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Michael Connelly will say happy birthday to the Mystery Bookstore on Saturday

October 23, 2009 |  8:10 am

Michaelconnellyinechopark The Mystery Bookstore in Westwood celebrates its first birthday with new owners Pam Woods and Kirk Pasich on Saturday. All day, they promise food, drink, fun and authors.

Michael Connelly tops things off at 6 p.m. He'll be signing his latest Harry Bosch novel, "Nine Dragons," as long as you purchase your copy at the store.

"To say that 'Nine Dragons' is coiled tight with suspense understates Connelly's accomplishment in portraying Bosch at the cusp of a new world," our reviewer writes, "And though Connelly remains a master at detailing the intricacies of 'the job,' it is Harry's longing for reunion and connection with his ex-wife and daughter, the overwhelming vulnerability he feels as a father, that makes 'Nine Dragons' another standout."

At 5 p.m., James Ellroy will sign "Blood's A Rover," alongside the real-life Don Crutchfield, who appears, fictionalized, as a young wheel-man in the book. The adult Crutchfield, who became a private detective, will sign copies of his memoir "Confessions of a Hollywood Private Eye." Ask him about the drugs and the Beatles.

Things get underway at 10:30 a.m. with Joseph Kanon ("Stardust"), to be followed by Susan Kandel ("Dial H for Hitchcock"), Charlie Huston ("My Dead Body") and Frank Beddor, whose amped-up graphic-novel retellings of the Alice in Wonderland story are geared for young adults.

The Mystery Bookstore has been around in a couple of locations and under different ownership for 20 years. And if it was somewhat mysterious for Pasich and Woods to take over last year, during a particularly dark time for independent bookstores, this first birthday celebration shows that they're on the right track.

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: Michael Connelly in Echo Park. Credit: Terrill Lee Lankford / Little, Brown & Co.