The Festival of Mystery 2012

For the past 17 years, the world of mystery lovers, writers, and readers has gathered on a spring Monday in Oakmont, PA, for the Festival of Mystery. Last night, it happened again. But this year's festival also signaled the end of an era...and the beginning of what we all hope will be a new and glorious one.

Mary Alice Gorman and Richard Goldman have owned MysteryLovers Bookshop since 1990 and have turned it into a rarity in independent book stores...a successful, thriving, profitable business. I fell in love with the shop the very first time I set foot in it and found myself surrounded by all those mystery titles! My goal in life is to get a novel published simply so I can sign their bathroom wall, although space in there has become increasing tight. They've started on the ceiling, now.

However, that era is about to come to an end. Mary Alice and Richard have sold the bookshop to Laurie Miller Stephens, who was also in attendance at this year's Festival. The fact that she was decked out in the store's colors of black and red--black dress, red stockings, and black cowboy boots--indicates to me that she's going to fit in just fine.

The festivities began with the annual author and librarian tea where the visiting (and local) authors get to schmooze with the local librarians.

Here are a gang of mystery authors surrounding Mary Alice and Laurie.

 Sandra Parshall and Avery Aames (AKA Daryl Wood Gerber)

The goody table!

New Mystery Lovers owner Laurie, flanked by local author Mitchell Kaplan and the wonderful Hallie Ephron.

Mary Alice and fellow former Working Stiff, Joyce Tremel.

From there we moved on to the Festival itself. Here we have just a few of the attending authors with their stacks of books before the crowd moves in. 

During the lull before the storm, Mitchell Kaplan chats with Kathryn Miller Haines.

Buff Rodman announces the doors are about to open...the Festival of Mystery equivalent to "Drivers, start your engines!"

Our local chapter of Sisters in Crime provided a cake to mark the occasion.

And the cake brought Mary Alice to tears.

Here are Mary Alice and Richard reigning over their Festival.

A group shot of our Sisters in Crime. That's me in the front blocking the banner.  

Here's Colette Garmer carving the cake as only a crime fiction writer can.

The ladies of Pittsburgh Noir: Kathleen George, Heather Terrell, Nancy Martin, and Kathy Miller Haines.

And, finally, here I am with with my pal Hallie Ephron. I gave her and Sandy Parshall an unexpected scenic tour of downtown Pittsburgh on the way back to their hotel, but that's a story for another blog.  

It was a wonderful, if bittersweet evening. Thank you, Mary Alice and Richard, for a fabulous ride. Enjoy your retirement with your grandkids, but please come back to visit us! And best wishes to Laurie in your new venture. We're all here pulling for you!


My hanks to you for all and are a special person and good woman.
Annette said…
Okay, Mary I'm the one getting weepy.
Joyce Tremel said…
Great pictures! And a great Festival!
Ramona said…
Great photos as always, Annette!

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