Tour de Bookstore

Renee Mazin

Books are frequently a setting used by authors who are writing mysteries, cozies, or romances. There are many options! So, join me in a fun, fictional bookstore tour.

Starting on the West Coast, The Lost and Found Bookshop in San Francisco is where Natalie is trying to make a go of a bookstore she inherited. In The Boardwalk Bookshop, three friends unite to sell baked goods and books close to the beach. A tragedy at a Denver bookstore sets Lydia on a path to solve a mystery in Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore.

In Minneapolis, Tookie works in a small bookstore that is haunted by an annoying customer. She tries to solve that mystery in The Sentence.

On the East Coast, visit the Cape Cod area and meet the prickly owner of a bookshop in The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry. If we want to explore the world of rare books, a video documentary in NYC will teach us about their world in Booksellers. In North Carolina The Bookshop by the Sea is where family obligations may derail Sophie’s dream of opening a bookstore. In South Carolina, Annie Darling owns a mystery bookstore where murder is afoot in Don’t Go Home. When Callie goes home to the Outer Banks to run a bookstore, her reporter instincts kick in when a foul death occurs. It seems that Smile Beach Murder may not be all that happy! Now it’s time to head to the Florida coast where John Grisham meets us in Santa Rosa with Camino Island and Camino Winds. Bruce Cable owns Bay Books, but he also solves murders.

Let’s get our passports out. It’s dangerous in Acapulco where Lydia runs a bookstore. Her life is about to dramatically change when she encounters a dangerous man purchasing some books. Soon she is on the run in American Dirt. Life is calmer but still deadly in Scotland where Paige Shelton is the author of cozy murder mysteries: Burning Pages, Loch Ness Papers, and Deadly Editions. In a seaside town, Julian, now a bookstore owner, has his quiet life disrupted in John le Carré’s Silverview. Take a break and watch a video, The Bookshop, about a 1950s coastal English community where a woman decides to open a bookstore in a town that may not want one! Go further back in time and meet The Bloomsbury Girls in post-World War II London. These women work in a bookstore previously only run by men! See how they pave their future and meet real authors. Going even further back in time is The Last Bookshop in London where Grace realizes the power of stories to unite her community in 1939.

We are off to the continent. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is a time-traveling fantasy where an encounter in a hidden bookstore may lead to unexpected adventure. Settling down in Paris on the Seine, our last stop is The Little Paris Bookshop where Monsieur Perdu always has the right book for us, even if he cannot solve his own problems.

What article about bookstores would be complete without mentioning Amazon Unbound, the story of Jeff Bezos? For reading ideas, try Ex Libris: 100 Books for Everyone’s Bookshelf, by Michiko Kakutani, former literary critic of The New York Times.

To reserve books listed in this article, use the easy catalog link on the library website To support the libraries, visit