It was standing room only at Mystery Lover’s Bookshop for Rebecca Drake’s book signing. The crowd was peppered with familiar faces and an impressive grouping of wine stood out among the books. But most striking was the cake provided by the Pittsburgh branch of Sisters in Crime that boasted a picture of the book’s cover. This supportive group flocks to any celebration for one of their own and their impressive lineup included Kathleen George, Nancy Martin and Annette Dashofy to name a few. The honored guests also included a legacy of bookshop owners that have all brought Mystery Lovers to renowned glory. The shop was the brain child of Mary Alice and Richard Gorman who brought it to international acclaim before carefully selecting Laurie Stephens to take over in 2012. The love and commitment it takes to run an iconic landmark takes a very special person and cannot be handed over to just anyone. When Natalie Sacco returned to her hometown Oakmont with husband Trevor Thomas, it seemed the timing was perfect for another transition. They have given it a new vibe that includes indie books and local authors of all genres.
The event they hosted last night was greatly anticipated. Rebecca took almost ten years off between books while she was desperately seeking a new agent and adjusting to life transitions. But things really took off when she teamed up with Rachel Eckstrom Courage who loved her book and propelled it into publication. Rachel was traveling at the time of the book signing but was represented by her parents. It just so happens that her mom was my daughter’s kindergarten teacher and culinary instructor. I wish I had known at the time that I had such a close tie to the publishing world. The world certainly does work in mysterious ways. The night ended up being a huge reunion for me since I worked with Rebecca’s husband for over twenty years and had not seen her children since they were small. Her son showed up with a fan club of college students and the bookstore actually ran out of books to sell. Luckily dad had a stash in the car so it ended up being a grand success for all.
Readers and writers are great people to have in your life and Pittsburgh has an impressive assortment of both. The next time you need an escape head over to Mystery Lovers and make a new friend. They are great a suggesting books and are spot on at picking the perfect read if you give them a profile.