From Fantagraphics, for our second Independent Bookstore Day 2016 stop, we headed downtown from to one of our favorite spots, Seattle Mystery Bookshop, specializing (obviously) in mystery books. This bookshop is the whole package. Nestled into a fantastic underground location, that is simultaneously secluded and yet still has enough windows to let in natural light, is a book buyers dream. Like all bookshops, there is the security that comes from being surrounded by thousands of tomes, new and familiar alike, and the requisite comfy chairs patiently await your attention as they do in many small independent bookstores.
However, what really sets Seattle Mystery Bookshop apart are the people who work there. They are some of the nicest, most helpful, avid readers you will ever meet. They make me wish I liked mystery novels more, so that I would have an excuse to visit their store more often. Yet, despite this, I have never failed to leave this store without managing to discover something. Perhaps this is because of the rather elastic definition of Mystery the store uses. While still including true classics to the genre like Agatha Christie, and Sir Author Conan Doyle and those who follow in their footsteps of who dun its and true crime, the Seattle Mystery Bookshop also includes stories that one may not strictly define as mysteries, but that certainly contain a mystery to be discovered. As a result science fiction novels such as Ready Player One, paranormal books such as A Discovery of Witches, and children’s books such as Fortunately the Milk, all manage to share space along side Dexter and Sherlock Holmes novels without issue. The books chosen are simply top notch, and not just the books for adults, which constitute approximately 95% of the store.
Their children’s section is, like the rest of the store, is a small, hand-selected assortment of awesomeness. Two of my daughters, whom have extremely different tastes, both managed to find books that could literally been written just for them.
As part of the Independent Bookstore Day 2016 festivities the Seattle Mystery Bookshop brought back their hit from last year: A Blind Date with a Book. This allowed customers who “reduced the store’s inventory by $10, to pick out a free brown paper bag filled with ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies) with only a minimal hint as to the contents on the bag front.