Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Spotlight on Murder by the Book (Houston)

For Lonestar State sleuths, Houston's Murder by the Book is a dream come true. And the Killer Characters are delighted to help Murder by the Book celebrate its 30th anniversary (this month!!) by sharing the joys of the store with our readers.

This cozy shop--complete with overstuffed chairs and quiet nooks for reading--stocks over 25,000 volumes of new and used crime fiction. They host signings by the best crime writers (from New York Times bestselling thriller writers to Agatha Award winning cozy authors...), sell signed first editions, and greet everyone to the store with a warm Texas welcome.

The staff at Murder by the Book are deeply involved in the mystery community. Owner McKenna Jordan and Assistant Manager David Thompson will be hosting Bouchercon 2011 (along with Crimespree Magazine's Jon Jordan). David also launched Busted Flush Press in 2005. His objective: to reprint favorite out-of-print mysteries. Busted Flush Press has, in addition, published two original anthologies of mystery fiction, both of which have been nominated for Edgar Awards.

David's not the only Murder by the Book employee with a hand in the publishing biz. Former manager and now-part-time employee Dean James crafts cozies under the pen names Jimmie Ruth Evans, Honor Hartman, and Miranda James.

In short, the staff of Murder by the Book aren't just out to make a buck. They're passionately devoted to mysteries, the people who write them, and the people who read them. That commitment to service has garnered them the prestigious Mystery Writers of America Raven Award, the James Patterson PageTurner Award, and four consecutive nominations for Publishers Weekly's Bookseller of the Year Award.

If you're in the Houston area, do yourself a favor and stop by Murder by the Book.

Be sure to check out their impressive calendar of signings and events so you don't miss your favorite author. Even if you aren't fortunate enough to live in the great state of Texas, you can find signed books and cool merchandise through their website; follow them on Twitter or Facebook; or check out their blog.

* REMINDER: One lucky commenter this month will receive a $10 gift certificate to Murder by the Book. The more comments you leave, the more chances you have to win!


  1. I love this store, and if I don't get to go on my trips to Houston, I get grumpy. It's a real treat for mystery lovers!


  2. I've never been to Houston before and it's definitely one of the places I want to visit.

    Happy Anniversary Murder by the Book!

  3. I was born in Houston, but haven't been to this store on my recent visits. Thanks for the idea!

    I saw a few of your authors at a book event in Cary last night, and they were great! I talk about it today on my blog.


  4. Dru - if you ever want to come down to Texas, I'll make the drive to meet you at MbtB (and I'll bring Marty with me -- you two would get along like a house afire).

    Michele - I'm envious! Thanks for stopping by and next time you're in Houston, be sure to tell David and McKenna that the Killer Characters sent you. ;)

  5. I'm going there for the first time on The Fatal Four Book Tour with Maggie Sefton, Wendy Lyn Watson, and Jenn McKinlay. Look out Houston on October 1st!

  6. Wendy: thanks for the kind words about the bookstore, and also for mentioning my books. We're all looking forward to your visit, along with your companions in crime-writing. I know it's going to be a very fun afternoon!

    And if I can sneak in a tiny bit of news... my new book, MURDER PAST DUE, under the name Miranda James, will be on the extended NY Times mass market bestseller list at #26. I still can't quite believe it.

  7. Thanks, everyone, for the post and the kind words on Murder By The Book!! And we can't wait to see Hannah(Deb), Wendy, Jenn McKinlay & Maggie Sefton at a special signing, Friday, October 1, 6:30 p.m.!!

  8. It's definitely my favorite bookstore. I wish I could make the signing of every author I read regularly but have to limit myself to ten or so every year. There are always so many recommended books to try ...

  9. I've been wanting to get to Murder By The Book forever. Not in the cards this year, but I'm holding out hope that 2011 is a little less frantic. Wouldn't it be great if Bouchercon went to Houston? I'd love that! Not that I'm hinting or anything....

    Congrats Dean!!


  10. I've got to get myself down to Houston one of these days. B'con down there sounds perfect...

    Happy 30th!

  11. Love, Love, LOVE MBTB!!! I go in as often as I can (not nearly as often as I want) and always find more to buy than my billfold can stand. I've attended a number author visits there - something I had never done until discovering this great store. Happy anniversary!!

  12. My crit partners and I have talking about going to the NW Houston conference in November, the book store would make a great side trip!

  13. I LOVE Murder by the Book - I've visited three times with my three books and always have the most wonderful time.