Meet Our Staff

Below are bios for each member of the MBTB staff, including a list of some of their favorite authors.  Click on a staff member's name to be taken to a page with their staff picks and reviews!

Cindy Burnett at Murder By The Book since 2018

Cindy has been reading her entire life and reviewing books for the past three years.  She operates a bookstagram account on Instagram called @ThoughtsfromaPage with her thoughts on all things book related.  When she isn’t reading, Cindy loves to see Broadway musicals, spend time with her three children, and travel.

Some of her favorite authors include:  Susan Elia MacNeal, C.J. Box, Michael Connelly, Jacqueline Winspear, Martin Walker, Jessica Estevao, Elly Griffiths, Jillian Cantor, Jane Harper, Susan Meissner, Hazel Gaynor, Amy Stewart, Alyssa Maxwell, Mary Miley, and Jane Austen.


Brenda Jordan at Murder By The Book since 2009

Brenda's "Claim to Fame" is she is McKenna's mother. Some of Brenda's favorite authors: Martin Walker, Alan Bradley, Kate Morton, Jacqueline Winspear, Louise Penny, Daniel Silva, Charles Todd, Anne Zouroudi, and Ariana Franklin


McKenna Jordan, Store Owner at Murder By The Book since 2003

McKenna has her Bachelor's Degree in English and a Master's in Violin Performance from University of Houston. She's owned Murder By The Book since January 2009.

Some of McKenna's favorite authors; Megan Abbott, Cara Black, Ken Bruen, Kerry Greenwood, Charlaine Harris, Carolyn Haines, Peter Lovesey, Daniel Silva, Jacqueline Winspear.


John McDougall, Event Coordinator at Murder By The Book since 2018

In previous career incarnations, John has sold model and toy trains, and been a barista.  Prior to joining the Murder By The Book team he managed one of the local chain bookstores.  When his nose isn't in a book he loves going to concerts, seeing musicals, going to Las Vegas, and spending afternoons in Hermann Park.

John's favorite authors include: Arturo Perez-Reverte, Tasha Alexander, Kelley Armstrong, Melissa Marr, Daphne Du Maurier, Wilkie Collins, Jacqueline Susann, Victoria Laurie, Mary Kay Andrews, Beatriz Williams, and Jon Steele.


Rebecca Minnock, at Murder By The Book since 2018

Rebecca has been living in Houston for 4 years now, having moved from England. In her former life she taught middle and high school French but much prefers being surrounded by books as they don't talk back! She also loves to bake and had a home bakery before arriving in Houston.

Favorite authors are Lee Child, Peter James, Linwood Barclay, Harlan Coben, Robert Galbraith, Mark Billingham & Stuart MacBride


Jessica Rentcome at Murder By The Book since 2018

Jessica is a full-time medical and scientific writer/editor at MD Anderson during the week and a part-time bookseller on the weekends. In addition to bookselling, Jessica helps manage Murder by the Book's social media platforms and graphic design needs. When she isn't working, Jessica is probably getting overly invested in television shows. 

Favorite authors include: Brandon Sanderson, JK Rowling, Neil Gaiman, V.E. Schwab, Agatha Christie, Patrick Rothfuss, Genevieve Cogman, and Octavia Butler. You can follow her monthly reading round-up on Instagram, @jessthemess25. 


Sally Woods at Murder By The Book since 2011

Sally has been in the bookselling biz for almost 20 years.  She comes to MBTB via various Houston indie bookstores.  She did have a life prior to bookstores, but that seems long ago.  She is also somewhat new to the mystery genre and is learning about new authors all the time.

Some her favorite authors include: Stephen King, John Sandford, Dean Koontz, Sue Grafton, Kevin Brockmeier, Dan Chaon, Gillian Flynn, Joyce Carol Oates (especially the short stories), Margaret Atwood, and newly discovered Peter James.  


Courtney Walton at Murder By The Book since 2018

Courtney loves reading pretty much anything she can get her hands on, writing, learning to knit, working too much, and my cat Popsicle. She's also a big fan of rain.

Favorite authors: Lisa Scottoline, Ann Rule, John Grisham, J.K. Rowling, John Douglas, Tess Gerritsen, Jo Nesbo, and Jane Austen.