On a hot summer day in Houston, Texas, my friends and I found ourselves wandering into a very special bookstore called Murder By The Book. Why is this bookstore so special, you're wondering? Well, the most obvious reason is that they're a delightful independent bookstore that specializes in all things mystery. But there's so much more to love about this store, and I'm here to tell you all about it.
Quick (super professional) aside here: if you're wondering why I didn't blur out the license plate number above, know that I definitely thought about it and then I read this on the Internet. So blocking out plate numbers is dumb, and also I was too lazy to do it. Besides, Mary is already an outlaw, so please report her to the cops if you want. See if she cares.
Anyhow, back to the bookstore pictured above. In the age of Amazon, many independent bookstores are finding that there is value in appealing to niche customers looking for booksellers who have knowledge about and are well read in specific genres. Murder By The Book is such a bookstore, specializing in all things murderrrrrrr (insert my devil voice here) and crime-related.
As a mystery/true crime/thriller/horror fanatic, I found that entering this store was like entering a library curated especially to my tastes. The shelves in this store are lined head to toe with gorgeous looking murdery books, some brand new, some used, and many of them signed. While I was there perusing the shelves, I picked up a brand new (signed!) copy of Ruth Ware's latest The Death of Mrs. Westaway. SO PUMPED!
Even better, if you can't make it into the store to meet your favorite mystery authors or to purchase a signed copy in-person, Murder By The Book offers their catalogue of signed books for purchase in their online store. Check out the full list of signed books (listed alphabetically) here (A-L) and here (M-Z).
If you are in the Houston area or can make it to the Houston area any time soon, you really should hit up one of the store's many author signings. Murder By The Book's list of upcoming book signings is basically the "who's who" of mystery authors. For a taste of what's to come, check out their current signing flyer.
My favorite thing about Murder By The Book, however, is all of the personalized recommendations and notes scattered around the store. I love a good "Staff Picks" wall, and the fact that this store focuses on a certain genre of books mean the staff really knows their stuff when it comes to these books. There are also little notes on all of the shelves giving you a little bit of bonus info about certain books so you have an even better idea of what to pay attention to and what books you might like. The curated feel of this store and other independent bookstores like it is truly what sets the experience apart from shopping online or in big box stores.
Also as an added bonus: you can play a fun game of "Spot the #BSG picks" in a lot of these pictures. We like a good mystery/crime/thriller novel every now and then... when it's not The Couple Next Door.
But wait! There's more! Murder By The Book's love for crime, mystery, etc. doesn't stop with books. The store carries all sorts of murdery goodies for your purchasing pleasure. You know those murder mystery dinner party games? They have them. Murdery/mystery t-shirts, coffee mugs, tote bags, and other such paraphernalia? They've got you covered. Along with my Ruth Ware purchase (because of course I couldn't stop there), I also picked up a murder mystery card game. Yes, with this bookstore you can incorporate murder into every part of your life.
But wait! There's even more! Murder By The Book has book group meetings monthly, and each month has a different theme. For instance, the theme for July's book group is suspense/thrillers (they're reading I Found You by Lisa Jewell). For a full list of events (including signings and author luncheons and Christmas parties) check out their calendar.
Murder By The Book is a great store to visit if you have the opportunity, but as I've mentioned throughout their article, their online site is full of great stuff you can buy from afar, including all of their book inventory and merch. So support indie niche stores and amp up your mystery book library by shopping at Murder By The Book, either online or in person.