To Top

Meet Debbie Mitsch of Mystery Ink in Huntington Beach

Today we’d like to introduce you to Debbie Mitsch.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Owning a bookstore always seemed to be the ideal job. Especially after seeing the movie, Crossing Delancey, a romantic comedy starring Amy Irving whose character worked for a New York bookstore. A love of books plus being able to meet and socialize with authors was too good to be true. So after years of working at jobs to get some financial security, I was, hopefully, going to put my Literature Major to use and started looking into opening a bookstore. In preparation, I took a business course and started talking to as many owners/managers of independent bookstores as possible. Joining the American Booksellers Association helped to know the ins and outs of the business and in 1991, I opened the Mystery Ink Bookstore in Laguna Beach. It thrived there for two to three years until the fires hit that area and we were unable to get the business back. Mystery Ink Bookstore went through several locations during the interim years and finally landed in Huntington Beach where it has now resided for about four years.

Mystery Ink specializes in author events that have included, through the years, many local writers as well as best-selling authors such as T. Jefferson Parker, Michael Connelly, Jeffery Deaver, Thomas Perry, Steve Allen & Jayne Meadows, Rhys Bowen, Carolyn Hart, Cara Black, Lisa Brackmann, Patricia McFall, Sheila Lowe, Jeri Westerson, Sue Ann Jaffarian, Naomi Hirahara, and many more.

Mystery Ink also provides the books for many outside events associated with libraries such as their annual fundraising luncheons. They also provide books for the Literary Guild of Orange County, USC MFA program conferences, Southern California Mystery Writers of America, Orange County and Los Angeles Sisters in Crime chapters, and is a regular participant of the USC Festival of Books.

The store specializes in signed first editions as well as having a diverse inventory that besides mysteries and thrillers includes general and non-fiction books, books on writing, children’s books, biographies and graphic novels.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It has not been a smooth road since, as previously stated. there was a major fire in Laguna Beach at the time I had my store there. After that happened, I started going in with other bookstores but, sad to say, it was a time when a lot of the stores were closing including ones that I had gone into with my books. Bookstores are becoming a rarity but…due to the love of books, more independent bookstore have been opening in the last few years.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Mystery Ink – what should we know?
Mystery Ink specializes in mysteries and thrillers. We have numerous talks and signings by the authors so that other writers and mystery fans have the chance to meet the authors and get their books signed by them. We also provide books for many outside events to help the authors get their books known and, hopefully, get more of their books published. We do as many fundraisers as possible for libraries as well as for local groups such as Ladies of Intrigue which provides scholarships for aspiring writers.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Helping writers promote their books as well as making sure their books available to the general public in book form so that their fans have the ability to see the book and get it signed if they select it.

Contact Info:

  • Address:  8907 Warner Avenue, #`135, Huntington Beach, CA.
  • Facebook: Mystery Ink
  • Twitter: Mystery Ink
  • Instagram: Mystery Ink
  • Phone: 714-960-4000 or 714 743-6127 cell
  • Email:

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

More in