Whodunit? Books put up for sale

Owner Linda Dewberry posts ad on website, says she’ll close in April if store doesn’t sell

rboone@theolympian.comFebruary 13, 2014 

Whodunnit? Books owner Linda Dewberry takes pride in offering mystery books by less well-known authors, including her favorite, Elizabeth George.

PHOTOS BY STEVE BLOOM/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

There’s no mystery about it: Linda Dewberry, the longtime owner of Whodunit? Books — the mysteries-only bookstore in downtown Olympia — has decided to move on and has put the business up for sale.

A for-sale advertisement has been posted on the website of NW Book Lovers; Dewberry confirmed her decision Wednesday.

Dewberry said she is asking about $25,000 for the business and the current inventory of both her new and used books.

“There is the potential for growth, a great local landlord, and a prime location with other specialty stores,” her ad states. “The city is full of dedicated readers, and the area has many annual events which bring people to the downtown core.”

She also states that she is willing to train a new owner and help as needed.

Dewberry added Wednesday that it’s time: Her lease expires at the end of April, and she’s 66.

“Eventually you know you’re going to stop,” she said.

If the business doesn’t sell, then it will close at the end of April, Dewberry said.

But it’s not going to stop her interest in reading mysteries or writing about them, said Dewberry, who might create a blog or newsletter after the business sells or closes.

“I’m going to miss my customers and others, but I hope to see them in other places,” she said.

She also plans to continue a mystery reading book group, although she hasn’t settled on a new meeting location just yet.

Dewberry launched the business about 14 years ago in Olympia, starting on Fourth Avenue before eventually moving to Fifth Avenue, the current location.

Prior to the bookstore, Dewberry worked in banking in the Bay Area, finally deciding to pursue her hobby — reading mysteries — as a business.

Family ties brought her to Washington.

“For me it’s been worth it,” she said. “I have no regrets.”

Orca Books owner Linda Berentsen said Dewberry “really knows her stuff,” describing her as passionate about mysteries.

“I’m sorry she’s not able to continue,” she said.

If the business sells — and Dewberry said Wednesday that so far she’s had no inquiries — she’ll encourage the new owner to create a website and sell e-books, the current trend in publishing.

For more information, go to nwbooklovers.org/ classifieds.

Rolf Boone: 360-754-5403 rboone@theolympian.com

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