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Our atmosphere is warm and friendly, with oak/cherry bookcases labeled with the historical era, international to local mysteries or related subjects of the books on the shelves, and comfortable seating, inviting you to browse your chosen subject.   If you're unsure where to start, our knowledgeable staff will be happy to act as your guide through fact or fiction, history or mystery, adults' or childrens' books.

Often, you can discuss your opinion about a book with other like-minded (or not) readers,or even the author who caused your joy, thoughtfulness, queries, or maybe dissent, because five different reader/writer discussion groups meet here; and we host frequent author events.





Author Discussion & Signing with Jack Fredrickson

Author Signing: Jack Fredrickson

Title: Tagged for Murder (7th Dek Elstrom Mystery)


July 15, 2018

2:00 PM


When the man who's hired Dek Elstrom disappears, the private investigator's search for his missing client unearths some shocking findings.

The dead man is found spread-eagled on the top of a box car on an abandoned rail siding. He's dressed in a $2000 suit, yet half his teeth are rotten and his skin is bad. Who was he ... and how did he end up there?

When he's offered an exorbitant fee to photograph the scene, PI Dek Elstrom doesn't ask many questions. But his photos reveal something surprising: there's a witness to the murder, a tagger who's returned to the scene to paint what he saw. His work quickly disappears. What is it that the mysterious graffiti artist wants the world to know?

Then a second body shows up - and the case takes a shocking new twist ...

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A former Library Trustee and current President of the Friends of the Hinsdale Public Library, mystery writer Jack Fredrickson is a delightfully enthusiastic advocate for public libraries. If you’ve featured any of his books in your newsletter or on your website, you may have even received a hand-written note of thanks. (Though, given his sense of humor and penchant for self-deprecation, you may have mistaken it for an apology.)

In honor of Booklist’s Mystery Month, I sat down for a “quick” chat with Jack, whose latest Dek Elstrom mystery Hunting Sweetie Rose came out this spring and is just as quirky and enjoyable as its predecessors.

It’s not a huge surprise that Jack became a writer, some of his strongest and earliest memories are of checking out armloads of books from the Park Ridge Public Library. (He even earned his Boy Scout Troop’s very first merit badge—for reading.) Once he was old enough to head into downtown Chicago on his own, he’d take a ten-dollar bill he got for Christmas and case Kroch’s and Brentano’s for hours, plotting which 35-cent paperbacks to take come. He’d start reading on the train and not remove his nose from his books until school started.

Reading remained a passionate hobby, but writing was limited to a couple of business books he wrote in his post-MBA days. (To read more about Cost Reduction in the Office and Designing the Cost-Effective Office, go to the cheekily named “Sleep Aids” page on his website.) After working in management consulting and industrial engineering, Jack ran a successful office furniture business. He retired early and gave himself three years to be irresponsible. Scuba lessons, Appalachian banjo-building lessons, and a string of other adventures followed.

Up for anything, Jack agreed to take a writing class at a local community college with a friend. The friend was not aware that Jack already had a manuscript in a drawer, a story that had been the reason Jack would sneak into the office early or offer to lock the place up at night. The positive feedback he received from this workshop gave him the courage to submit a short story to Ellery Queen magazine. Months later (April Fool’s day, actually) he bought himself a straw hat from Target when he learned it would be published.

Jack continued taking classes and finally went to the Iowa Summer Writing Festival, where an instructor read the first draft of The Gateville Explosions (later to be published as A Safe Place for Dying) and suggested that he send it to an agent. That first agent didn’t bite, but the book did eventually catch the eye of an editor at St. Martin’s. The rest is history. (With a long interlude including lunch at the Oyster Bar at Grand Central Station, a scrambled phone call to his son in which some lady from New York left a message about Jack looking for a place to die in New York, and a trudge to the Flatiron Building. Get Jack to tell you about it sometime.)

