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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.

 

 

 

 

Authors Discussion & Signing with Max Allan & Barbara Collins and A. Brad Schwartz

August 19, 2018

Sunday

Time: 2:00 PM

Guest Authors: Max Allan Collins, Barbara Collins, and A. Brad Schwartz

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Max Allan Collins  was hailed in 2004 by Publisher's Weekly as “a new breed of writer.” A frequent Mystery Writers of America “Edgar” nominee in both fiction and non-fiction categories, he has earned an unprecedented eighteen Private Eye Writers of America “Shamus” nominations, winning for his Nathan Heller novels, True Detective (1983) and Stolen Away (1991), receiving the PWA life achievement award, the Eye, in 2007. The first Heller in almost a decade, the Marilyn Monroe-oriented Bye Bye, Baby (2011), will be followed in 2012 by Target Lancer, the long-promised JFK Heller novel.

His graphic novel Road to Perdition (1998) is the basis of the Academy Award-winning 2002 film starring Tom Hanks, Paul Newman and Daniel Craig, directed by Sam Mendes. It was followed by two acclaimed prose sequels, Road to Purgatory (2004) and Road to Paradise (2005), and a graphic novel sequel, Return to Perdition (2011). He has written a number of innovative suspense series, including Nolan (the author’s first series, about a professional thief), Quarry (the first series about a hired killer), and Eliot Ness (four novels about the famous real-life Untouchable’s Cleveland years). He is completing a number of “Mike Hammer” novels begun by the late Mickey Spillane, with whom Collins did many projects; the fourth of these, Lady Go, Die!, was published in 2012.

His many comics credits include the syndicated strip Dick Tracy (1977 - 1993); his own Ms. Tree (longest-running private eye comic book); Batman; and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, based on the hit TV series for which he has also written video games, jigsaw puzzles, and ten novels that have sold millions of copies worldwide. Collins was assisted on his CSI novels by writer Matthew Clemens, with whom he collaborates on short stories and such novels as You Can’t Stop Me (2010), a Thriller Award nominee, and its sequel No One Will Hear You (2011).

He has been termed “the novelization king” by Entertainment Weekly, with tie-in books on the USA Today bestseller list nine times and the New York Times list three times. His movie novels include Saving Private RyanAir Force One, and American Gangster, which won the Best Novel “Scribe” Award in 2008 from the International Association of Tie-in Writers.

An independent filmmaker in the midwest, he has written and directed five features and two documentaries, including the Lifetime movie Mommy (1996) and a 1997 sequel, Mommy's Day. He wrote The Expert, a 1995 HBO World Premiere, and The Last Lullaby, starring Tom Sizemore, a 2008 feature film based on Collins’ acclaimed novel, The Last Quarry; the film won numerous awards on the film festival circuit before its theatrical and home-video release.

His one-man show, Eliot Ness: An Untouchable Life, was nominated for an Edgar for Best Play of 2004 by the Mystery Writers of America; a film version, written and directed by Collins, was released on DVD in 2008 and appeared on PBS stations in 2009. His documentary, Caveman: V.T. Hamlin & Alley Oop, was also released on DVD after screening on PBS stations. A new edit of his 1999 documentary, Mike Hammer’s Mickey Spillane, is featured on the Criterion Collection’s DVD and Blu-ray of the classic film noir, Kiss Me Deadly.

His other credits include film criticism, short fiction, songwriting, trading-card sets, and a regular column in Asian Cult Cinema magazine. His non-fiction work has received many honors, with his coffee-table book The History of Mysteryreceiving nominations for every major mystery award and his recent Men’s Adventure Magazines (with George Hagenauer) winning the Anthony Award. With Jim Traylor, he received an Edgar nomination for Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer: One Lonely Knight (1984); recently the two authors teamed for Mickey Spillane on Screen (2012).

The writer is also a musician and has performed and recorded with his band Crusin’ since 1974. Possibly the first ‘60s revival band in the nation, Crusin’ was an outgrowth of the Daybreakers, the mid-1960s combo whose 1967 Dial Records release, “Psychedelic Siren,” written by Collins, is among the most collectible garage band records. He still performs regularly with Crusin’, as lead singer and keyboard player, and is a 2008 Inductee in the Iowa Rock n Roll Hall of Fame.

November 29, 2016 – New York, NY – Max Allan Collins  was chosen as the 2017 Grand Masters by Mystery Writers of America (MWA). MWA’s Grand Master Award represents the pinnacle of achievement in mystery writing and was established to acknowledge important contributions to this genre, as well as for a body of work that is both significant and of consistent high quality. Mr. Collins will received his award at the 71st Annual Edgar Awards Banquet, held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City on Thursday, April 27, 2017.

Collins lives in Muscatine, Iowa, with his wife, writer Barbara Collins; they have collaborated on three novels and numerous short stories, and are currently writing the successful “Trash ‘n’ Treasures” mysteries – their Antiques Flee Market (2008) won the Romantic Times Best Humorous Mystery Novel award in 2009. Their son Nathan translates Japanese into English with a number of novels and video games among his credits.

