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August 16, 2007


Clea Simon

I never got to be a regular, but I will always be grateful to Bonnie and Joe for kindness to a newbie.

When my first mystery came out in 2005, I passed through NYC on a flying trip (one day with a friend's new baby, one day with relatives). I was running late (normal for me) and Bonnie found my book, had me sign it, and promised that a feline-focused person there would read it. I was able to drop by a few more times over the years, just to browse and buy, But it was that first visit, when a calming owner smoothed my nervously ruffled feathers, that I will remember.

Thank you, Bonnie and Joe!

Steven Torres

First bookstore owners to actually know who I was when I walked in determined to get them to order copies of my first book in 2002. They said they'd been looking for me - loved the book, had a lot of orders to fill. Surprise to me - St. Martin's had told them that I had moved from NYC (true) and would not come back to the city to sign stock (absolutley false).

I thought for a moment that they had to be putting me on - somebody liked my book and I had no idea who they were? Then Joe pulled out 25 copies for me to sign and stuffed envelopes with them as I signed them. That's a pick-me-up if ever there was one in this business.


I walked in off the street on a snowy January night, a few weeks before the official publication date of my first book, and they made me feel like Agatha Christie. Many, many happy memories of signings there and NY is Book Country. And, for some reason, my favorite photographs all seem to come from Black Orchid. (As I write this, I am looking at a photo of Joe and me, taken during my 2005 visit there.)

As a journalist, I was warned to stay away from superlatives, but in the case of Bonnie and Joe, there simply aren't enough.

Jason Pinter

My first introduction to the Black Orchid was through my father. Growing up my family lived three blocks away from the store, and once a week my dad would announce, "I'm going to the Black Orchid." He would return an hour later with a bag full of books, which he would pass on to me when he was finished. They were my first real introduction to crime fiction. More often than not my dad would buy books he hadn't heard of, trusting Bonnie and Joe enough to know if they recommended it, he'd enjoy it.

It wasn't until a year ago when my wife and I moved into the neighborhood that I began going back to the Orchid, chatting with Bonnie and Joe and going home with 3 or 4 books with their stamp of approval. And there was no greater honor than having a signing there this summer for my first novel.

The night of my signing my father stopped by, his first trip to the Orchid in several years. Bonnie and Joe recognized him on the spot. They are wonderful booksellers, great people, and like Sarah I only wish I'd gone more often.


I don't know NY well but I can get to E. 81st in my sleep. The first time I stepped into Black Orchid Bonnie took my arm kissed me on both cheeks and said, 'we'll do things French style' pointed to a pile of books and said 'do you mind signing?' Bowled over I just sat down on the stool in the back and started in and chatted with Bonnie. Joe was stacking books and Marilyn (who Bonnie said read while walking to the subway liteally a book a day) rushed in. That was the first of many visits. And then there were the Edgar parties spilling over the stoop and onto the street, the drinking and nudging when Mary Higgins Clark or was it Lawrence Block maybe Michael Connelly pulled up in a limo and joined the crowd. Enjoy the party tonight and raising a glass to you Bonnie and Joe, l'haim, salut, thanks for everything and big kisses on both cheeks,

Kathy Kiley

Bonnie and Joe. You will be missed. Black Orchid will be missed. Your wonderful parties will be missed. Your recommendations will be missed. The lovely chats on those too few occasions that I could get uptown will be missed.
I count myself lucky to have known your wonderful bookstore. And enjoyed your wonderful company. My only regret? That I hadn't discovered the Black Orchid sooner.


Warmest wishes (tinged, of course with enormous regret) to Bonnie and Joe from all their many friends in the UK. Bonnie and Joe made me feel hugely welcome from the moment I first walked into their store, helping me forget that I was an unknown British writer with their wonderful support and encouragement, and it was always my first port of call whenever I got the chance to go to New York. Like Laura, I too am staring at a picture - a treasured one of myself, my kids and a beaming Bonnie - taken when we dropped in there last Halloween. Of course they will be hugely missed as booksellers - but I hope I still get the chance to see them whenever I'm over. Have a great evening, guys. With lots of love.
Mark x

Cornelia Read

Thirteen years is just about exactly as long as I've been living away from Manhattan. I am an idiot! Wish I had been there to spend time (and money) at Bonnie and Joe's wonderful place.

Jeff Cohen

Well, NOW I'm bummed out! I didn't even know! Bonnie and Joe have been the BEST, bar none, of the booksellers I've met in the past five years (no offense to all the others, but they're Bonnie and Joe). They actually had heard of my books, and treated me like family whenever I ventured by, which hasn't been often enough. This and Phil Rizzuto in the same week? It's going to be hard to go on.

Meg Cabot

Before I even published my first adult mystery, Bonnie and Joe kindly displayed my other books in the window (okay, okay, I live in Marilyn's building and she introduced me to them--but still!)...They're the staunchest supporters of books (whatever the genre) an author could ever dream of! They and their fabulous shop will be sorely missed (and where will I go for my out of print Patricia Wentworth fix now???) I love and will miss you! The neighborhood won't be the same without you. Wish I could be there to say goodbye in person....Love, Meg

julia spencer-fleming

Best to Bonnie and Joe from the Great Northern Woods!

Black Orchid means so much to so many, but I did want to add one small aside that is near to my heart.

After emerging from the Great Northern Woods as a new author, green as a gooseberry, I brought my daughter Victoria to The Big City. Well, all she wanted in the world was the latest Meg Cabot book. And wouldn't you know, Bonnie and Joe had not only the new book, but a signed copy. I had the happiest daughter on the planet, and that made me Queen for a Day. With Bonnie and Joe it's always been about the
readers, the writers and the little things in life. Thank you.


Sharon Zukowski

I've known Bonnie longer than Joe. She was working in the East Side Foul Play, I was working at Lenox Hill Hospital. After months on lunchtime visits, I got up the nerve to admit that I was writing a mystery. Bonnie encouraged me and always asked about my progress. I was thrilled to have my first book signing for my book at Foul Play. And that's when I met Joe (before they were "Bonnie & Joe").

I kept writing; they followed their dream of a bookstore.The Black Orchid was born. It was a writer's refuge. You could always find a warm welcome, recommendations of books that should be read, gossip about the industry--and, more than anything else, friendship. (The mystery world's version of Cheers: everyone knows your name)

Unfortunately in the past year I have not been able to visit the Black Orchid as much as I would have liked and now I'm mourning because the mystery writing and reading world has been diminished. We have lost a special place.

All my love and respect to Bonnie and Joe!

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