Many moons ago, a man named Scott Montgomery rolled into town with a big idea: create a curated crime fiction bookstore right inside BookPeople. Scott had read it all, from police procedurals to thrillers; cozies to hardboiled noir. The powers that be took one look at his resume (and his bookshelf) and handed him the keys to BookPeople’s mystery section.
Five years later, MysteryPeople has grown to be far more than our carefully curated mystery bookstore-within-the-store. MysteryPeople has become a hub for crime fiction in Austin, hosting its own event series, maintaining an active blog, interviewing authors, reviewing books, hosting book clubs and generally having a grand old time. Molly Odintz has since joined Scott in steering MysteryPeople. She manages the blog (where you can find her own insightful articles) and works alongside him in the section handselling a wide variety of great new books, including many must-read international crime novels.
Over the last half decade, MysteryPeople has welcomed hundreds of authors to BookPeople to meet fans, talk crime fiction and sign books. Everyone from Sue Grafton to Walter Mosley to John Connolly, Ian Rankin, Craig Johnson, Joe Lansdale and many other household names have walked through our doors. Thanks to Scott, we’ve also played host to dozens of up and coming writers who are pushing the genre forward. One of the founding goals of MysteryPeople was to put books in readers’ hands that they may not have found otherwise and to help build awareness of new writers. We’re proud to say that MysteryPeople continues to bring the very best in crime fiction to Austin’s bookshelves every day, championing new and established writers and highlighting books that deserve to be read.
Today, we’re celebrating MysteryPeople’s fifth birthday with a little cake, a little champagne, and a discussion of where mystery and crime fiction writing is headed. Part of this celebration is the announcement of one of the most fun projects Scott and Molly have worked on: The MysteryPeople 100. This is a list, compiled by booksellers and authors, of the top 100 mystery and suspense novels of all time (with the understanding that time marches on, and new, innovative, awesome books are being written every day). MysteryPeople’s author friends each wrote up a list of twenty favorites, then Scott and Molly created their own lists of twenty favorites. From there they meshed the picks, seeing which titles showed up most often and going from there. What they ended up with is a very personal list that reflects what they love, sell and stand for.
Thank you to all of the authors and readers who have supported MysteryPeople. It’s been a fabulous five years. Here’s to 500 more! Cheers!
MysteryPeople in Photos: