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Friday, 03 April 2009

End of an Era


It is with great regret that we announce the passing of the UK’s only remaining specialist crime and mystery bookshop, Murder One, situated on London’s Charing Cross Road. The book shop closed its doors to customers at the end of January after nearly 21 years of business. It continues as an online book seller. Its founder Maxim Jakubowski was due to retire at the end of 2009 and could find no buyer for the highly regarded book shop. ImageAs he lamented in The Guardian, he was ‘very close to a sale but the credit crunch intervened and everyone got very, very shy’. The demise of Murder One has been widely mourned in both the British broadsheets and on the internet as crime writers, critics and readers have paid tribute to the expertise, hospitality and passionate enthusiasm of its staff. Here was a book shop that took crime writing seriously but remained firmly grounded in the world of its readers, organising book signings and other events that made the connection between writers, critics and the broader reading public. With the demise of independent book shops more generally in the UK, the closure of Murder One has been seen as sign of the times, an inevitable by-product of the rise of internet sales giants, such as Amazon, and the chain bookstore. Indeed, for many the loss of Murder One epitomises the dictum ‘use it or lose it’ – buy books in your local book shop or risk its disappearance. However, for the crime world more specifically, the closure of Murder One represents the end of an era. Crime writing in the UK has lost a vibrant outlet for the promotion of all forms of crime fiction and will be sadly missed.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 16 June 2009 )
 
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