As new members of our Chatham County community, Chatham Park is powering our Go See This series this year because art is an integral part of Chatham County’s identity. They join us in inviting you to Go See This . . .
For Pete Mock, McIntyre’s book buyer, sole judge for the Beltie Mystery Prize, and organizer of the Crime Scene Mystery Bookfest and Killer Cocktails party, reading mysteries are his way of unwinding. “I read about 200 books a year, half of which are mysteries. That’s my television. I like to relax with a good book. Mysteries are fun for me.”
The idea for the Mystery Bookfest, which will be held on Saturday, February 8 from 10am-6pm, was born out of the growing interest in mysteries by the community. “I’ve been a big mystery reader for a long time. In my many years here at McIntyres, our mystery section has grown from two small bays to a whole big room. We’ve got one of the biggest mystery selections in the South.”
While this is the third year for the Beltie prize, which goes to the top mystery book as selected by Pete Mock, this is the first year for the Crime Scene Mystery Bookfest, as well as the Killer Cocktails party the night before. The cocktail party gives attendees the opportunity to mingle with the authors who will be at the event the next day and includes a $20 gift card to McIntyre’s.
With so many books to choose from, you may wonder how Pete begins to choose his list of finalists for the Beltie.
“Every year it’s something different. I don’t know what I’m looking for. I’m just looking for the one that I think is the best, the one that stands out the most. What did this book offer me that I want to share with people more than any other?”
Pete is pleased with this year’s list of finalists, noting that they have each delivered something unique. “The eight finalist books are so very different from each other, and all quite original,” says Pete. “I’m always looking for the authors to give me something new, something different. There’s not a lot out there that’s 100 percent original anymore. If it’s a copycat, it will never make my list. I want the author to surprise me a little bit.”
One of Pete’s hopes for the event is to have people open themselves up to the idea of reading a mystery, even if they’ve never read one before.
“There are so many good writers writing mysteries and so many good mystery writers out there. You need to find a source to help you weed them all out, and that’s me. Mysteries provide you with so much information. They’re a little different than your typical literary novel in that you have to follow facts. They have to stay true to the setting, the basic skeleton. It’s a great, fun genre.”
The Crime Scene event on Saturday will feature readings, book signings, and six panel discussions with authors and publishing industry insiders. Activities will take place all day in both the bookstore and the Fearrington Barn, and are free and open to the public. Crime Scene will culminate in the announcement of the third annual Beltie Mystery Prize.
- What: Crime Scene Mystery Bookfest and Killer Cocktails party
- When: Killer Cocktails will be held on Friday, February 7 from 5:30-7pm; the Crime Scene Mystery Bookfest is on Saturday, February 8 from 10am-6pm
- Where: McIntyre’s Bookstore and the Fearrington Barn
- What Will This Cost Me? Admission to the cocktail party is $75; the Crime Scene Mystery Bookfest is free
- Accessibility: Yes
- Parking: Free parking in multiple lots in Fearrington Village
For more info: Please visit https://fearrington.com/event/crime-scene-mystery-bookfest/