Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas at the Mysterious Bookshop: 'tis the season to be deadly: stories of mistletoe and mayhem from 17 masters of suspense

edited by Otto Penzler,
Vanguard Press, 2010

Each year, for the past seventeen years, Otto Penzler, owner of the legendary Mysterious Bookshop in New York City, has commissioned an original story by a leading mystery writer. The requirements were that it be a mystery/ crime/suspense story, that it be set during the Christmas season, and that at least some of the action take place in The Mysterious Bookshop. In most cases, the authors also make reference to the store's owner, Penzler himself.

Now, all of these stories have been collected in one volume. Contributors include Lawrence Block, Mary Higgins Clark, Ed McBain, Anne Perry, and Donald E. Westlake. Some of the tales are humorous, others suspenseful or even mystifying. I enjoyed some more than others, but all were well-written, as would be expected, and I got a kick out of the different ways the authors chose to include the bookshop and its owner. I am also inspired to try some of their other stand-alone work.

A great read, and an excellent choice for the mystery reader on your gift list.

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