Last Monday was my first visit to the famous Festival of Mystery in Oakmont, PA, but it won’t be the last. What a great event!
Each year, the folks at Mystery Lovers Bookshop in Oakmont set up a virtual store at a hall in Oakmont, and invite a slew of mystery writers to entertain the crowd. And I do mean crowd! People lined up outside the door for hours to be among the first inside. Heck, there was even a crowd of authors–forty-two were there to sign and speak and schmooze.
Now if that weren’t enough, there was a tea beforehand for the authors to meet local librarians, and a pizza party afterward for the authors to munch and relax.
The organization was nearly flawless, and store owners Mary Alice and Richard managed to make each and every one of us feel welcome. Plus there was a platoon of store employees and local Sisters in Crime members on hand to help out. It was just wonderful from start to finish.
It was particularly special for me for two reasons. One, because I had copies of Curse of the Kissing Cousins hot off the presses. And two, because I was sitting next to John Lamb, my daughter Maggie’s very favorite mystery author. Okay, maybe I’m her favorite, but it’s pretty darned close.
Another treat was meeting fellow Berkley Prime Crime author Mary Ellen Hughes, who supplied these pictures of me and Mary Ellen herself, and then of me and Rosemary Harris with her latest book.
It was a lot of fun. If you’re anywhere near Oakmont, mark your calendar now for the Festival of Mystery. With any luck, I’ll be there waiting to meet you.