Bookstore on the beach with the candlestick

Bibliophiles can usually distinguish between a novel’s vast fantasyland and reality’s bitter pill. Fortunately, the rules don’t apply inside the novelty bookstore Murder on the Beach: ghoul and gargoyle tchotchkes are nailed to blood-red walls, stained mahogany bookshelves are stacked menacingly high, and that bifocal-wearing skeleton nestled in the plush tapestry armchair nearby just might be the Cryptkeeper incarnate. It’s like you’ve entered an Agatha Christie classic, until you notice this twilight zone boasts thousands of gripping mystery, suspense, and horror bestsellers, plus an antiquarian section teeming with enough rare whodunits and autographed first editions to have you double-checking your back for stab wounds (they’re that desirable).

Sheesh, is there anything that doesn’t blur fact from fiction here? Actually, there is: Read Nancy Pickard’s award-winning mystery Virgin of Small Plains, then teleconference with the author during MOTB’s (273 Pineapple Grove Way, Delray Beach) FREE 100 Best Mysteries discussion group tonight from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Call 561-279-7790, or visit
Wed., Sept. 19, 6:30 p.m.

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Phillip Valys