Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Murder By The Book

Bookstore: Murder By The Book

Location: Houston, Texas

Official Patter: "Murder By The Book is one of the nation's oldest and largest mystery specialty bookstores, established in 1980 by Martha Farrington, and purchased by McKenna Jordan in 2009. The store stocks over 25,000 books - new and used, hardbacks and paperbacks, first editions, collectibles, gift items, mystery magazines, and more. We host over 200 of the hottest mystery, crime, and fantasy authors for book signing events every year. We've had everyone from Dick Francis to P.D. James, Sue Grafton to Robert Crais, Michael Connelly to Patricia Cornwell, James Lee Burke to Daniel Silva."

Why I Love Them: They are literally my favorite bookstore that I've never been to! I first heard about them because I had fallen in love with the Pink Carnation series by Lauren Willig and I saw this was a bookstore she was stopping at way back in 2008 to promote the fourth book in the series, The Seduction of the Crimson Rose. It wasn't long before I started to notice how many authors I loved stopped by, all those wonderful signed first editions that could be coming my way! From Tasha Alexander to Deanna Raybourn, Melissa Marr to Kate Morton, Mary Robinette Kowal to Jacqueline Winspear, so many authors on the historical fiction/mystery spectrum made Murder By The Book their go to stop on their tours that I long to live closer. And this doesn't even include Charlaine Harris's link to the store and how many signed books they have supplied me with of hers!

Best Buy: But the best thing about Murder By The Book is that through them I have been given some of the best book recommendations. Recommendations that I'm sure I'd never have heard of otherwise! Johnnie Cakes (the moniker many authors know and love John Kwiatowski by) introduced me to The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences, a favorite Steampunk series of mine by Pip Ballantine and her husband Tee Morris among many many others. Occasionally he'll just email me and be like, you need this. I always listen. But before Johnnie there was the store's dearly departed owner David Thompson giving me recommendations. Back in 2009 there was a new book coming out, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie and he told me it was not just a must read but that it was going to be big. I listened and am the proud owner of a signed first edition of this Alan Bradley book that went on to win every award that year. Though the awards would mean nothing if it wasn't for the fact that I just fell in love with this series. Every year I wait with baited breath for the next installment, currently at nine books, one short story, and book ten on the way. There's something about Flavia De Luce that I just connect with. She's precocious, incorrigible, and whip-smart. She might be one of my favorite crime solving heroines of all time, and easily my favorite who isn't yet a teenager! But to think, I would never have heard of her it not for David! That is why I love reaching out and forming relationships with bookstores online. They have all these books they want to recommend to you and they help to expand your horizons. The Internet truly does make the world smaller, and because of it I've met some great friends, both real and fictional.       


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