Thus, Dek Elstrom, the turret-dwelling, hypocrisy-hating, ex-wife-pining, Ho-Ho-eating former P.I. was released upon the reading public. About Dek’s destiny, “I don’t want to know,” Jack says. “I only know about 10 minutes in advance what’s going to happen.” Which is probably a good thing. Part of the charm of this series is Dek’s casual befuddlement. I think of the Dek Elstrom books as Elmore Leonard on good behavior. They’re not quite cozies, not quite capers. Easily recommended to fans of Lawrence Shames or G.M. Malliet, the characters and irreverent sense of humor are the big draw to this enjoyable series. Now that I think about it, the same can be said of the author.


Tagged for Murder: A Pi Mystery Set in Chicago (Dek Elstrom Mystery #7) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780727887726
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Severn House Publishers - March 1st, 2018

Author Discussion & Signing with David Krugler

Author Discussion & Signing for David Krugler's Rip the Angels from Heaven

Date: July 18, 2018

Day: Wednesday

Time; 7:00 PM


Washington, DC, 1945.

Lieutenant Ellis Voigt of the Office of Naval Intelligence is desperate to keep the secrets that threaten his life. The war overseas is going well for America, but Voigt can't escape a web of double-agents and undercover spies who follow his every move. The FBI suspects that he is the communist who murdered a Naval officer in a Washington back alley. The Soviets believe he's holding back information from their contacts, and they're willing to use any means necessary to extract it. When Voigt is sent to New Mexico on a secret mission to identify a Soviet spy, he is tailed by both the FBI and the Russians, and is running out of people he can trust. As the team at Los Alamos prepares to test an atomic bomb in the desert, Voigt faces the dilemma he'd been trying to avoid: he can stop the Soviets from getting the bomb or he can save himself--but he might not be able to do both.


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Historian, Novelist, Teacher

Dr. David Krugler is the author of three books on modern U.S. history and two novels, The Dead Don't Bleed and the forthcoming Rip the Angels from Heaven (see fiction tab). He teaches at the University of Wisconsin--Platteville, where he is a professor of history. To learn more:  

David Krugler


Rip the Angels from Heaven Cover Image
ISBN: 9781681777788
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Pegasus Books - July 3rd, 2018

Centuries & Sleuths Top Ten Quarterly Bestsellers for First Quarter 2017:

Centuries & Sleuths Bookstore's bestsellers for the First Quarter of 2017. These Bestsellers are determined by a variety of factors (e.g. Author Signings, Mystery & History Discussion Groups' choices, Special Programs, Newspaper & Magazine listings, etc,) in addition to customer & staff recommendations. 


Murder, Stage Left (Nero Wolfe Mysteries) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781504041119
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Mysteriouspress.Com/Open Road - March 7th, 2017

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The Whole Art of Detection: Lost Mysteries of Sherlock Holmes Cover Image
ISBN: 9780802125927
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Mysterious Press - March 7th, 2017

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Some Girls, Some Hats and Hitler: A True Love Story Cover Image
ISBN: 9781476700281
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scribner Book Company - January 14th, 2014

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I Let You Go Cover Image
ISBN: 9781101987506
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Berkley Books - November 29th, 2016

The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143036494
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - October 1st, 2005

The Riverview Murders: A Paul Whelan Mystery (Paul Whelan Mysteries #5) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781626817678
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Diversion Publishing - Ips - February 17th, 2015

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The South Side: A Portrait of Chicago and American Segregation Cover Image
ISBN: 9781137280152
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: St. Martin's Press - March 22nd, 2016

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1938: Hitler's Gamble Cover Image
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9780465022052
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Basic Books - May 10th, 2011

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Hidden Graves: A PI Mystery Set in Chicago (Dek Elstrom PI Mystery #6) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780727886644
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Severn House Publishers - February 1st, 2017

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Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Novels and Stories Volume I Cover Image
ISBN: 9780553212419
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Bantam Classics - November 1st, 1986

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