M – Mystery Book Stores

WELCOME to the letter M and to this year’s theme: BOOKSHOPS

If I had a bookstore I would make all the mystery novels hard to find.
Demetri Martin

It was not until after my mother died that I picked up one of her mysteries and discovered what I’d been missing. Though I read a lot of different genres, I count among my treasured friends the Inspectors I keep company with between the pages of a mystery book. As for stand-alone mystery bookstores, well, pure delight. The next best thing for mystery lovers is a room entirely dedicated to a discerning selection of mystery writers found in our favorite independent bookstores. Next time you go looking for mysteries, I highly recommend you take this short list with you and introduce yourself to my esteemed Inspector friends:  Louise Penny’s Inspector Armand Gamache series set in and around Quebec. Donna Leon’s series set in Venice Itlay with wonderful Commissario Guido Brunetti, Martin Walkers series set in St. Denis France with Bruno, the Chief of Police, and Christopher Fowler’s series featuring The Peculiar Crime Unit of Scotland Yard with Investigators, Arthur Bryant, and John May. This list is my thank you for reading this year’s blog challenge theme and following my blog. You will forever think of me as your best friend who got you hooked on these well written…it doesn’t get any better than these…..mystery writers.

119 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT               802-258-2211

Mystery on Main Street bookshop is near the New Hampshire and Massachusetts borders. Here are hard to find books, classics like Conan Doyle and contemporary writers. How could I resist celebrating a mystery bookstore on Main Street? I also write a  blog, Mainstreetrockymount.com, (honoring the past and building a future) where I champion preservation and the revitalization of Main Street.

Main Street Brattleboro, VT

I chuckled when I read a quote by Greg Bruss who once owned Mysteries and More in Nashville, TN. He said, “I’m very happy if someone dies in the first paragraph.” I wonder if Mr. Bruss would like the opening line from a mystery by Julia Spenser-Fleming?

“It was a hell of a night to throw away a baby.” This observation by a female Episcopal priest who finds a baby on the church steps after a vestry meeting. Let the mystery begin. If you have a favorite mystery bookstore, I hope you will mention it in the comment section below for the benefit of fellow mystery readers. Thanks!




About Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin

Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin grew up in Evanston, IL. and is a graduate of the University of Kentucky. She is an author of two novels: The Greening of a Heart and Facing East. She lives, writes and gardens in NC. Visit her: Stephenyhoughtlin.com
This entry was posted in Ato Z Blog Challenge 2018 and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to M – Mystery Book Stores

  1. Can’t say I know of a specific mystery bookstore but I’d like to tell everyone about a mystery police drama series I have become addicted to. The Kate Burkholder series by Linda Castillo. Kate is the Chief of Police in a small Ohio town in the heart of Amish country and she is former Amish. You would not believe the crime cases inside and outside the Amish society.

  2. I love a good mystery, both reading and watching (and writing) – Christie, Sayers, Caroline Graham’s Midsomer. My sis and I have published our own which is magic and murder, and I’m working on a more traditional murder mystery.

    Sophie’s A to Z – Ghostly Inspirations

  3. trishafaye says:

    What a fascinating first line by Julia Spenser-Fleming! I’d keep reading for sure.
    Wonderful post – again!

  4. Atherton says:

    Hello, fellow A-to-Zer! Also? I love your topic! Until recently, Philadelphia (the nearest city to my home) had a mystery bookshop. I went there only once, but that once was an inexpressible joy. I spent hours there, and when it came to carrying the bags of books back home on the train, I was extra-glad my boyfriend was with me, as I couldn’t have managed them all alone!
    Also-Also, I am an occasional reader of the Gamache mysteries, and I’ve read (I think) most of Bryant and May. Do you like Reginald Hill?

    • I read Reginald Hill early in my mystery reading days, but for some reason left him behind. Delighted to read that you read Bryant and May too. I LOVE the writing, the settings, always learning whether it is about the pubs, the river, the underground terminals, the gardens. Always great. I laughed when I read you needed help getting your book purchases home. Wish we could talk books over a cup of tea.

  5. My mother used t love murder mysteries. I watch a few English ones on TV and recently read The Number 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency for Book Club. I really enjoyed its whimsical approach to solving crime.

  6. What cooler name for this bookstore than “Mystery on Main Street”?! Love it. Sorry you lost your Mom.


  7. Lisa says:

    Mysteries are my favorite! Not bloody murder mysteries (with details of the gore!), the suspenseful kind. My favorites are the Martha Grimes series with Emma Graham (but first End of the Pier to set the scene, even if Emma isn’t in it). They read soooo much differently from her Richard Jury novels you wouldn’t know it was the same author.

    • Me too! No true crime, brutal descriptions for me. That’s why I listed the series I did in this post because they are so well written and thought out without the blood and guts. I will try the Martha Grimes series you mention. Thanks.

  8. I loved the name of the book store, I Love a Mystery… will look it up. I found a great used book store in Great Barrington Mass. on main st. The Yellow House.

  9. Love that store’s name Mystery on Main St.

  10. raesquiggles says:

    Love your theme. I could lose myself in a bookshop all day. When it comes to crime and mysteries, I do love the obscure. If you ever find a Gwendoline Butler in a bookshop, you’re on to a rare find.

  11. faeriembassy says:

    I love guido , the others I dont know so will check them out. I dont know of any mystery book stores but here in cobargo we have a secondhand bookshop called well thumbed and they host a sisters in crime festival each year .

  12. Jean Davis says:

    My mother read mysteries too! When she died, we had boxes and boxes of them that some lovely woman came to claim with great excitement. What I always found so odd was that she would read the last several pages first and then read the whole book to see if she could see how the writer put it all together.

    I read some mysteries early on, but then I spun off into fantasy and sci-fi and never looked back.

    • Don’t you wonder what makes a person like your Mom and many others read an ending no matter the genre? Someone got lucky in claiming your Mom’s books. I write about my library and what will happen to it at the last post. Don’t be annoyed with me if I say sci-fi and only a little fantasy is my thing. Judging on how many blogs write about both these things, there must be a large audience for both categories.You are in great company. A book for everyone’s tastes. Cause to celebrate.

  13. I miss independent book stores but never really ran into one specializing in mysteries. Love it…will be on the lookout as we travel. Thanks!

    Donna B McNicol, author & traveler
    Romance & Mystery…writing my life
    A-Z Flash Fiction Tales: http://dbmcnicol.blogspot.com
    A-Z of Goldendoodles: http://ourprimeyears.blogspot.com

  14. cleemckenzie says:

    What great opening hooks! And thanks for the great list of mysteries to look into. I really liked the idea of making mystery books difficult to find. Brilliant idea.

  15. Donna Smith says:

    Loved the quote by Demetri Martin: “If I had a bookstore I would make all the mystery novels hard to find.”

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