works. I wish you the best of everything in your adventures. Hope to see you again in the future!

Judy Clemens

So sorry this had to happen, Jim, but I wish you all the best at the new bookstore. They are gaining a wonderful manager, and you will hopefully be losing a lot of the stress you've taken on in the past while. Lots of love and hugs to you and your family.

Sara Reyes

I was sad to hear the news of your closing and of your wife's situation. Unfortunately, it's not uncommon at all. It was a pleasure meeting you at Bouchercon 2009 and I'm sad to hear it wasn't the boost you needed. Good luck at Kenyon and to your family!

mary alice at mystery lovers bookshop

Jim.....you shall be missed. Reading the work struggles you and Jenny have experienced redently makes me wish only for joy and happiness in you next adventure. Thanks for all you have given to readers, writers and other booksellers.

Mary Alice at Mystery Lovers Bookshop

Cindy Starks

Dear Jim -- I truly enjoyed coming to your store and was so impressed with your total knowledge of the books you recommended. Your store was a little gem and you were a wonderful and inspirational owner. All the best to you and your lovely family.


Jim I am so so sorry. What a damn shame. A real loss for our community. A sad day indeed but good luck to you and your wife.

Kevin Smith

Add me to the voices in Indy that will miss you greatly! I wish you the best at Kenyon!

Sharon Thompson

Thanks, Jim for working so hard to develop a great independent bookstore---in spite of our difficult times. Walking into your store, I always felt I'd found the best book concierge--always directing me to the perfect next book. Kenyon students and faculty will be lucky to have you guiding them now. Keep us posted on your next chapter.

Karen Bower

I'm so sorry to hear the store is closing & that you'll be uprooting & moving, but the position sounds promising & new opportunities are out there. I knew you in Kalamazoo & have followed you online. I still miss Deadly Passions--& can't possibly forget you when I pass that area downtown.
Best wishes go to both you & Jennie & your family! God bless you.

Elizabeth Roe

Jim, thanks for sharing this story. As always, you are educating and comforting us! I'm so sad to see The Mystery Company close. It is such a part of my experience of "Carmel," and the store, you, and all your staff will be greatly missed.

We are all living through this economy, so your family's choices are understandable. It's wonderful that you were able to find a position that will offer you growth and challenge. Kenyon will be lucky to have you.

All the best to you and your family.

Susan Crandall

We authors are losing a true friend here in the Indy area. You, your enthusiasm for the genre and your reader friendly store will be sorely missed. Sometimes I absolutely hate the "homogenizing of America" that is leaving no place for independent businesses of any kind.

With great sadness,

Leighton Gage

Hi Jim,
My wife's reaction to the news was, "Oh, no!".
It was as if I'd mentioned the death of someone we knew and cared about.
And, in a sense, we did.
We knew and cared about "The Mystery Company".
And I can't tell you how much we regret its passing.
Thank you, again, for everything.
Your great work at Bouchercon.
Your hosting of a little-known author two years in a row.
Your advice.
Your kindness.
And just for being you.
Good Luck at Kenyon.
You make it sound like a nice place.
I so much look forward to our next meeting.

Maris Soule

Jim (and Jennie), so sorry to hear you're having to close the store. I've missed your presence as a book seller ever since you left Kalamazoo. I know the book readers (and writers) in Indiana will also miss your presence. I do hope to see you at future conferences. The best of luck with your new job. (And I can't believe your daughter is now old enough to be going to college.)

Bob Levinson

Sad news, Jim, but glad you'll otherwise be remaining a vital member of the mystery genre family...

Bryan Gruley

The passing of any great indie store is a tragedy, and this one particularly so. Keep the faith, Jim. We all look forward to the second act.

Travis DiNicola


Congratulations on the job at Kenyon! I wish you and your family the best, and thank you so much for what you have accomplished here in Indy.


Elizabeth F

Oh, I'm so so sorry to hear this. I can see how disappointing this must be for you, to have put in so much effort and not see the returns that you deserved! I wish you only the best of luck! I'll have to call my parents in Tuscaloosa - they love your store and really look forward to visiting it when they're here - but they don't visit enough to boost your sales enough! Take care.

