I'm sure many of you have heard about this already, but David Thompson, co-owner of Houston's great Murder by the Book bookstore, and publisher of Busted Flush Press, passed away on Monday at the age of 38.


Sarah Weinman has a good roundup of reaction here.  There will be a celebration of David's life in Houston on the 26th - details here, along with a way to donate to a memorial fund for a charity to be determined.


I didn't know David well, but to be his friend you didn't have to.  He treated everyone the same, from big-name authors who came through the store to schmoes like me.

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So many bookstores told me to fuck off, I couldn't list them. David Thompson invited me into the best mystery store there is and taught me something about marketing, too. He was a wonderful, non-judgmental young man.

This is mostly about me, but it's also the day I met David and what he taught me.
Sounds like the world has lost a good man. And so young.
David believed in mystery authors across the spectrum. He made MBTB a nucleus for readers and writers, one of the best in the country.

His death is a loss for all of us, for his family, and especially for his wife, McKenna.
Sounds like, at the very least, he was able to be doing something he loved for however short a time

There are hundreds of millions of people out there who live far longer lives and yet are never that happy.

I'm sorry I never got to meet him.
David was a one of a kind force. He was so enthusiastic about crime fiction, and instead of just jumping on the frontrunners, David tirelessly championed the lesser known writers. I know he hand sold a lot of copies of Small Crimes and Pariah. I never personally met him, which I regret, but as with a lot of writers, David and I traded a lot of emails, and his passing has a left an emptiness, and has made the crime fiction world feel colder. David is going to be sorely missed, and my heart goes out to his wife, his family and all his friends.
Does anyone know what he died of? 38 is so young...
Too early to say. My guess is cardiovascular disease. It's rare but not unheard of for someone so young. I remember when a freshman sorority girl, age 18, died of a heart attack at my college, no drugs involved.
Thank you for posting this very sad news.
Thank you for this post. I did not know Mr. Thompson personally; but, I recently discovered the store, which is less than a mile from my home in Houston. Visiting the store was a joyful and pleasant experience. I also really enjoyed MBTB's frequently distributed e-newsletter. David Thompson was very adept at marketing new crime authors and the genre itself. His efforts certainly educated, informed, and kept my husband and me interested in the subject and its larger community. He recently planned and orchestrated book signings, lectures, and luncheons for authors such as Sara Paretsky, Michael Cruz Smith, former 1970's Harris County, Texas DA Carrol Vance, and many others. His reviews and recommendations were highly respected and reliable, and he came across as being warm and inclusive. He projected an infectious confidence in the best outcomes and the realization of positive expectations in this life. And it was surprising to learn someone so young was behind all this competent leadership. (I understand he had assumed an eminent role in planning a significant writers' conference next year.) His too soon passing is surely a great loss for crime writing and independent publishing in Houston and the country.

We extend our deepest sympathies to his close and beloved family and friends and pray that the sadness they must now be suffering will not long endure and be eased by the happy memories they hold from David's time in their lives.
What sad news, and such a reminder for us all how precious and uncertain life is. I didn't know David Thompson personally, but it's obvious he will be deeply missed by many.


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