Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas at the Mysterious Bookshop edited by Otto Penzler

Title: Christmas at the Mysterious Bookshop
Editor: Otto Penzler
ISBN: 9781593156176
Publisher: Vanguard Press, 2010
Hardcover, 256 pages
Genre: Short Stories
Rating: B
Source: Paperback Swap

From the Introduction: As a way of thanking our customers for their support, I have commissioned an original story from some of the finest mystery writers in America each Christmas season for the past 17 years.

As owner of fabled The Mysterious Bookshop in New York City, Penzler laid out a few ground rules for these stories:
  1. The story must be a mystery/crime/suspense story.
  2. It must be set during the Christmas season.
  3. At least some of the action must take place in The Mysterious Bookshop.
In their entirety, this collection of short stories has a lot to say about The Mysterious Bookshop and its owner. I would love to pay a visit there to see how closely fiction resembles truth.

There are seventeen stories in this book written by famous mystery writers and some who may not be quite as famous, but are just as skilled. As a whole, it's a strong collection that any mystery reader should enjoy.

For me, the strongest stories in the book had humor, irony and the occasional touch of poignancy. Stories like Ron Goulart's "Murder for Dummies," Ed McBain's "I Saw Mommy Killing Santa Claus," "The Grift of the Magi" by S.J. Rozan, and "Christmas Spirit" by Michael Malone.

Any way you serve it up, Christmas at the Mysterious Bookshop is a perfectly murderous way to put yourself in the holiday spirit!


  1. This sounds perfect for the holiday season!

  2. I'm not a short story reader but lately they seem to be coming back, maybe partly because of ereaders. Anyway, I'm starting to lean toward trying some.

  3. Kathy-- It is!

    Barbara-- It wouldn't hurt! I normally don't read them either, but I have enjoyed the ones I've tried recently.

  4. i'd really like this one..putting it on my Christmas wishlist!

    Shelleyrae @ Book'd Out

  5. Shelleyrae-- May you receive all the books on your wishlist!


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