Keri Young

Jim, the Indy writing community is losing a great advocate and sponsor. We will miss you and the Mystery Company. I thank you and your wife's efforts. and I thank you for letting two first time authors have their book launch in your cozy store and making us feel special. Best of Luck to you and your family.
Keri Young

Leslie Budewitz

So sorry to hear the news, though I'm glad to hear about your new position -- university bookstores are important players in the book world. I hope you'll still pop in on the SinC list occasionally to offer your perspective on bookselling -- you've taught us all a lot over the years.

All the best in your move and transition.

Leslie Budewitz

Lorri Sankowsky

Dear Jim,

This is very sad news. You did everything right, no question about it. Best wishes on your new position. You are a true Gentleman.

Rebecca Barnhouse

This makes me so sad, Jim, for indie bookstores, for your family, and for me, because I won't see you and your great selection of books at the Medieval Congress in Kalamazoo any more. But Kenyon should be thrilled to get you. I hope you love your new position.

David Finley


I have in-laws in Carmel that introduced me to your store, knowing of my love for books, especially mysteries. On my visits to Carmel, I always tried to work in a visit to TMC, always finding something I enjoyed reading or filling a spot in my collection.

My in-laws are relocating (away from Carmel) and now TMC is going as well. Both events are sad to me, but I greatly appreciate the friendly and open door you've shown customers like me over the past years. You will be greatly missed there, and similarly to my in-laws, you will find other doors opening to welcome you. Best wishes!

Dan Tynan

Best of luck to you and your family. The life of the independent bookseller is difficult at best and there are fewer and fewer Mystery book stores.


Jim, thank you so much for all of your hard work, in so many facets of the mystery world. The best to you and your family.


Jim sorry YOU Are closing. though I haven't been there as many times as I would have like to have been, the times I did I cherish, I met You though my Cousin Larry Sweazy and he always spoke highly of you Good Luck in the Future God speed! Kevin Byrne

Jaci Muzamel

Hey Bud,
You are absolutely right. One door closes and another opens. Larry and I, of all people, know that change is always hard but most often rewarding. Good Luck!Never forget that if things get too rough, a little blood letting goes a long way!

Patricia Chang

I most certainly am sad to hear you must leave; but completely understand the necessity of it. My son-in-law, who has 5 children, one in college, and one ready to attend, was recently downsized from Pitney Bowes. He was an offsite data base manager. He frequently found solutions to software problems that no one else could produce. In many cases, he was the only person able to fix problems. I rather hope they have cut off their nose to spite their face. Large companies no longer feel any concern for employees. The buck is the bottom line, and most of the buck is for the top executives, the Fat Cats. I worked for a Not-For-Profit hospital, that was just as callous.I hope your new place of employment appreciates your knowledge, creativity, and work ethic. You have been a true asset to the community; and to mystery book lovers near and far. Best wishes to you for peace, happiness and prosperity.

Chris Grabenstein

It's hard for us to lose the dean of mystery book selling. But, it sounds like a good move for you and your family. And, you know all sorts of ways to kill any nasty professors and academics! Good luck. We'll miss you and your store.

Naomi Johnson

I hate this news. No, I hate the all-too real forces that have brought about the demise of yet another indie bookstore.

I hope you'll like life at Kenyon. At least one of the professors there is a crime fiction writer, Sergei Lobanov-Rostovsky aka Kenneth Abel.

Linda Williamson

Wow, this is sad news. I enjoyed shopping at your store whenever I was in Indy. Best wishes for your move and new endeavors. Sorry to hear about your wife's situation at work. It's all too common.

Harriette Sackler

So very sorry to hear that you're closng your store. However, you must do what's best for your family. Glad to know you will still be on the mystery scene in other capacities.

The very best of luck to you in your new venture.

SJ Rozan

Jim --

You know how much I've loved working with you in so many contexts. I'm sorry to hear this news, and especially sorry that, ironically, it's not the publishing business but the inexcusable behavior of Jennie's firm that was the final straw. I do know we'll see you at conventions, at meetings, and online, and I'm grateful for that. Good luck in all you do.

