April 7, 2011

I Love a Mystery Bookstore - Mission, KS

While visiting my family, I decided to go for a drive. I took an old road I used to take everywhere when I lived in that part of town, mostly just to see what had changed. A lot of new businesses had gone up, but there was one I was happy to see was still there - I Love a Mystery.

I Love a Mystery is an independent bookstore in Mission, Kansas. There are 20,000 used and 3,000 new mystery books, including a large selection of signed first editions. They have every mystery series you can imagine - from the classic Sherlock Holmes to new offerings such as "The Girl Who Played With Fire." Even more intriguing is their imports. There are shelves dedicated to mysteries from other countries, such as Japan. I was thrilled with the service. When I went in to browse, I asked the woman in the store if she knew what the first Sherlock Holmes book was (I swear I was not trying to trick her, I really just wanted to know). She told me she believed it was "A Study in Scarlet " and she was right.

One of the reasons I am so excited there is a store like this is my long-enduring love of mysteries and thrillers. When I was younger, I read Agatha Christie novels, Hercule Poirot being my favorite fictional detective. In high school I even performed in a theatrical adaptation of Christie's "Ten Little Indians." (While this obviously did not lead to a career on the stage, I did enjoy my one shining moment in the spotlight - I screamed off stage like a banshee and apparently really freaked people out.) As I got older, I fell in love espionage thrillers and began reading Ian Fleming's James Bond series (as well as watching the movies, because for me James Bond will always be Sean Connery).

I Love a Mystery offers people like me a haven, a place where we can find the books we love and also an atmosphere in which we can enjoy them. The store is made for lingering. There are comfy armchairs and coffee at the ready, in case you just can't wait until you leave the store to open your new book. The entire store offers a mood of mystery and noir - it is decorated with skeletons and gargoyles in what can only be described as creepy, Victorian chic.

Its appeal has garnered a loyal following. There are several reading groups, each with its own theme. There is: Murder in the Afternoon, Sherlock Holmes and Friends, Cooking up Murder, Around the World with Mysteries, A Stitch in Crime, and Alternate Realities. (To learn more about the reading groups and when they meet, click here.)

Total Time Traveled: 1 hour
Total Distance Traveled: 25 miles
Soundtrack: 101.1 FM


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