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Centuries & Sleuths Bookstore

7419 Madison Street
Forest Park, IL 60130

Meet us where history and mystery are stocked

This independent bookstore beckons you through the door with its oak and cherry shelves brimming with history and mystery books.

Once inside Centuries and Sleuths Bookstore, you’ll immediately notice comfortable chairs that invite long afternoons lingering over a book. And you’ll see a church pew.

The church pew was purchased on the cheap by the owners Tracy and Augie Aleksy when they were just starting the bookstore and needed seating. Many of the chairs were given to them or purchased at a junk store.

That was 30 years ago. Today the chairs have supported the consumption of many novels and the church pew has held the seat for many visiting authors.

The store serves as a community center for Forest Park. Centuries and Sleuth’s popular Meeting of the Minds theatrical event is a highlight for both the bookstore and the community.

This is where participants are assigned a historical character and then a moderator poses unscripted questions to the characters. People spend months researching the characters, meaning the event is part theater, part education, and always entertaining.

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Centuries and Sleuths is open Tuesday through Friday from 11am to 7pm, Saturday from 10am to 5pm, and Sunday from noon to 5pm. Closed Monday.

The bookstore organizes five reader/writer discussion groups and often hosts authors to read their work in the store. Check the Centuries and Sleuths website for special events.


Costs range depending on the book you are seeking.

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When Augie Aleksy was laid off from his banking job in 1989, he turned his full attention toward a long-held dream to own a bookstore. With his wife, Tracy, he started building Centuries and Sleuths. Thirty years later, the bookstore is a staple in Forest Park.

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Just steps from the Harlem Stop on the CTA Blue Line, Centuries and Sleuths is located at 7419 Madison Street in Forest Park. The bookstore is conveniently located near Todd and Holland Tea Merchants, so you can pick up a good book and then sit down with a cup of good tea!

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