Thursday, August 12, 2010

Mystery Lovers Bookshop Turns 20 on Halloween

Mystery Lovers Bookshop in Oakmont, Pennsylvania celebrates twenty years as Western Pennsylvania’s center for crime and mystery fiction on Sunday, October 31, 2010.

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 Oakmont 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 café 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.

In 2010 Mystery Lovers is the 3rd largest store in the country and one of Western PA’s real entrepreneurial success stories.

Not only will Halloween---October 31, 2010 mark the 20th Anniversary for this locally owned independent business but they will also celebrate the National recognition by the Mystery Writers of America for their outstanding achievements and leadership contributions to the mystery genre with the Raven Award—the book store Edgar. Open Halloween Sunday from noon to 6 the celebration will include Pittsburgh mystery writers, treats, 10 cent book sale and many surprises.

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. is a cutting edge online store that brings new customers each day from all over the US and often beyond.

Mary Alice and Richard are available for an interview and hope you will share our story with your friends and readers too. Email them via the contact form on their website.

An added note: Be sure to check their website (or visit the store if you're in the area) this Friday, the 13th!


Patg said...

A shoppe I know I'd love to drop in and browse through.
Think I'll drop them an email and ask them how they feel about POD--that's print not publish--on demand.

nancy martin said...

This store has had a pivotal role in the careers of many crime writers---me included! I hope many writers will consider stopping by the store in the coming months to mark this occasion.

Gina said...

Pat -
It is a fun place to look around in, but for everyone unfortunate enough not to live in the Oakmont area, you can order books from Mystery Lovers on line. Just go to their website.

Jennie Bentley said...

Missed this post this morning, in my mad rush to get the kids off to their first day of school. Congrats, Mystery Lovers Bookshop!