Mystery Lovers Bookshop Marks Anniversary
(Editor's Note: The Mystery Lovers Bookshop in Oakmont, PA celebrates twenty years as Western Pennsylvania’s center for crime and mystery fiction on Sunday, October 31, 2010. This wonderful bookstore was host to my first writer's group and has everything a bookstore should have: great owners, helpful staff and tons of books. If you are a mystery lover, I hope you get a chance to check out this fine store. If you can't get to the store, find what you need at www.MysteryLovers.com.)
It was on Halloween,1990 that Mary Alice Gorman, former Executive Director of The Allegheny County Center for Victims, and Richard Goldman, a Mellon Bank executive, opened the Pittsburgh area’s first mystery specialty book store.
In the intervening twenty years the store has grown to be the third largest in the country; host to the largest one-day festival of mystery in the country, now in its sixteenth year; sponsor of seven book clubs and a web destination for thousands of shoppers from Maine to California. The store also pioneered its unique Coffee & Crime author breakfasts that have brought hundreds of authors to the Oakmont section of Pittsburgh over the past sixteen years.
It was for the store’s continuing commitment to mystery authors through its programs and events, website and newsletter that the Mystery Writers of America recognized Mystery Lovers Bookshop with the 2010 Raven Award -- the Edgar award for bookstores.
Among the best selling authors the award winning store has hosted are P.D. James, Anne Perry, Robert B. Parker, Scott Turow, Sara Paretsky, Rita Mae Brown, Colin Dexter, Ian Rankin, Jo Nesbo, and hundreds of other authors from all over the US, UK, France, Sweden, Central America, South America and Canada -- just check out the bathroom!
It is a measure of the store’s success that when it opened in 1990 there was but a single Borders in the Pittsburgh area and Amazon was still just the name of a river. Mystery Lovers Bookshop opened the first area caf� in a bookstore in 1992. Now, there are over twenty large chain stores, many of the independents are no longer with us and more books are sold in non-bookstore mass marketers than in bookstores.
While hundreds of other independent bookstores have been forced to close, this locally owned business continues to attract dozens of authors and readers each year to special events and to their May Festival of Mystery, now in its 16th year. WWW.MysteryLovers.com is a cutting edge online store that brings new customers each day from all over the US and often beyond.
Open Halloween Sunday from noon to 6, the celebration will include Pittsburgh mystery writers, treats, 10 cent book sale and many surprises.