 

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Barbara Collins 

Back in the 1950s, when there were only a few TV channels to watch, three shows brought to a screeching halt the mayhem in the kid-infested house I grew up in: Perry Mason (my mother had a mad crush on Raymond Burr), Maverick (my mother had a mad crush on James Garner), and Alfred Hitchcock Presents (my mother did not have a mad crush on the great director, but loved the stories). These programs must have had a profound effect on me, because the key ingredients of each episode—mystery, humor, irony—seem to make up the recipe I follow for my own short stories.

Even though I have worked in the novel format, to me, the perfect way to tell a tale is the short story. It's great for impatient people with short attention spans, one' of which I am. And my husband, who encouraged me to write and has been a great teacher, has always touted, "Write what you'd like to read."

Some of my favorite stories are ones that we've collaborated on; it's a little bit me, a little bit him. Having a male/female perspective is always interesting. And our writing styles are so similar (no surprise) that, come the end result, even we sometimes can't tell who wrote what.

Besides my husband—who is one of the smartest, best writers in the whole wide world—I owe a debt of gratitude to Ed Gorman and Marty Greenberg for publishing my stories in their wonderful anthologies.

Another debt is owed, of course. The stories in this book are sometimes by me, sometimes by my husband, sometimes by the two of us,'working together. But the most important collaborator, in any story, is the reader. We've done our job—the rest is up to you!

Barbara Collins is the wife of New York Times best-selling mystery novelist Max Allan Collins. Barbara and Max also write under the joint pseudonym Barbara Allan.

 

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A. Brad Schwartz

I study 20th century American history, with a special interest in questions of media and journalism, law and policing, and the cultural production of history. My undergraduate thesis at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor explored Orson Welles’s 1938 War of the Worlds radio broadcast, drawing upon an untapped trove of listener letters to challenge the standard narrative of the so-called “panic broadcast.” This research became the basis for my first book, Broadcast Hysteria: Orson Welles’s War of the Worlds and the Art of Fake News (Hill and Wang, 2015). In 2013, I co-wrote a documentary about War of the Worlds for the PBS series American Experience, based in part on my thesis research. My next book, Scarface & the Untouchable: Al Capone, Eliot Ness, and the Battle for Chicago, co-written with Max Allan Collins, will be published by William Morrow in 2018.

 

Scarface and the Untouchable: Al Capone, Eliot Ness, and the Battle for Chicago Cover Image
$29.99
ISBN: 9780062441942
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow - June 5th, 2018

Antiques Wanted (A Trash 'n' Treasures Mystery #12) Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781496711373
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Kensington - April 24th, 2018

Killing Town Cover Image
$22.99
ISBN: 9781785655500
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Titan Books - April 17th, 2018

Broadcast Hysteria: Orson Welles's War of the Worlds and the Art of Fake News Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780809031641
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Hill and Wang - May 17th, 2016

Authors Discussion & Signing with William Kent Krueger and Lori Rader-Day

Authors Discussion & Signing with William Kent Krueger and Lori Rader-Day                for their newest Mystery Novels: Desolation Mountain and Under A Dark Sky.

 

August 25, 2018

Saturday

11:00 AM

William Kent Krueger

Author: William Kent Krueger

Raised in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon, William Kent Krueger briefly attended Stanford University—before being kicked out for radical activities. After that, he logged timber, worked construction, tried his hand at freelance journalism, and eventually ended up researching child development at the University of Minnesota. He currently makes his living as a full-time author. He’s been married for over 40 years to a marvelous woman who is a retired attorney. He makes his home in St. Paul, a city he dearly loves.

Krueger writes a mystery series set in the north woods of Minnesota. His protagonist is Cork O’Connor, the former sheriff of Tamarack County and a man of mixed heritage—part Irish and part Ojibwe. His work has received a number of awards, including the Minnesota Book Award, the Loft-McKnight Fiction Award, the Anthony Award, the Barry Award, the Dilys Award, and the Friends of American Writers Prize. His last eight novels were all New York Times bestsellers.

Ordinary Grace, his stand-alone novel published in 2013, received the Edgar Award, given by the Mystery Writers of America in recognition for the best novel published in that year. Desolation Mountain, number seventeen in his Cork O’Connor series, will be released in August 2018.

 

          

Title: Desolation Mountain

Description


New York Times bestselling author William Kent Krueger delivers yet another "punch-to-the-gut blend of detective story and investigative fiction" (Booklist, starred review) as Cork O'Connor and his son Stephen work together to uncover the truth behind the tragic plane crash of a senator on Desolation Mountain and the mysterious disappearances of several first responders. This is a heart-pounding and devastating mystery the scope and consequences of which go far beyond what father or son could ever have imagined.

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

To Stephen O'Connor, Hamlet's dour observation is more than just words. All his life, he has had visions of tragedies to come. When he experiences the vision of a great bird shot from the sky, he knows something terrible is about to happen. The crash of a private plane on Desolation Mountain in a remote part of the Iron Lake Reservation, which kills a United States senator and most of her family, confirms Stephen's worst fears.

