About Centuries and Sleuths

Celebrating its independence in specialty bookselling for almost 30 years, Centuries & Sleuths Bookstore's atmosphere is warm and friendly, with oak/cherry bookcases, shelves clearly labeled with the historical era / topic, mystery, or related subjects of their books, and comfortable seating, inviting you to browse your chosen subject(s).

If you're unsure where to start, our knowledgeable, helpful staff will be happy to act as your guide through fact or fiction, history or mystery, and adults' or children’s books. They'll even giftwrap your book purchases upon request.

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

You can follow our events, order books online, and see "staff picks" of books we recently enjoyed, or our groups are discussing, on our web page, Facebook, or Instagram. Or sign up to receive our monthly newsletter.  By all means, get to know us better!


                                                                     SAVE THE DATE !

Spring Wine Walk & Shop – April 27 • 1 to 5 pm

April 27 @ 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm   What a great way to explore the unique shops on Madison! Visit 14-plus locations while tasting wine and locally prepared small bites. Bonus bottle of wine of your choice included! Pay for reservations for you or your group online, call the Chamber office and charge it, or visit Famous Liquors in Forest Park. However you reserve your spot, your name will be added to our paid reservation list. Then on April 27 between 12:15 and 3 p.m., sign in at Forest Park National Bank – 7348 Madison Street to receive your itinerary, wine glass & more. ($45)



More than two dozen independent bookstores in the greater Chicago area—from Lake Forest to Beverly, and Naperville to the Loop—are collaborating on a third annual Challenge, which encourages book lovers to indulge in bookstore tourism by visiting 10 or more stores in a single day. Quimby’s is proud to participate.

The annual challenge is being held again on Independent Bookstore Day (), which is a one-day national party celebrating indie book stores on the last Saturday in April. Each store creates its own unique events—including guest authors, special kids’ story times, readings, contests, giveaways, and special sales.

To begin their trip, readers can pick up a #ChiLoveBooks passport and their first stamp with an initial purchase of $25 or more from the store of their choice. 

Additional bookstore visits throughout the day (no purchase required) enable them to collect an additional stamp at each subsequent bookstore. The payoff comes for visits at the following levels:

  • Visit TEN stores in one day and get 10% off at all bookstores listed below for an ENTIRE YEAR!
  • Visit FIFTEEN stores in one day and get 15% off at all bookstores listed below for an ENTIRE YEAR!  

Also, readers are encouraged to post a snapshot of themselves and their Independent Bookstore Day haul on #ChiLoveBooks.

The #ChiLoveBooks Challenge is being sponsored by the  (), an association formed in 2016 to raise awareness about the vitality of the area’s indie stores, and the Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association (GLIBA).

A Discussion of The Macd[D]onald Wars Led by Michael A. Black

Ross Macdonald  vs  John D. MacDonald   

(Two giants of the mystery genre in the twentieth century who were at loggerheads with one another.)

Leader: Michael A, Black (Author, Educator & Retired Police Detective)*

Date: April 27, 2019

Day: Saturday

Time: 2:00 PM

*There will be two $5/ticket Raffles for two very collectible books from Michael Black's peronal collection: The Illustrated Ross Macdonald Archives (Interviews and Pictures) The Life of the Man Who Created Lew Archer by Paul Nelson & Kevin Avery with Jeff Wong and Introduction by Jerome Charyn. And Barrier Island the last novel of John D. McDonald.

                    Image result for Photo of Ross Macdonald      Related image

                 Ross Macdonald                   John D. MacDonald 
                       [1915-1983]                                 [1916-1986]


Ross Macdonald, whose real name was Kenneth Millar, was born Dec. 13, 1915, Los Gatos, California, and died on July 11, 1983, Santa Barbara, California. He is generally credited with elevating the  mystery and  detective novel to the level of literature with his compactly written tales of murder and despair. Though born in California, Millar spent and served in the Navy in World War II. After the war he  received a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan while trying to build a career a writer. He was married to Margaret Millar, an established mystery writer in her own right, and so as not to create confusion, Kenneth Millar began using the pseudonym John Ross MacDonald, which he later shortened to Ross MacDonald. He is best known for his series of detective novels featuring private investigator, Lew Archer.

John D. MacDonald was born on July 24, 1916, Sharon, Pennsylvania and died December 28, 1986, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He was an extremely prolific and talented writer whose published works spanned numerous genres ranging from mystery, suspense, science fiction, and nonfiction. In all, he wrote over 70 books in his lifetime. After obtaining his MBA from Harvard, MacDonald served in the Army in the OSS (precursor to the CIA) in World War II. He is best remembered for his series of 21 crime novels featuring private investigator Travis McGee.

In what started as a misunderstanding, grew to a lifelong feud between the two men, both of whom made enormous contributions to the mystery/suspense field. Learn what caused the riff and how it eventually played out in the discussion of these two men and their works.


 Michael A. Black is the award winning author of 30 books, the majority of which are in the mystery and thriller genres, although he has written in sci-fi, western, horror, and sports genres as well. A retired police officer, he has done everything from patrol to investigating homicides to conducting numerous SWAT operations. Black was awarded the Cook County Medal of Merit in 2010. He is also the author of over 100 short stories and articles, and has written two novels with television star, Richard Belzer (Law & Order SVU). Black is currently writing the Executioner series under the name Don Pendleton. His Executioner novel, Fatal Prescription, won the Best Original Novel Scribe Award given by the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers in 2018. His latest novels under his own name are Blood Trails and Legends of the West.

                   Books That Will Be  Raffled Off..


                It's All One Case: The Illustrated Ross Macdonald Archives               Barrier Island [Book]




Centuries & Sleuths Top Ten Bestselling Authors of 2018

Centuries & Sleuths Bookstore's Bestselling Authors of 2018. 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. 


Shell Game: A V.I. Warshawski Novel (V.I. Warshawski Novels) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062435866
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow - October 16th, 2018

Staff Pick Badge
A Dark and Twisting Path (A Writer's Apprentice Mystery #3) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780425282625
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Berkley - July 31st, 2018

Staff Pick Badge
The Battered Badge (Nero Wolfe Mysteries #13) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781504049108
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Mysteriouspress.Com/Open Road - April 17th, 2018

Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307742483
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - April 3rd, 2018

Scarface and the Untouchable: Al Capone, Eliot Ness, and the Battle for Chicago Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062441942
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow - August 14th, 2018

Staff Pick Badge
In the Hush of the Night: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781510729872
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Skyhorse - May 15th, 2018

Under a Dark Sky: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062560308
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - August 7th, 2018

Astoria: Astor and Jefferson's Lost Pacific Empire: A Tale of Ambition and Survival on the Early American Frontier Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062218308
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ecco - February 10th, 2015

Philipp of Hesse: Unlikely Hero of the Reformation Cover Image
ISBN: 9780758661968
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Concordia Publishing House - November 16th, 2018

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