When you visit your favorite bookstore or library this Saturday, April 21—and I hope you make a habit of stopping in weekly—you might notice that the person working behind the counter looks a lot like the person whose photo graces the book you have in your hand.
And you would be right.
It's all part of an effort by Sisters in Crime to thank librarians and booksellers for supporting the mystery genre for 25 years.
Sisters in Crime, an international organization founded to support the professional development of women writing crime fiction, is holding the “Booksellers and Librarians Solve Mysteries Every Day.”
That means that across the United States—from Maine to Hawaii—authors who are members of Sisters in Crime will work as volunteers in bookstores and libraries, from 10 am to 4 pm April 21.
The authors will work in the stacks, on the sales floor, and behind the scenes to do whatever a manager asks of staff members—shelving, bagging, sweeping, assisting patrons, pulling holds, making recommendations, taking out the trash, checking in returned books, and more.
And, especially, helping to sell mysteries.
“In honor of the 25th anniversary of the founding of Sisters in Crime, we are very pleased to be able to thank some of the people who work the hardest on the front lines of publishing by rolling up our sleeves and working beside them,” said Frankie Y. Bailey, President of Sisters in Crime, via a press release.
The event is being coordinated by Jim Huang, a former independent bookstore owner and a Mystery Scene contributing editor.
“We know that, in their efforts to help readers find the right books at the right time, booksellers and librarians solve countless mysteries every day,” Huang said in the press release. “This is our opportunity to thank them in a tangible way—and to find out what the publishing world is like from their perspective.”
In addition to the volunteer project, Sisters in Crime’s more than 3,000 members will support the “Solving Mysteries Day” event by visiting libraries and bookstores during April 21 to personally thank the booksellers and librarians.
“The plan is to show booksellers and librarians how much we really care about the work they do. We couldn’t do our work without them,” Bailey added.
The 25-year-old organization has 48 chapters worldwide; its members are authors, readers, publishers, agents, booksellers, librarians, and others who love mysteries. Sisters in Crime is online.
The participating authors, bookstores, and libraries include:
Frankie Y. Bailey, at The Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza in Albany, NY
Gail M. Baugniet, at the Maikiki Community Library in Honolulu, HI
Charlotte Cohen, at the Santa Ana Public Library in Santa Ana, CA
Kathy Lynn Emerson, at the Treat Memorial Library in Livermore Falls, ME
Barbara Fister, at Once Upon a Crime in Minneapolis, MN
Susan Froetschel, at the Takoma Park Neighborhood Library in Washington, DC
Chelle Martin, at the Sadie Pope Dowdell Public Library in South Amboy, NJ
Denise Osborne, at the Mid-Continent Public Library, Raytown branch, in Raytown,
Bernadette Pajer, at the Uppercase Bookshop in Snohomish, WA
Karen Pullen, at McIntyre’s Books in Pittsboro, NC
C. L. (Cheryl) Shore, at Bookmamas in Indianapolis, IN
Mary Stanton/Claudia Bishop, at Murder on the Beach in Delray Beach, FL
Lane Stone, at the Charles E. Beatley, Jr. Central Library in Alexandria, VA
Susan Van Kirk, at the Warren County Public Library in Monmouth, IL
Kathryn R. Wall, at the Beaufort County Library, Hilton Head branch, in Hilton Head
Tina Whittle, at The Golden Bough in Macon, GA