Search This Blog

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Sad news from Los Angeles

One of the great highlights of 2005 for me, was a day of signing books at the Mystery Bookstore in Westwood, Los Angeles.  It is a famous store, mentioned often in Michael Connolly's books, and host to every Big Name in modern mystery writing.

The owners and staff are tolerant folks.  When a day of signing the latest in the Wiki Coffin mystery series, Shark Island, was arranged, we asked if it was possible for the event to be attended by a crew of pirates, in costume, complete with Pirate Rats.  Without a blink, apparently, they grinned and agreed.  And a great deal of yo-ho-ho fun was had by all, with lots of photographs taken.

More fun for me was signing the 'jailhouse register,' a real prison attendance book, used by the store as a kind of visitors' book, which every author who did an event at the store signed, with often hilarious comments.  Reading through past entries was a Who's Who of mystery writing.  I was honored to add my signature to the illustrious list.

Today, I received this letter:
The Mystery Bookstore

January 11, 2011
Dear Author,

We have very much enjoyed owning the Mystery Bookstore in Los Angeles.
We've enjoyed your books and getting to know you, and the kindness and generosity of spirit you've shown us--as well as your visits and signings. Unfortunately, we, too, are going the way of too many independent bookstores. We simply cannot compete with the Amazons of the world and the impact of the economy. We love the bookstore and mysteries and the relationships we've formed with authors and publishers and agents and publicists. But, we do have retirement to think about (not in the near future!), and family and, well, all of those things that require money. So, it is with considerable sadness that we announce that The Mystery Bookstore, Los Angeles, will--after many years (and as apparently the last-standing bookstore in Westwood, other than UCLA's student store)--be closing.

Our last day will be January 31, 2011. We plan to have a "goodbye" and "thanks for the memories" party that evening, starting at 6:00. If you'll be in town, we'd love to have you join us one last time--and love to have you leave one last signature and comment in our "jailhouse register."

Thank you again for everything and for the privilege of selling your books and hopefully broadening your reading audience. We, of course, wish you nothing but bright futures, success, and many bestsellers--and we look forward to spending many an hour of reading enjoyment with your future works. While the Mystery Bookstore might continue only in the nether regions of the internet, your books and your support will always be close to us

Kirk Pasich and Pamela Woods
The Mystery Bookstore
1036-C Broxton Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90024

Thank you, Kirk and Pamela and your staff, for the great memories.  It's a sad day to see that lovely store closed.  I wish you the very best for the future.

No comments: