Christmas at The Mysterious Bookshop

( 3 )


Each year, for the past seventeen years, Mysterious Bookshop proprietor Otto Penzler has commissioned an original Christmas story by a leading suspense writer. These stories were then produced as pamphlets, just 1,000 copies, and given to customers of the bookstore as a Christmas present. Now, all seventeen...

See more details below
Paperback (First Trade Paper Edition)
$12.88 price
(Save 19%)$15.99 List Price
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (27) from $1.99   
  • New (12) from $3.90   
  • Used (15) from $1.99   
Sending request ...


Each year, for the past seventeen years, Mysterious Bookshop proprietor Otto Penzler has commissioned an original Christmas story by a leading suspense writer. These stories were then produced as pamphlets, just 1,000 copies, and given to customers of the bookstore as a Christmas present. Now, all seventeen tales have been collected in one volume, showcasing the talents of:

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

Some of these stories are humorous, others suspenseful, and still others are tales of pure detection, but all of them together make up a charming collection and a perfect Christmas gift for all ages.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Even readers who have never visited either location of Penzler's legendary Manhattan bookstore should enjoy these 17 short stories, each of which was originally published as a stand-alone pamphlet and given to faithful Mysterious Bookshop customers. The anthology's best tale, Lawrence Block's "As Dark as Christmas Gets," features the author's hilarious versions of Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin, eccentric rare fish collector Leo Haig and his leg man, Chip Harrison, who look into the disappearance of an unpublished Cornell Woolrich manuscript. While the many inside jokes will go over the heads of some, all will appreciate such tongue-in-cheek touches as a customer in Ed McBain's "I Saw Mommy Killing Santa Claus" needing reassurance that Janet Evanovich is not yet another Evan Hunter pseudonym. Other contributors include Donald E. Westlake, Mary Higgins Clark, Anne Perry, Thomas H. Cook, and S.J. Rozan. (Oct.)
Library Journal
For 17 years, venerable mystery expert Penzler has commissioned top authors to write a holiday mystery story featuring his New York City store, The Mysterious Bookshop. Previously given as exclusive gifts to store clientele, these tales are now anthologized here. Standouts include Edward Hoch's "The Theft of the Rusty Bookmark," which finds a murder weapon in a box of old, unwanted mystery books; Ed McBain's "I Saw Mommy Killing Santa Claus"; and Charles Ardai's "Cold Reading," in which a young woman gets more than she bargained for when she wants to sell a possibly rare manuscript to Penzler. Enthusiastically recommended for mystery and short story buffs. [See the 9/16/10 issue of BookSmack! for a Q&A with Penzler.—Ed.]
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781593156770
  • Publisher: Vanguard Press
  • Publication date: 10/4/2011
  • Edition description: First Trade Paper Edition
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 235,220
  • Product dimensions: 8.24 (w) x 5.56 (h) x 0.82 (d)

Meet the Author

Otto Penzler

Otto Penzler is the proprietor of The Mysterious Bookshop, the founder of The Mysterious Press, the creator of Otto Penzler Books, and the editor of many books and anthologies. He lives in New York City.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 29, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    an entertaining collection.

    This compilation of seventeen short stories that were given out as pamphlets to the customers of the legendary store date back to 1993 with one a year since. The only two stipulations are it takes place at Christmas and the bookstore must be involved at least in one scene. The contributors are a who's who of the mystery-suspense genre with most lampooning the classics including those written by the author as Donald E. Westlake did in 1993 with Dortmunder learning to "Give Till It Hurts" and Mary Higgins Clark in 2009 with Alvirah in" What's In A Name?". Lawrence Block satirizes Nero Wolfe in the amusing 1997 "As Dark as Christmas Gets" or the 1995 jocular self-deprecating "I Saw Mommy Killing Santa Claus" by Ed McBain (is that his ninth plum of an pseudonym?). With No clinkers, fans who appreciate a strong mostly tongue in cheek anthology in which part of the fun is discovering the insider jokes will want to stop in Manhattan's Tribecca neighborhood (in person or from the armchair) to visit Otto Penzler's Mystery Bookshop as this is an entertaining collection.

    Harriet Klausner

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 16, 2012

    definitely recommend

    Generally, I'm not one for short stories, but I like this so much I'm going to give as Christmas presents this year. Wish I lived in NY so I could visit "the scene of the crime". Grab a cup of hot chocolate and settle in for a good time.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    Such a great read!

    Such a great read! Masters of mysteries all writing about murder and crime centering around this bookstore. Perfect during the holidays because it's so easy to pick up and put down. My only regret is that 1.) I can't afford to travel to this bookshop and 2.) I want more stories!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)