Barbara Franchi, 73, Doyen Of Mystery Fiction And Movie Posters Dies

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Leader In Duel Fields Of The Arts Passes Away

Barbara Franchi, who co-existed with comfort in the disparate worlds of collectible movie ephemera and murder mystery reviews, passed away Saturday, February 28, at her home in Los Angeles. Cause of death was cancer related, according to her husband, Rudy Franchi.

Ms. Franchi was founder of the mystery fiction review web site, which, within a few short years of its launch, became a major force in the rarified world of cozies, procedurals, hard boiled, noir and all the other sub genres of whodunits.

"Blurbed" on book jackets and quoted extensively, the site was a labor of love for Ms. Franchi, who funded it through her career in the world of movie posters.

Associated with the PBS series, Antiques Roadshow, as a generalist since its first season 13 years ago, Ms. Franchi operated, with her husband, The Nostalgia Factory, a collectibles shop founded in Montreal in 1969. It moved to Newport, R.I. and in the mid 80s to Boston, MA. During the early 90s Ms. Franchi, a decade long Apple computer supporter, launched the inventory of the shop onto the web site,

As one of the first movers in the world of internet commerce, the site eventually became the premiere online vendor of original vintage movie posters, introducing many innovations that have become common practices in the industry. She was co-author of Miller's Movie Collectibles,which has become a standard text on valuable vintage cinema paper.

Barbara Passel Franchi was born in Long Beach, L.I.. on July 5, 1935. She grew up in the Bronx attending Taft High School and City College, accumulating multiple post graduate degrees in the sciences and education.

She taught geology on the college level after wedding Rudy Franchi in 1968 and moving to Montreal, Canada . Her two daughters from a previous marriage, Jill and Susan Frank, were joined by a sister, Regina in 1969.

She is survived by her three daughters, her brother Howard Passel, her grandson Bennett Piscitelli and her son-in-law Anthony Piscitelli.


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