We have lost Kate Mattes, proprietor of the legendary Kate’s Mystery Books in Cambridge, co-founder (with Sara Paretsky) of Sisters in Crime, and all-around champions of writers, particularly women writers, and readers. Word is that she had a sudden cardiac event, following a period of declining health. More (including links to a full obit) as I get it.

Kate was the best. I owe her a special debt because she was the one who (after one of her legendary parties) told me, “You should write a mystery.” (Reader, I did.) Had lunch with her some time ago, after she closed her shop and retired to Vermont. Meant to keep in touch. Didn’t. Moral of the story: reach out to those who matter NOW. And, as Toni L.P. Kelner so wisely said, let’s raise a glass to Kate – and buy a book, ideally from an independent bookseller.