Since it’s opening in 1982 in a 500 sq. ft. space in Coral Gables, Fl., Books & Books has grown. Its flagship store moved across the street into a 9,000 sq. ft. location, which is on the Register of Historic Places, added a full-service café, and now hosts more than 60 events a month. In 1989, owner Mitchell Kaplan added a second store on Lincoln Road in South Beach. After the opening of a third store in 2005 in the Bal Harbor Shops, an upscale mall that boasts the highest dollar per sq. ft. ratio in the world, Books & Books began leveraging its brand. In 2007, it opened a store in the Cayman Islands. Three years later it opened an affiliate store in Westhampton Beach, Long Island. Books & Books also partners on stores in Miami International airport, at the Southeast Financial Center in downtown Miami, and at the Coral Gables Museum. In addition, the bookstore developed a publishing arm five years ago and has released close to a dozen titles.

Books & Books head Kaplan helped found the Miami Book Fair more than 30 years ago, and he serves on the steering committee of the Florida Center for the Literature & Writing, Miami-Dade College’s literary center, the umbrella organization for the book fair. He is a former president of the American Booksellers Association and serves on the board of the American Booksellers for Free Expression. In 2011, Kaplan received the National Book Foundation’s “Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community.”

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Meet The Queen of Danish Crime


In her native Denmark, Sara Blaedel is a household name, dubbed by her fans as the Queen of Danish Crime. She has sold more than 1.8 million copies of her nine bestselling books, and her latest publishing deal is the largest in Danish history. U.S. readers, though, probably haven’t heard of Blaedel. With her latest novel, The Forgotten Girls, Blaedel, her new American publisher, and a few famous literary friends are out to change that.

In the weeks following the February 3 release of Forgotten Girls, Grand Central sent Blaedel across the country for various events featuring heavy hitters in American fiction, all of them outspoken fans of her work. Blaedel kicked off the tour on February 17, when she was joined in conversation by Karin Slaughter at Eagle Eye Books in Slaughter’s hometown of Atlanta. The two authors met, and became friends, when Slaughter was in Denmark promoting her 2011 novel, Fallen. (It was through Slaughter that Blaedel met Sanders.)

The tour moved on to Coral Gables, Fla., where Brad Meltzer introduced Blaedel to a crowd gathered for the February 18 event. (Blaedel met Meltzer on a thriller panel at last year’s BEA.) Bestselling mystery-thriller author Sara Paretsky paired with Blaedel for an event on February 19 at Women & Children First in Chicago, and on February 24, Michael Connelly, who called Blaedel “one of the best I’ve come across,” will join her in conversation at Vroman’s in Pasadena, Calif.

“These writers are Sara’s biggest fans,” said Mitch Hoffman, Blaedel’s editor at Grand Central. “They all came to Sara and said ‘how can we help?’”
The Forgotten Girls, which is the seventh book in Blaedel’s series starring Detective Louise Rick (three other titles in the series were published in the U.S. by Pegasus), hinges on Rick’s investigations of crimes committed, and hidden, in a forest outside of Copenhagen.

When asked what drew him to the submission when it came across his desk in 2013, Hoffman pointed to the “same qualities that have made her books international bestsellers, and that have earned her such a passionate following among her fellow authors. She is a fantastic storyteller, and her character Louise Rick is simply a wonderful, singular creation,” added Hoffman. “Once American readers get to know Sara and Louise, I have no doubt that they will fall in love with both the author and her books.”

Listen to The Book Report at your convenience. Go to https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-book-report/id540205917?mt=2, or at bookreportradio.com, click on Archived Shows