Suzanne Arruda

Ah, Jim: This is such a loss for all of the world, for Indy bookstores everywhere, for readers, for writers and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you have done,especially helping new authors. People! Wake up out there - the WalMarts and B & N's of the world don't sell variety. Support Indies everywhere!

Sherri Pankratz

My best to you and your family on this new adventure, Jim. Kenyon is a beautiful campus, and a wonderful opportunity for you. Thanks for your service to our community.

Eleanor Sullivan

Jim, you will be sorely missed. You have been a treasure for authors, always with a warm welcome and, usually, cookies! Best wishes to you and don't be surprised if some of us visit in Ohio.

Elaine Viets

Sad news indeed, Jim. You've helped so many mystery writers. It's good to know you'll keep in touch with the community.

Julia Jones

Dear Jim, Jennie and all, I will be thinking of you over the coming days and weeks. You did something life-changing for me at the Bouchercon and I can see from these posts that others feel the same. So please don't think that all your effort went for nothing - it's just a damn shame that such dedicated, expert and imaginative work only gets paid in thanks and not in $$$$$. Very best wishes

Debby Buchanan

Sorry to hear about your bookstore closing. I'm sure it was a difficult decision to make.

I hope you'll be at Malice and Bouchercon. And you're always welcome to attend Deadly Ink.

Debby Buchanan



I am so sad to hear this news,you are another victum of the past administration's reckless financial policies.

Hang in there. Indiana's loss is Ohio's gain. You will love Kenyon. Let me add my thanks for all you have done for the mystery community and your extraordinary efforts organizing this year's Bouchercon. I hope to see you down the road at future mysssssssssstery community gatherings. Best of luck with the next chapter of your lives.

Brandt Dodson


I am so very sorry to hear this, but having run my own business I can understand.
Your contribution to the mystery community has been outstanding. Your contribution to my own, fledgling career has been substantial.
I can't thank you enough.

My best wishes for you and yours.

Pari Noskin Taichert

Count me among those who are heartbroken about your decision. I understand it totally, but it was always a dream of mine to come to your store and to return at least a tiny fraction of the kindness you've shown me -- and so many others -- for so many years.

Please, please don't be a stranger. Come to conventions, see us.

We still very much want to see you!!

Molly Weston

It always saddens me to learn of the closing of a bricks and mortar bookstore—especially a MYSTERY bookstore! I know this is a tough loss for you and your family. I do wish you will in the future—and I hope our paths continue to cross at conventions.


Candace L. Doriott

I am so saddened to learn of the store closing. Since I moved from the area over a year ago I have really missed the book group, the great selection of books and your friendliness and helpfulness. Best of luck in your future endeavors.


Jim, I know it doesn't pay for college or health care, but this is 1 reader who appreciates all your efforts. When I found your store, I was down to a couple of authors that I was eagerly waiting the next book. Now my shelves are exploding with books to be read and new found treasures. I learned to always buy 2 books out of new series. Jane Cleland taught me about editors and Alan Gordon and Roberta Gellis made us laugh. Good Luck

Kate Flora

Jim...This reads like a who's who (whom) of the mystery world, proof, if you needed it, that you are loved and valued in our community.

I hope Kenyon will be a wonderful berth for you and Jennie and Grace and Miranda.

Glad to hear you're continuing your publishing ventures. I think Mystery Muses and They Died in Vain are such fabulous publications.



Another one bites the dust unfortunately. The indie store here in Greenville, SC is closing its doors this month as well. They have apparently been around for over 30 years and they have a great meeting room that several groups (Sisters in Crime, Greenville chapter and SCWW, Greenville Chapter) use but now we are being forced to find other avenues that are local to everyone who attends those meetings.

