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Double the mystery, double the fun 

All true book lovers will say there’s just something about traditional bookstores, something about searching through the shelves of used classics and unknown treasures, and something about taking in that smell of timeworn books.

With old comfy couches, old hardwood floors that creak as you walk through the shelves, two fireplaces, a reading garden, and a café that serves hot cocoa and coffee, The Book Lady Bookstore has all the essentials for the perfect bookstore.

It was opened in 1978 by the matchless Anita Raskin. When Anita passed away in 2002, Joni Saxon-Giusti, who worked with Anita, purchased and revamped the bookstore into what is now a warm and homey atmosphere, perfect for getting lost in the 50,000 books that live there.

Among those 50,000 are used and new, fiction and non-fiction, over 40 genres, paperbacks and hardbacks, and a collection of first editions, signed, and rare titles. One of the best parts about smaller traditional bookstores like The Book Lady are the book clubs, signings, and readings. These books clubs allow for fellow book lovers to really build relationships and get to know the authors of their favorite genres and books, something I’d argue you’d be hard pressed to get at a Barnes & Noble.

For the second time, The Book Lady Bookstore is hosting two suspense authors for its Doubleheader Mystery Night on July 2nd at 6:30 pm. Like all good hosts, The Book Lady Bookstore will begin the Doubleheader Mystery Night with a reception for the Lowcountry Sisters in Crime at Roots Up Gallery, located right above The Book Lady.

Mystery author Tina Whittle, whose work has earned her a nomination for Georgia Author of the Year in 2012 and appearances in The Savannah Literary Journal and Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, will be one of the night’s distinct guests. Whittle recently released the third book in her series Blood, Ash and Bone which was preceded by The Dangerous Edge of Things in 2011 and Darker Than Any Shadow in 2012.

This thrilling series follows the narrator Tai Randolph, a native Savannahian who inherits a gunshop in Atlanta, and Trey Seaver, a corporate security agent and eventually Tai’s boyfriend. Together these two characters encounter several mysteries and crimes that need solving.

Even if you’re not a big crime fiction fan and just a local who loves to read about our city and its uniqueness, you’ll enjoy this series as Whittle sets Darker Than Any Shadow in Savannah.

“Savannah made sense plot-wise and character-wise, but really, it’s the city’s seductive, mysterious atmosphere that drew me in” says Whittle. “It’s built on bones and blood and old stories, this city, plus it’s heavily haunted and cursed to boot, by a frustrated journalist who laid upon it that most awful of maledictions-that is should always remain the same. And in many ways it has.”

click to enlarge Tina Whittle
  • Tina Whittle

Doubleheader Mystery Night’s second special guest will be author Jenny Milchman, whose works have earned her praise from significant publications like the New York Times and the Mary Higgins Clark Award for best suspense novel in 2013 (Cover of Snow).

Milchman’s second novel, Ruin Falls, was published in April and The Book Lady Bookstore is just one of many stops on Milchman’s Over the Falls 2014 Tour.

How was Ruin Falls conceived? “It’s a novel that as you guessed was born on the road,” says Milchman.

The novel’s protagonist, Liz, is a mother of two children who go missing while the family sets off for a vacation. Liz quickly realizes her kids are safe and knows where they are but must become a stronger and more determined version of herself to get them back.

click to enlarge Jenny Milchman
  • Jenny Milchman

As Milchman spent a lot of time on the road and in hotels last year with her husband and two kids for her first book tour, she explains, “I knew I was going to write a novel where a mother sleep-stumbles out of her room, throws back the blankets on the sofa bed, and discovers her children missing. But I also knew that this wouldn’t be a child-in-jeopardy story. Instead, it would be a novel about who a woman can become when pushed.”

So instead of hitting up the Starbucks in Barnes & Noble for a Mocha Frappuccino, grab a simple cup of joe, say hi to Joni, Tina, and Jenny, and support what Milchman calls, “the cozy, quirky warren of books that is The Book Lady!”

Doubleheader Mystery Night begins 6:30 p.m. Wed. July 2 at The Book Lady, 6 E. Liberty St. Free & open to the public.
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  • Book Lady hosts mystery authors Tina Whittle and Jenny Milchman

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Erica Porter

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