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October 11, 2018


Kathy Lynn Emerson

So sorry to hear this. She was super encouraging to me as a newbie and I loved chatting with her ar conferences. I only made it to the Festival of Mystery once, but it was a memorable experience.

Marcia Talley

I'm still in shock. Thinking today about contributions in Mary Alice's honor -- ACLU for sure, and the Carnegie Library in Pittsburgh where she was on the board.

Elaine Viets

Oh, Marcia, what terrible news. Mary Alice was a mentor to so many writers, including me. She helped my career when I needed it most. I loved going to the Festival of Mystery with you and meeting so many reader. The pizza parties with all the authors in her store after the event were one of the highlights of my year.

Marcia Talley

I know! Pizza and wine and authors go so well together! And we'd stay at the fabulous Inn at Oakmont.

I'm not sure when I started attending the Festival, but I must have gone over a dozen times, bring three or four authors along on a fabulous road trip. Lunch at Jean Bonet Tavern, Tea with the Librarians in Oakmont. Hundreds of people lining up for hours, even in the rain, to be among the first in the door.

And because Richard and Mary Alice always seated us in alphabetical order, a goodly number of my author friends are in the R - Zs. I'm looking at you, Elaine Viets! And Victoria Thompson, and Wendy Corsi Staub,and Julia Spencer-Fleming, and Denise Swanson and ... and ... and.

Kathy Sweeney

If it weren't for Mary Alice I never would have met any of you and would never have been a part of The Lipstick Chronicles. Please keep Richard and MA's daughter Alison in your prayers. They are devastated. XO


I’m so sorry to hear of her loss. I never made it to the store since I’m on the other side of the country, but it sounds like a wonderful place.

Hank Phillippi Ryan

So very sad. What a force of nature. Thank you for this...she was a treasure and an inspiration..xoo

Hank Phillippi Ryan

That south of the border tour photo is amazing--whoa. What a lineup!

Marcia Talley

To make a donation to Carnegie Library in Mary Alice's name, go to: https://www.carnegielibrary.org/donate/honor-and-memorial-gifts/

Kate Charles

She will be desperately missed by so many of us. No one has mentioned her sparky, outspoken Facebook postings, a beacon of good sense in these difficult times. Facebook won’t be as interesting without her.

My fortuitous meeting in the alphabetical line-up at the Festival of Mystery was Camilla Crespi (since Agatha Christie and Raymond Chandler we’re both dead and therefore not in attendance - and Lee Child clearly didn’t know what he was missing)!

Rest in peace, dear Mary Alice.

Marcia Talley

Amen, Kate! And how fitting was her last Facebook post, urging us all to get out and VOTE!

Marcia Talley

P.S. I just donated to Carnegie Library in MaryAlice's memory and my donation was matched!


I was deeply saddened to learn of Mary Alice's passing. They hosted me as a newbie, too, and I felt so honored to be there. The pizza and wine was the best! RIP, Mary Alice.

Liz Milliron

I just returned from her viewing (I live practically next door to Mystery Lovers). Mary Alice was responsible for introducing me to Sisters in Crime at the very beginning of my writing journey. Although she retired shortly thereafter, I saw her many times at book events.

I was at the viewing with Annette Dashofy who told me her sister said (as we left), "There go two of her authors."

Makes me weepy, I tell you. She will be missed for sure.

Nancy Martin

She was magnificent. But resting in peace? No, wherever MaryAlice is now, she is organizing, mentoring, fighting for good and justice.

Annette Dashofy

Agreed, Nancy. She's taken the fight to a higher level.

Kate Coluccio

Consider a donation to the Oakmont Carnegie Library. It's right down the street from the bookstore, and often a participant in bookstore events. It's an independent local library that does its own fundraising separate from Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. Yes, Andrew Carnegie built libraries that share his name all over the county.

Joanna Campbell Slan

Mary Ellen always had a Mona Lisa smile on her face, as if she knew a secret. I believe she did. She knew that authors need other authors, and booksellers need authors, and authors need fans, and what an empty, lonely world it would be if we didn't have each other. Now we're all a little sadder and lonelier because she is gone.

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