By Annette Dashofy
Monday, the mystery world came to Oakmont, PA.
Every year, Mystery Lovers Bookshop plays host to fifty or so authors for the Festival of Mystery. I’m not sure how many of these I’ve volunteered at, but it’s been a few. The event is always a ton of fun and thoroughly exhausting for everyone involved.
My role each year is author escort. Since I live in the vicinity of the airport, I pick up anyone staying in one of the airport hotels and drive them to and from the Festival. This year, I only had one author for the inbound trip: Aileen Baron.
First stop was the Oakmont Library for the tea. It’s a chance for authors and librarians to mix and mingle and schmooze a bit. It’s also an opportunity to clown around a little.
Nancy Martin catches some antics on film. (Okay, so who uses film anymore? But it doesn’t sound the same to say “on digital.”)
Pittsburgh ladies of mystery Kathryn Miller Haines, Kathleen George, and Heather Terrell strike a pose.
…and Daryl Wood Gerber AKA Avery Aames, who came to the Festival with laryngitis and fresh from winning the Agatha Award for Best First Novel.
Also in attendance was another Agatha winner, the radiant Mary Jane Maffini.
And the wonderful Cara Black.
A lot of Working Stiffs and friends were in attendance. Joyce Tremel (darn it, we didn’t get a group photo AGAIN), Paula Matter, Martha Reed, Tamara Girardi, Laurie Kassim, Alan Orloff, Kathy Sweeney… I know I’m forgetting someone and should be tarred and feathered for my lousy memory. Karen Maslowski (who looks EXACTLY like her Facebook photo!) made the long trek to attend.
The Fish Tales display was set up on the bar, so I hung out there all afternoon. In other words, I was easy to find. MaryAlice Meli and Candace Banks, two of my critique buddies, showed up and asked me to sign their copies.
So did my dear friend Marianne Skiba (who has known me longer than just about anybody, knows all my dark secrets, and still likes me!).
The drive back to the airport area was “cozy.” Besides Aileen, Rosemary Harris, Vicki Doudera, and Laura DiSilverio joined me for the ride. I borrowed my mom’s car because the backseat has a smidgeon more room than my Saturn Ion’s does. But it was still tight. Good thing we all get along!
It was a wonderful day. My first author event as a semi-official author. Thanks to Mary Alice and Richard of Mystery Lovers for another Festival to remember.
And here’s a closing shot of the Fish Tale gals.