Working through my personally designed tour of the bookstores in Denver, my girlfriends, Leslie and Dee, and I walked up to an old Victorian home on Pearl Street that was a combination of cozy and puzzling, perfect for a mystery bookstore.
Murder by the Book
Murder by the Book carries only mysteries, used, new and collectible, but all mysteries and crime fiction (Leslie and I decided we don’t know the difference between the two genres). While all of us liked a good mysterious tale, what impressed me was that we each have our own passions and the owner found a mystery that matched those interests. I’m love art history, so I went home with The Art Thief by Noah Charney. I majored many years ago in Soviet Studies leading me to The Death of Achilles by Boris Akunin, called the “Russian Ian Fleming” by Ruth Rendell. She had recommendations for YA mysterys, some that were better for girls and others that boys preferred. You think of a topic, she had a mystery.
The store truly is a house, with the nicer collectible and hardbacks in the front “entertaining” room and the paperbacks meandering through the hall to the side room. While small, there’s room for a couch and a place for the owner’s daughter to do her homework, which we did our best to distract her from. In solid bookstore fashion, there’s even a cat, Bruce.
Leslie is the true mystery fan among us and she left with a stack of books, so much so we almost had to check our bags to get home because if was iffy if we could lift them into the overhead compartments. She agreed to share one of her favorites from the store:
A Beautiful Blue Death is Charles Finch‘s first book. Set in Victorian England, it is the story of a fairly well to do gentleman, Charles Lenox, who loves solving mysteries as a profession although he continually grapples with feeling that he should be doing something more appropriate to his station in life. His childhood friend, Lady Jane, is a widow who happens to live next door and asks him for his help with the supposed suicide of one of her servants. Charles, being the clever sort, will certainly figure it out.
What follows is an intriguing picture into Victorian life in England. Charles Finch does a superb job of showing us upper crust life back in the mid 1860′s. We can feel the cold seeping through the house as Read the rest of this entry »