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The Commons
The Arts

A weekend of book sales is planned in Putney

Originally published in The Commons issue #459 (Wednesday, May 16, 2018). This story appeared on page B3.


PUTNEY—On May 18 through 20, there will be a large book sale at Antidote Books, 120 Main St., in Putney of the remaining inventory of Kate’s Mystery Books, New England’s first specialty bookstore dealing in the mystery genre.

Hours are Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, noon to 6 p.m.; and Sunday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. On Sunday, books will be half-price.

Kate Mattes opened Kate’s Mystery Books, located on Massachusetts Avenue near Porter Square in Cambridge, Mass., in 1983. It soon became a literary institution and a center for both writers and readers in the New England mystery community.

Mattes closed the shop in 2009, and moved to Vermont be nearer to her family. Her sister, Emily MacAdoo, is handling the sale.

Over the years, book signings at Kate’s became legendary and offered support to many new writers. Mattes was one of the first to welcome the strong woman detective sub-genre.

Sue Grafton was there with her first book, A is for Alibi, and became a lifelong fan. Sara Paretsky, creator of the V.I. Warshawski series, and Mattes were co-founders of Sisters in Crime, which promoted women crime writers.

Robert B. Parker, creator of the Spenser series, was so fond of Kate’s that he helped put up the shop’s shelves. Others who held signings there include P.D. James, Elmore Leonard, Tony Hillerman, Anne Perry, Dennis Lehane, and Archer Mayor.

Mattes was selected as one of 70 women who have made a difference on the 70th anniversary of the Women’s National Book Association, and was honored during the 25th anniversary gathering of Sisters in Crime as one of the original founders.

Mattes received a New England PEN award for her contribution to New England writers, the Raven Award from the Mystery Writers of America for her support of the industry, and the Robert B. Parker award to honor her presence in the area, as well as numerous Best of Boston awards for the shop.

The sale of the Kate’s collection at Antidote is part of an impromptu book fair weekend in Putney.

Putney Public Library will hold its annual Book Sale on Saturday, May 19, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and on Sunday, May 20, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. They will have an eclectic assemblage of pre-loved books, children’s books, DVDs, CDs, and other media. All funds raised will benefit the library’s programs.

And Swirl Resale Shop, in its new location in the former Putney Library on Main Street, will offer a 20 percent discount on books over the weekend.

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