.

.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

What's Your Favorite Bookshop?

A guest post by Daryl Wood Gerber aka Avery Aames



Do you have a favorite bookshop? I do. A couple of years ago, I was invited to sign Cheese Shop Mysteries at a culinary bookshop in the quaint town of Occoquan, VA called Salt & Pepper Books. (The store has since moved to another location in National Harbor, Maryland; it’s a fabulous store. Check out its web site!)

What the heck is a culinary bookshop? Let me take you on the journey.

On that lovely day, we drove into town, which is about two-miles long and perhaps three blocks wide. On each street were shops and caf├ęs. Salt & Pepper was located in a charming, all-white complex adorned with green shutters, beautiful columns, and fresh flowers. On both floors of the complex were darling shops that every crafter would love.

I entered the store and literally gasped. It was tiny, but the owner had stocked shelves and more shelves filled with cookbooks, a variety of culinary mysteries, and culinary fiction (like Chocolat and Water for Chocolate). She even carried books like the origin of chocolate. In addition, she offered the most darling culinary gift items like salt shakers and peppermills, cutting boards, decorative spatulas, and aprons.

While there, I had an aha moment. I knew that the store would make a wonderful setting for a cozy mystery. Mystery lovers love bookstores. They love books about books. They love mysteries that include food. This store was the inspiration for my Cookbook Nook series.

When I was doing research for my series, I searched for other culinary bookshops. I didn’t find any that matched up to what I’d seen. There were plenty of bookshops that carried cookbooks. There’s an entire floor in a Barnes and Noble in New York dedicated to cookbooks, but the people working at the store didn’t have a clue which one was good. I love that about Salt & Pepper; the owner and staff really know their business!

Now, I have other favorite bookshops, purely for buying mysteries. There’s Mysterious Galaxy in Redondo Beach, CA. It’s a well-laid out store with a wide variety of mysteries and thrillers, including children’s and YA fiction. There’s also Poisoned Pen Press in Scottsdale, AZ, Mystery by the Book in Houston, TX, and Mystery Lovers Bookshop in Oakmont, PA. The people that work in all of these bookstores really know books. They are readers. They have lots to recommend. Trust them.

What’s your favorite bookstore? What’s your favorite aisle in the store?



Daryl/Avery is the Agatha Award-winning author of the national bestselling Cheese Shop Mystery and Cookbook Nook Mystery series.

Prior to her career as a novelist, Daryl wrote screenplays and created the format for the popular TV sitcom Out of this World. A fun tidbit for mystery buffs, Daryl was also an actress and co-starred on Murder, She Wrote, as well as other TV shows. Daryl is originally from the San Francisco Area and graduated from Stanford University. She loves to cook, read, golf, swim, and garden. She also likes adventure and has been known to jump out of a perfectly good airplane. She has been happily married for over twenty-five years, and she and her husband have a grown son.


Berkely Prime Crime has been kind enough to provide a copy of Inherit the Word for me to give away.  Please answer Daryl's questions in the comments, and be sure to include a valid email address.  Entries from the US only, please.


19 comments:

  1. My favorite bookstore is Mystery One in Milwaukee, WI. It's devoted exclusively to mysteries. The owners are hospitable and host many signings. The service is outstanding. And they have a neon smoking gun in the window! http://mysteryone.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by, Nanci! Mystery One sounds like a fantastic shop.

      Delete
    2. Nanci, I've never been to Mystery One but I hear it's fabulous! What a treat. Love the neon smoking gun. :)

      Daryl / Avery

      Delete
    3. I'm honored that you stopped by, Daryl!

      Delete
  2. I hesitate to say what my favorite bookstore is since my favorites keep closing. I do love Mysterious Galaxy Redondo Beach as well as Book 'Em, however. Just don't get me started on Vroman's. (Maybe I should have named that my favorite bookstore.)

    In the past, favorites have included The Mystery Bookstore LA and Mysteries to Die For in Thousand Oaks. Sadly, both are no longer in business.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oops. My e-mail address: carstairs38@gmail.com

      Delete
    2. Thanks, Mark. I love MGRB and Book 'Em, too, and I still mourn The Mystery Bookstore. Sadly, I never made it to Mysteries to Die For.
      Have you been to Mystery Ink in Huntington Beach?

      Delete
    3. Mark, I'm going to be at MGRB this Saturday!! Love Book 'Em, too, and am very sad that two of my favorites, The Mystery Bookstore and Mysteries to Die for closed. What is wrong with this scenario? Stores with salespeople who really know the material are so vital to this kind of business!

      Marlyn, Mystery Ink is another great store. Small and intimate. Deb is a fabulous owner.

      Daryl / Avery

      Delete
    4. Unfortunately, I have to work on Saturday, so can't make it to MGRB.

      Delete
  3. My favorite bookstore is called the Book Rack which is a used bookstore in my town. I love the historical fiction and the cozy mystery aisles the best.

    Kimberlee
    girllostinabook@hotmail.com
    www.girllostinabook.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. My favorite bookstore is Bookworks. Atmosphere is lovely. My favorite aisles are the fiction and history. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for reading my blog, and commenting.

      Delete
  5. My favorite book store is called "Bookaholic" - and my favorite aisle is the romance aisle! =)
    I already have this book, so I wont be entering the contest.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I appreciate that you stopped by and commented, Melissa!

      Delete
  6. My favorite bookstore is the Tatnuck Bookseller, especially when they had a location in Worcester, MA that was so much fun for shopping and browsing. And my favorite section: children's and YA.
    The Concord Bookshop is a fun one as well. Thanks!
    rencw@verizon.net

    ReplyDelete
  7. My favorite bookstore is in Minneapolis--Uncle Edgar's--it has both new and used mysteries so you can buy a lot of books for a little money.
    suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  8. My favorite bookstore is Powell's Books in Portland, OR. Powell's City of Books is the original, and a must-stop for tourists. I go to the Cedar Hills branch in Beaverton. My favorite aisles are the Mystery, Science Fiction and Fantasy, and the cooking section. I used to love Murder by the Book in Portland, but they closed (sadness).

    kaye.killgore@comcast.net

    ReplyDelete
  9. The winner of the book is Renee! I'll be emailing you for your shipping address, Renee. Congratulations!

    ReplyDelete