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Cozy Mystery Fete 2023

collage of authors and myself

On the Left: Korina Moss (Cheese Shop Mystery Series)

On Top, Right: Olivia Blacke (Record Shop and Brooklyn Mystery Series)

On Bottom, Right: Libby Klein (Poppy McAllister Series)


When you want to go to a mystery author event that is done well - Mechanicsburg Mystery Bookshop is the place to go! While I am a little bias, seeing as how I help them out occasionally, the Cozy Mystery Fete 2023 was a terrific day filled with books, authors, snacks, prizes and lots of laughter.

tables full of books

The venue for the event was perfect, and the tables in the kitchen provided enough space for the over 50+ novels representing the 15 authors who attended. Getting all of the books organized was a task; As they were not only separated by series, but also arranged alphabetically by authors' last names. It took awhile, but was well worth it when completed. I think it truly helped to make the shopping experience better for the readers.

After everyone went through registration, and were handed their swag bags by the volunteers, the owner of the shop, Deb, started with a few announcements. She then passed the microphone over to Bill Peschel, who handles the shop's podcasts. He did a great job at keeping the day transitioning smoothly. His wife, Teresa, who happens to be an author as well, was also in attendance to manage their booth and to hear the other authors speak. You can see their tables in the background of the following image.

my mom talking with readers

Author Sheryl C.D. Ickes, aka my mom, was one of the authors at the event.


Each of the authors had five minutes to talk to the people sitting at the tables. Once the five minutes were up, Bill Peschel squeaked the horn and they moved onto the next like musical chairs. It is one of the readers' favorite activities at the shop's events. Half-way through the rounds, a break was called for a variety of things: bathrooms, raffle tickets, snacks, book buying, and to rest the authors' voices.

Cozy Mystery Bingo took over for a spell as I assisted Mr. Peschel in calling out the trivia questions for the readers. I must admit, that it took longer for BINGO to be shouted than I expected. However, when it happened, three people won! This game went quickly and was specifically focused on the authors, as well as their respective series and characters.

candles and crocheted items

There were two other vendors there, besides the bookshop. One, Peschel Press, I mentioned a little earlier. But another one, Mourning Moon Candles (formally known as Bookmarksical), had a lovely table display of her soy candles and crocheted creations. Her scents are themed after mystery books, such as "Murder on the Orient Espresso" and are sold at the bookshop year-round. Though, if you wish to snag a particular scent, or wax melts, you can check out her website.


Getting back to the main event, the authors continued their rounds at the tables. And at the conclusion, the raffles were drawn as more purchases were being made. Authors signed books during the event, at any one of the breaks, and the snacks were devoured until a few remained. A guessing game of "Count the Bones," was actually guessed exactly!

With that, folks, the rest is history! A full day of the bookish fun was a good kind of exhausting, I will say. And the clean up, a rather daunting task at hand, was not as bad as first perceived by the many volunteers who helped. It took a village to build, run, and tear down this event. And I was glad to be a part of it!

author group picture

Back Row (left to right): Diane Vallere, Olivia Blacke

Middle Row (left to right): Misty Simon/Gabby Allan, Rosalie Spielman, Amy M. Reade, Melissa F. Miller, Korina Moss, Libby Klein, Shawn Reilly Simmons, Judy L. Murray

Front Row (left to right): Geri Krotow, Catherine Bruns, Eileen Haavik McIntire, Mindy Quigley, Sheryl C.D. Ickes


Interested in taking a look at the authors' books? Click on their names below. Please keep in mind that the authors might write other series that are outside of the cozy mystery genre, as this list comes from what the authors brought with them on the day of the event.

Diane Vallere - writes the Samantha Kidd Mysteries, Madison Night Mysteries, Material Witness Mysteries, Outer Space Mysteries, Mermaid Mysteries, and Costume Shop Mysteries

Olivia Blacke - writes the Record Shop Mysteries and the Brooklyn Mysteries

Misty Simon/Gabby Allan - writes the Tallie Graver Mysteries, Adventures in Ghostsitting, Magically Suspicious Mysteries, and the Whit and Whiskers Mysteries (as Gabby Allan)

Rosalie Spielman - writes the Hometown Mysteries

Amy M. Reade - writes the Juniper Junction Mysteries and Trudy's Diary

Melissa F. Miller - writes the We Sisters Three Mysteries

Korina Moss - writes the Cheese Shop Mysteries

Libby Klein - writes the Poppy McAllister Mysteries

Shawn Reilly Simmons - writes the Red Carpet Catering Mysteries, and also in a few short story collections

Judy L. Murray - writes the Chesapeake Bay Mysteries

Geri Krotow - writes the Kielbasa Queen Mysteries and Shop 'Round the World Mysteries

Catherine Bruns - writes the Italian Chef Mysteries, Cookies and Chance Mysteries, and the Maple Syrup Mysteries

Eileen Haavik McIntire - writes the 90s Club Mysteries

Mindy Quigley - writes the Deep Dish Mysteries

Sheryl C.D. Ickes - writes the Slice of Life Mysteries and Becky and Rufus Cross Country Mysteries


If you would like to purchase a signed copy of any of the above authors' books, stop on by the Mechanicsburg Mystery Bookshop to see if one is available. Not in the area? They ship out and provide FREE shipping over a certain amount. Visit their website, or call at 717-795-7470, for more details.

A special thanks to Barb F. for taking the group picture of the authors for the shop.

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