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Three Cheers for Mysteries!

It's no mystery what your go-to genre should be this summer.

Every year, our buyers select their favorite summer reads to recommend to our customers. Ranging from fun romps like Steven Rowley’s Lily and the Octopus and The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney to more serious fare, such as Matthew Desmond’s award-winning Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, these paperbacks will see you through long sessions on the beach, on a plane, or anywhere else you find yourself this summer. 

Many of the titles are lighthearted — perfect for consuming poolside. However, you’ll notice that mysteries comprise a good portion of the list, as well. Although summer may not strike you as the appropriate time to read a dark, brooding book, hear us out. The summer months are the perfect time to pick up the newest book by your favorite mystery author. At this year’s Book Expo, a trade show for the book industry, Hillary Clinton mentioned her love for mysteries during an on-stage interview with author Cheryl Strayed. After the 2016 election, Hillary reportedly dove headfirst into works by Louise Penny, Jacqueline Winspear, and Donna Leon, noting that “it was very comforting because [solving the murder] was somebody else's problem." Take it from Hillary, herself the author of a number of books (including Stronger Together, Hard Choices, and It Takes a Village). Mystery reading is the finest form of escapism, whether you’re taking some time away from the office — whatever that office may be — or just squeezing in a chapter on the porch after dinner.

And if you’re not a mystery fan? There’s no time like the present to take a stab at the genre (no pun intended). We're loving Paula Hawkins' Into the Water, her follow-up to the wildly popular The Girl On the Train. It transports you to rural England, wrapping you up into a multifaceted murder mystery. Attending an author event or book club (like our long-running Monday Night Mystery Club in Santa Rosa) can be a great way to dive into a new genre. There's nothing like meeting an author, and maybe some like-minded readers, to really get hooked. We second Hillary's love for Louise Penny, whose latest book is A Great Reckoning. Now's the perfect time to get caught up on Penny's bibliography before she visits Sonoma County in September with her forthcoming book, Glass Houses (due out August 29). For a more intimate affair, check out up-and-coming British author Fiona Barton (The Widow). She'll be the guest of honor at an intimate Dinner to Die For event in Healdsburg this weekend. Or join us for free in-store events with Cara Black and Rhys Bowen. These ladies offer some of the most compelling mystery writing out there!

Whatever you do this summer, be sure to escape into a book for part of it. Happy reading!

Eight Stores in Sonoma, Napa and Marin Counties

Petaluma Store

140 Kentucky Street | 707-762-0563
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Petaluma Used & Rare

707-782-0228 | click for hours & info


Santa Rosa Store

775 Village Court | 707-578-8938
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Sebastopol Store

138 N. Main Street | 707-823-2618
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Novato Store

999 Grant Avenue | 415-763-3052
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Healdsburg Store

106 Matheson Street | 707-433-9270
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Napa Store

3740 Bel Aire Plaza | 707-252-8002
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Calistoga Store

1330 Lincoln Street | 707-942-1616
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San Rafael Store

850 4th Street | 415-524-2800
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