HOUSTON — If you’re on the hunt for a killer book, take note.
"We are the world’s largest crime fiction bookstore," said McKenna Jordan, owner of Murder by the Book. "We have an incredible assortment of crime fiction. We have a few fantasy books. We have some nonfiction that certainly leans toward true crime."
Stuffed with more than 25,000 hardbacks, paperbacks, first editions and collectibles, the store along Bissonnet has been a Houston staple since 1980.
"A woman named Martha Farrington was the original owner. She saw a need for people to come in who like Agatha Christie books and read lots of other mysteries," Jordan said. "I purchased it from her in 2009 and have been the owner ever since."
This chapter of the bookstore’s history is full of characters who know their way around a whodunit.
"Well, we read a lot," explained Jordan. "All of my staff here are voracious readers and we consider ourselves walking encyclopedias on the genre. Everyone’s read mystery and crime fiction their whole lives."
You can look for clues in the form of staff recommendations about what to read next. Even better – just ask!
"If you want to come in to talk to us about recommendations, we love doing that," Jordan said. "Unlike the online algorithms that try to predict great read-a-likes or recommended books based on your taste, we actually read the books and we try to make sure we get the right book in the readers’ hands."
We’re talking about readers of all ages.
"We do have a young readers section and a bunch of us read those books and love recommending them," said Jordan. "We have everything from Nancy Drew to some of your darker young adult fantasy."
The store is also famous for its lineups.
"Any bestselling author who writes crime fiction thrillers, they’re going to come visit us here in Houston for a nice big crowd of readers," Jordan said.
You can check out Murder by the Book's event calendar here.