Stephen joins his father, Cork O'Connor and a few Ojibwe men from the nearby Iron Lake reservation to sift through the smoldering wreckage when the FBI arrives and quickly assumes control of the situation. What seems like the end of the O'Connors' involvement is, however, only the beginning of a harrowing journey to understand the truth behind the Senator's death. As he initiates his own probe, Cork O'Connor stumbles upon a familiar face in Bo Thorson, a private security consultant whose unnamed clients have hired him to look quietly into the cause of the crash. The men agree to join forces in their investigation, but soon Cork begins to wonder if Thorson's loyalties lie elsewhere.

In that far north Minnesota County, which is overrun with agents of the FBI, NTSB, DoD, and even members of a rightwing militia, all of whom have their own agendas, Cork, Stephen, and Bo attempt to navigate a perilous course. Roadblocked by lies from the highest levels of government, uncertain who to trust, and facing growing threats the deeper they dig for answers, the three men finally understand that to get to the truth, they will have to face the great menace, a beast of true evil lurking in the woods--a beast with a murderous intent of unimaginable scale.

 

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Author: Lori Rader-Day

I’m the author of the Anthony Award-winning mystery The Black Hour and the Mary Higgins Clark Award-winning mystery Little Pretty Things, both from Seventh Street Books. My lastest novel, The Day I Died (Harper Collins William Morrow, 2017) was an Indie Next Pick, a finalist for the Chicago Writers Association Book of the Year, and a nominee for the 2018 Mary Higgins Clark Award and a Barry Award.

My fiction has been previously published in Ellery Queen Mystery MagazineTimeOut ChicagoCrab Orchard ReviewFreight Stories, and in the anthology Dia de los Muertos (Elektrik Milkbath Press), and others. Bestselling author Jodi Picoult chose my story as the grand prize winner of Good Housekeeping’s first fiction contest.

Originally from central Indiana, I grew up frequenting the local libraries, reading all the Judy Blume and Lois Duncan I could get my hands on. Then I discovered Agatha Christie and Mary Higgins Clark. I may have wandered off the mystery writer path a few times, but I think we all knew I would get back there eventually.

I studied journalism at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, but eventually gave in to my dream and studied creative writing at Roosevelt University in Chicago.

Now a resident of Chicago more than fifteen years, I have a favorite deep dish pizza (Lou Malnati’s) and I’m active in the area’s crime writing community. I’m the immediate past president of the Midwest Chapter of the Mystery Writers of America, a board member of Sisters in Crime Chicagoland, and a member of the International Thriller Writers. Chicago is a really great town in which to be a mystery writer.

 

              

Title: Desolation Mountain

Description


From the critically-acclaimed author of The Day I Died comes a terrifying twist on a locked-room mystery that will keep readers guessing until the last page

Only in the dark can she find the truth . . .

Since her husband died, Eden Wallace's life has diminished down to a tiny pinprick, like a far-off star in the night sky. She doesn't work, has given up on her love of photography, and is so plagued by night terrors that she can't sleep without the lights on. Everyone, including her family, has grown weary of her grief. So when she finds paperwork in her husband's effects indicating that he reserved a week at a dark sky park, she goes. She's ready to shed her fear and return to the living, even if it means facing her paralyzing phobia of the dark. 

But when she arrives at the park, the guest suite she thought was a private retreat is teeming with a group of twenty-somethings, all stuck in the orbit of their old college friendships. Horrified that her get-away has been taken over, Eden decides to head home the next day. But then a scream wakes the house in the middle of the night. One of the friends has been murdered. Now everyone--including Eden--is a suspect.

Everyone is keeping secrets, but only one is a murderer. As mishaps continue to befall the group, Eden must make sense of the chaos and lies to evade a ruthless killer--and she'll have to do it before dark falls...

 

 

 

 

Desolation Mountain: A Novel (Cork O'Connor Mystery Series #17) Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781501147463
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Atria Books - August 21st, 2018

Under a Dark Sky: A Novel Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780062560308
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - August 7th, 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
$14.99
ISBN: 9781504041119
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Mysteriouspress.Com/Open Road - March 7th, 2017

Staff Pick Logo
The Whole Art of Detection: Lost Mysteries of Sherlock Holmes Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9780802125927
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Mysterious Press - March 7th, 2017

Staff Pick Logo
Some Girls, Some Hats and Hitler: A True Love Story Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781476700281
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scribner Book Company - January 14th, 2014

Staff Pick Logo
I Let You Go Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781101987506
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Berkley - November 29th, 2016

The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History Cover Image
$19.00
ISBN: 9780143036494
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - October 4th, 2005

The Riverview Murders: A Paul Whelan Mystery (Paul Whelan Mysteries #5) Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9781626817678
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Diversion Publishing - Ips - February 17th, 2015

Staff Pick Logo
The South Side: A Portrait of Chicago and American Segregation Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9781137280152
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: St. Martin's Press - March 22nd, 2016

Staff Pick Logo
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

Staff Pick Logo
Hidden Graves: A PI Mystery Set in Chicago (Dek Elstrom PI Mystery #6) Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9780727886644
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Severn House Publishers - February 1st, 2017

Staff Pick Logo
Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Novels and Stories Volume I Cover Image
$6.95
ISBN: 9780553212419
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Bantam Classics - November 1st, 1986

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