If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.

April Interviews

4/1 Jennifer Chow, Mimi Lee Gets A Clue
4/8 John Gaspard
4/15 Art Taylor, The Boy Detective & The Summer of '74
4/22 Maggie Toussaint, Seas the Day
4/29 Grace Topping, Staging Wars

Saturday Guest Bloggers
4/4 Sasscer Hill
4/18 Jackie Green

WWK Bloggers:
4/11 Paula Gail Benson
4/25 Kait Carson


WWK is proud of our four Agatha nominees. Kaye George for Best Short Story--not her first time to be nominated, Connie Berry and Grace Topping for Best First Mystery Novel (wish they weren't having to compete against each other), and Annette Dashofy for Best Contemporary Novel--her fifth nomination!

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Look for Kaye George and Margaret S. Hamilton's short stories in the new Mid-Century Murder by Darkhouse Books. Kaye's story is "Life and Death on the Road" and Margaret's story is titled "4BR/3.5BA Contemporary."

Kaye George's first novel in the Vintage Sweets mystery series, Revenge is Sweet, will be released on March 10th. Look for the interview here on March 11.

Grace Topping's second novel in Laura Bishop staging series, Staging Wars, will be released by Henery Press on April 28th. Look for the interview here on April 29th.

Don't miss Shari Randall's "The Queen of Christmas" available on at Amazon. Shari's holiday story for WWK was too long so she published it for our enjoyment. It's available for 99 cents or on Kindle Unlimited for free!

KM Rockwood's "The Society" and "To Die A Free Man; the Story of Joseph Bowers" are included in the BOULD Awards Anthology, which was released on November 19. KM won second place with a cash prize for "The Society." Congratulations, KM! Kaye George's "Meeting on the Funicular" is also in this anthology, which can be bought for 99 cents on Kindle until November 30.

Shari Randall will be writing again for St. Martin's, perhaps under a pseudonym. We look forward to reading Shari's Ice Cream Shop Mystery series debuting next year. Congratulations, Shari!


Monday, June 10, 2019

Bookstores Worth the Trip – First in a Series

by Shari Randall

When friends visit my corner of Connecticut, I take them to see my favorite sights – the lighthouses, historic buildings, and unique shops and restaurants that make this a fun place to live. We’re also lucky in this small corner of the world to have some great independent bookstores.

One of my favorites is, well, a bit quirky.

The Book Barn in Niantic, CT has been delighting booklovers since April 1988, with a hiatus in 1990 when a fire nearly destroyed the building. The store recovered and has been going strong, so strong it has outgrown its original home and now has two outposts, Downtown (Audio to UFOs, Manga, Parenting, Children’s, Comics) and Store Four (Everything from Astronomy to Writing, with Mystery, Thriller, and True Crime), and over 500,000 books.

And yes, "Store Four" wasn't a typo. The store grew to four separate buildings, but my favorite outpost, a small third storefront that was devoted to mostly mysteries, was folded into Store Four, so mystery lovers should head there first. I never left that collection without a find – a paperback The Elusive Mrs.Pollifax and the short story collection The Cat Who Had Fourteen Tales by Lillian Jackson Braun. Each only $1!

Along with knowledgeable booksellers, several bookstore cats, and free coffee, the main Book Barn also has goats you can pet and feed. I kid you not! Sorry! There’s something about the sense of humor at the Book Barn that is infectious. The signage alone is worth the trip.

The main barn is so busy it even has a parking lot attendant to direct traffic. When you leave your car, you pass a table where staffers will evaluate and perhaps buy your books. “Ellis Island” is the first stop where stalls of shelves hold new arrivals. Everywhere are fun touches – a Hobbit door, a playground, benches, an oversized chess set.

You can visit The Underworld, aka Hades, (see photo above), pass through two graveyards full of Halloween decorations to a building called The Haunted for mystery and horror books, through to The Annex for poetry and essays, to the last outbuilding, the Last Page, for nonfiction.

Then the Main building awaits – three levels of well-organized book nirvana.

Kids’ books? Yes.
Teen books? Yes
Military history? Art? Arthurian Legends? Psychology? Women’s Studies? Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. And more!

Is the Book Barn worth the trip? You bet.

The Book Barn, 41 West Main Street, Niantic, CT 06357
Downtown, 269 Main Street, Niantic, CT 06357
Store Four, 55 West Main Street, Niantic, CT 06357

What’s your favorite bookstore?


Grace Topping said...

Sounds just like my kind of place. I remember going into Bar Harbor, Maine. The thing I enjoyed the most was the library there. It looked like the library right out of the movie "Music Man." They were having their annual book sale. That's what i think of when I think of Bar Harbor.

Margaret S. Hamilton said...

I wish I had known about these stores during my CC years. Great write-up.

Susan said...

Love the pictures, Shari. What a unique bookstore! Good to know all the mysteries are part of the Underworld...

Annette said...

This sounds like such a fun place! Thanks for the introduction. I hope to make it there someday.

My favorite bookstore is Mystery Lovers Bookshop in Oakmont PA (near Pittsburgh). They've hosted all of my book launch parties.

Shari Randall said...

Grace, I went to Bar Harbor years ago but didn't see the library - now I want to go back!

Shari Randall said...

Hi Margaret, you just have to check it out when you come for reunions!

Shari Randall said...

Hi Susan, mysteries are perfect for the underworld....

Hi Annette, I've heard a lot of people talk about Mystery Lovers Bookshop - it is on my bucket list for sure. How lucky you are to have a local mystery bookstore!

Jim Jackson said...

Alas, there are no bookstores near to me in the U.P.

Shari Randall said...

Sorry about that, Jim. I guess you have to stock up on books before you settle in.

KM Rockwood said...

My two favorites are the Mechanicsburg Mystery Bookshop, in (where else?) Mechanicsburg, PA, and Mystery Loves Company in Oxford, MD. I can get to the Mechanicsburg store easily. The trip to Mystery Loves Company, on Maryland's eastern shore, is an adventure, but well worth while. Oxford is a great place to visit.

Shari Randall said...

KM, these are now on my bucket list! How wonderful that there are mystery only bookstores!

Gloria Alden said...

I wish I lived close enough to go to that bookstore. However, I do have one that isn't too far away to go to. Sometimes I think I'd like to start a bookstore. I certainly have enough books to do so except I don't want to leave my home and critters and I don't have the space to build a book store, either.