On Sunday, just one day in advance of its 17th annual Festival of Mystery, which kicks off this afternoon, Mystery Lovers Bookshop in Oakmont, Pa., announced that it has a new owner. Former bookseller and librarian Laurie Miller Stephens of Dallas, Tex., purchased the 22-year-old store from Richard Goldman and Mary Alice Gorman, who put it up for sale in mid-February.
Over the intervening weeks, Gorman and Goldman spoke with 13 prospective owners. "This was a difficult decision," said Gorman. "Now the store is on firm financial ground, with increased sales, 25% of revenue from the online business, and an outstanding reputation. We needed to find a person who was the whole package. That’s Laurie." Stephens has a 35-year background in books, which includes a stint at Toad Hall Bookstore in Austin, Tex. Most recently she headed the Arts & Letters Live literary series at the Dallas Museum of Art in Dallas.
Stephens will move to the Pittsburg area to run the store and be closer to her daughter. Goldman and Gorman will stay through the summer to ease the transition.