McKenna's Staff Picks

McKenna Jordan, Store Owner at Murder By The Book since 2003

Having read crime fiction almost exclusively for the last fifteen years at MBTB, this “staff stack” was incredibly challenging to narrow down. I decided to go with an approach of which books represent both my reading taste as well as my history - to this point - with the bookstore. Every one of this holds a special place in my heart and has a story to go along with it. 

I have a real respect for the genre and its icons, and I love unique characters. That’s basically all I can find as a thread of similarity throughout my reading taste. I’m happy to read across the genre as long as it’s well-written, and there’s nothing that beats a fresh new voice that grabs you from the first line. 

McKenna's 2019 Top 10:

1. The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths
2. The Butterfly Girl  by Rene Denfeld
3. The Right Sort of Man by Allison Montclair
4. Trace of Evil by Alice Blanchard
5. City of Windows by Robert Pobi
6. Stick Together by Sophie Henaff
7. The Paris Diversion by Chris Pavone
8. Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware
9. A Beautiful Corpse by Christi Daugherty
10. Death in Provence by Serena Kent

Check out McKenna's Recommendation Playlist on the MBTB YouTube Channel.

Staff Pick Badge
The Lost Village: A Novel Cover Image
By Camilla Sten, Alexandra Fleming (Translated by)
ISBN: 9781250249258
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Minotaur Books - March 23rd, 2021

 In the 1950s, nearly all of the residents of the Swedish mining town of Silvertjarn vanished without a trace. The only remaining people were a newborn baby and the body of a woman found in the town center.  Now, documentary filmmaker Alice and her crew have returned to the lost village to investigate the incident and more specifically the disappearance of Alice’s grandmother that fateful night.

As the crew and Alice settle in, strange things start happening, making them wonder how vacant the town actually is. This creepy, atmospheric horror-tinged crime story is superbly done, and hope that you enjoy it as much as I did. - McKenna

Finlay Donovan Is Killing It: A Mystery Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250241702
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Minotaur Books - February 2nd, 2021

"Getting the job done" for one single mom takes on a whole new meaning in Finlay Donovan is Killing It.

One of "The Most Anticipated Books of Winter 2021" —Parade
One of "The Most Anticipated Debuts of 2021" —Bustle
One of "The Most Anticipated Mysteries and Thrillers of 2021" —Goodreads
One of "The Most Anticipated Crime Books of 2021" —Crimereads

The Thin Woman (Ellie Haskell #1) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780553291957
Availability: Special Order
Published: Crimeline - May 1st, 1992

In the delectable debut that earned her instant acclaim, award-winning author Dorothy Cannell serves up a murder mystery to be savored. . . 

A Will to Kill Cover Image
ISBN: 9781951709075
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Agora Books - December 1st, 2020



Staff Pick Badge
Shiver Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593187838
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - January 19th, 2021

In this propulsive locked-room thriller debut, a reunion weekend in the French Alps turns deadly when five friends discover that someone has deliberately stranded them at their remote mountaintop resort during a snowstorm.

Staff Pick Badge
The Conjure-Man Dies: A Harlem Mystery (Detective Club Crime Classics) Cover Image
By Rudolph Fisher, Stanley Ellin (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9780008216474
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Collins Crime Club - January 7th, 2021

One of Buzzfeed's Most Anticipated Books of 2021.
"This trailblazing work of fiction is notable for its depiction of Harlem's African American society and culture in the 1930s" -Bookpage

Staff Pick Badge
City of Windows: A Novel (Lucas Page #1) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250776662
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Minotaur Books - August 4th, 2020

"City of Windows is moving, breathtaking—a great entertainment." —The Wall Street Journal

“A tough, wise, knowing narrative voice, a great plot, a great setting, and even better characters — I loved this.” —Lee Child, New York Times bestselling author

The House on Vesper Sands Cover Image
ISBN: 9781951142247
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Tin House Books - January 12th, 2021

Named an Indie Next Pick, Library Reads Pick, Apple Books' Best Book, Powells’s Pick, Amazon Fiction & Literature's “Best of the Month," and one of Oprah Daily's Best Historical Novels of 2021

"Funny, eerie, tender, haunting and unsettling, smokily atmospheric, and fantastically enjoyable." —Helen MacDonald, author of Vesper Flights