I hate to give up my meetings because they move to a place that isn't easily accessible to me but I may have to. I don't know you or your store but a new job and working in the bookstore will be great. You can still work on other projects. Too bad you can't just take the inventory with you and open a store where you are moving to. Run it part-time - weekends or whatever. I'm sure those who know you will miss you. Good luck with the job and the move. E :)

Sandra Tooley

It's hard to imagine you without a book store, Jim. It's been great working with you, starting with our "IMP" group. Best of luck and I hope you turn a lot of college students into mystery lovers.


Jim, I'm greatly saddened to learn that you are closing. It was a joy to stop by your store to browse the shelves and sit in on some truly amazing panel discussions. I wish I could have visited more often. I will miss The Mystery Company book store immensely. Best of luck to you, and thank you for being there.

Beth Groundwater

I'm really disappointed, but I certainly understand. I do hope that you'll continue to be an active presence in the mystery community, Jim, because I value your contributions highly.
- Beth

Karen Harper

Jim--You have been great for authors and the industry. I will always remember my book tour stop at your store and how you invited your daughters to it. Hope to see you sometime as I live in Columbus. When you get settled, come visit the Buckeye Book Fair in Wooster the first Sat. of each Nov. and/or the Ohioana Book and Author Fest in Columbus the first weekend in May.

Best wishes for a great future,
Author Karen Harper

Margaret Maron

Jim, so sorry the store didn't succeed. If anyone could sell mysteries in this economy, it would be you, but I'm happy to hear you're not leaving the mystery world. We need your voice.

Priscilla Royal

Very sorry to hear this, Jim! You were one of the best and I will never forget your kindness to me at Kalamazoo. May you thrive and, being selfish, I hope to see you back in the bookstore business.

Chester Campbell

You encouraged me to keep on showing up at Magna and become better known. And I could always count on you to put my books on the shelf at conferences, even though you didn't sell many. It's this kind of encouragement we'll miss, but I'm sure you'll keep your voice on the lists and give us your sage advice. Best of luck at Kenyon.

Sandie H

I'm sad to learn of your store closing. I do know what a difficult decision that was, having made the same decision in 2000 when I closed A Novel Idea. I hope my prediction that you will definitely not lose the many friendships you have found in your years so far being involved with books in the many capacities that you have served comes true, many times over.
Good luck in your new job - how fitting! General manager of a bookstore. Think of all the people thirsty for knowledge passing thru your doors, just waiting to share your years of experience and hard-earned knowledge. What's even better is that you'll be paid for it!
We'll see you around the stacks.

Sandie Herron

Peg Tapek


What a true blessing it has been to have you, Jennie, and the girls as part of our community for so many years. I do believe the Lord has wonderful things in store for you as you venture into the brave new territory of academia!

I'll fondly remember our conversations about books and authors. Thank you again for always taking time to send things across the pond to my friends in Cornwall.

Best Wishes -
Peggy Tapek

Judi Galpin

I live in Colorado, but came to the Indianapolis and Carmel area for business many times over the past several years. Whenever I stayed in Carmel I always made it a point to stop by the store. I have been introduced to several new authors from buying books off of your shelves and I will always be grateful to you and your staff for that. You will be greatly missed - even by those who don't live in your direct community! I wish you the best of luck in your new endeavors!

Gale Borger

I am very sorry to hear that you have to close your doors. I wish you all the luck in the world with your new adventures in life.

Best of luck to you and your family.
Gale Borger

Brenda Seabrooke

RIP Mystery Company. Every independent bookstore that falls hurts us all - booksellers (my son is one), authors (moi), and book lovers everywhere. In some cosmic way even non-booklovers are damaged by the loss of each and every bookstore. I believe that books are chicken soup for the soul. Read on, world!

Kate Collins


All the best in your new venture. A good man will always come out on top. It was a pleasure knowing you, though only briefly. Hope to see you at mystery conventions.

Susan Oleksiw

I grieved when you left Boston but I was comforted with how happy you were in Carmel and then in Indiana, so this closing makes me triply sad. I'm sure you'll still be in the mystery book business but it just isn't right that you won't have your own store where readers can get intelligent, thoughtful advice on what to read next. I'm equally sad about Jennie's situation, but not surprised. I hear about what it's like to work in the corporate health care business from job applicants all the time--it's awful.

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