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Christmas at The Mysterious BookShop

Edited by Otto Penzler

       Otto Penzler actually owns a a New York book store called The Mysterious Bookshop. He also publishes mysteries. Both he and his bookstore have been the subject of short stories for years. Mystery authors like Lawrence Block, Thomas Cook, and Ed McBain have been commissioned to write short mysteries mentioning the bookshop. Readers will find the mysteries were written at the owner's expense - in more ways than one.

Christmas at The Mysterious Book Shop is very entertaining. The mysteries are as diverse as the authors listed. Their inside knowledge of the bookshop and owner is what makes this anthology a unique read. Each story is well-written, some are written with humor, others are serious, and one actually has the characters rhyming. But if forced to pick favorites, mine would be Donald Westlake and Lawrence Block. Their humor made me smile. Westlake's "Give 'Til it Hurts" has a thief unexpectedly dropping in on a Mysterious Bookshop poker game. Block's "As Dark as Christmas Gets" has a PI solving the mystery of a missing manuscript from the BookShop. After reading both, I can see why in the introduction Penzler mentions the characters bearing his name in several of the stories are strictly fictional.

You'd be a fool to pass up this holiday package of mysteries...

The publisher notes these authors as the contributors:

Charles Ardai
Lisa Atkinson
George Baxt
Lawrence Block
Mary Higgins Clark
Thomas H. Cook
Ron Goulart
Jeremiah Healy
Edward D. Hoch
Rupert Holmes
Andrew Klavan
Michael Malone
Ed McBain
Anne Perry
S. J. Rozan
Jonathan Santlofer
Donald E. Westlake

The Book

Vanguard Press
October 12, 2010
1593156170 / 978-1593156176
  Mystery Anthology /
More at
NOTE: Holiday: Christmas

The Reviewer

Brenda Weeaks
Reviewed 2010
© 2010