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Christmas at The Mysterious Bookshop

by Otto Penzler (Editor)

Other authors: Charles Ardai (Contributor), Lisa Michelle Atkinson (Contributor), George Baxt (Contributor), Lawrence Block (Contributor), Mary Higgins Clark (Contributor)12 more, Thomas H. Cook (Contributor), Ron Goulart (Contributor), Jeremiah Healy (Contributor), Edward D. Hoch (Contributor), Rupert Holmes (Contributor), Andrew Klavan (Contributor), Michael Malone (Contributor), Ed McBain (Contributor), Anne Perry (Contributor), S.J. Rozan (Contributor), Jonathan Santlofer (Contributor), Donald E. Westlake (Contributor)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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22518107,783 (3.51)37
Features over fifteen mystery short stories set during Christmas, with some of the action taking place at the editor's real-life Mysterious Bookshop in New York City.

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» See also 37 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
The origin of this book is such a wonderful piece of biblio-magic and the collection represents a decade and a half of loving contributions to readers of the mystery genre who travel from far and wide to support a specialty shop run by one of humanity's foremost experts on mystery writing. Before you even get to the stories, that's a wicked cool mark in the book's favor - - and the stories themselves very rarely disappoint. I've been introduced to a store I want to visit, and more than a dozen samples of writing that point me in the right direction when I'm choosing my next mystery novel to read.

Thank you, Otto Penzler, for this one-of-a-kind, and oh-so stinking cool, Christmas gift. ( )
  Ron18 | Feb 17, 2019 |
This was my final holiday read for Christmas this year and it was excellent!

Otto Penzler, the owner of The Mysterious Bookshop in NYC, each year commissions a short mystery from a well-known author, to be published in a small pamphlet and given to customers at the holiday season as a way to say Thank You. The only stipulations Penzler gives to the author is that the story take place at Christmas and have at least one scene take place at The Mysterious Bookshop.

This book is a collection of 17 of those stories and only one of them failed to thrill me or at least amuse me. (That one wasn't bad, it was just a creepy story in homage to Poe.) My absolute favourite was Lawrence Block's As Dark As Christmas Gets. A very close second was Jeremiah Healy's The Holiday Fairy and for sheer cleverness that had my giggling as I read was S.J. Rozan's The Grift of the Magi.

If you enjoy holiday stories and mysteries, definitely keep an eye out for this one. I'll re-read more than a few of these stories again and again. ( )
  murderbydeath | Dec 26, 2016 |
Loved the concept of this book but only enjoyed 2 of the 17 stories. ( )
  LauGal | Aug 16, 2016 |
All of these short stories involve Otto Penzler or his staff, and the action takes place, for the most part, in his bookstore, The Mysterious Bookshop. It sounds like it could be great fun, after all what's better than being in a bookstore at Christmas time, surrounded by wonderful books with a mystery thrown in to boot?
Unfortunately I found most of these stories to be poorly written with predictable outcomes. I realize that it is difficult to pen an intriguing story when every story must have a similar setting & characters.
I quickly became bored with the store setting and characters. I felt that the authors were "kissing up" to Otto just a little too much (after all, he does push their books in his real store), by never showing Otto in a bad light, or making him a villan. He and his store were just a little too perfect for my taste in these cozy tales.

I did enjoy one of the stories; My Object All Sublime (Anne Perry). I found this one to be a nice surprise, well written and interesting.
Two other tales were passable; The Lesson of the Season (Thomas H Cook) & Christmas Spirit (Michael Malone), which included a terrific cat as part of the plot. I'm always a sucker for a story that includes animals, although not talking ones! My 2 star rating is given only because of these three stories.
I had to read this for my bookclub, it's their Christmas pick this year. I probably would not have finished this book, were it not for the club.
If you must, borrow this from the library, read the 3 stories mentioned above, skipping the rest of the poorly written drivel with their silly plots. ( )
  Icewineanne | Aug 4, 2016 |
I’m a big fan of Otto Penzler’s mystery story compendiums and am particularly fond of his Christmas collections. I picked this one up on my trip to New York. This collection of short stories is inspired by the Christmas holiday and all stories (be they funny, creepy, clever et al) are set (at least in part) in the Mysterious Bookshop. It features stories by Mary Higgins Clark, Lawrence Block, Ed McBain, Donald Westlake, Thomas Cook, and more. Really worth a look and a great addition to your holiday reading list. ( )
  SarahEBear | Dec 2, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Penzler, OttoEditorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ardai, CharlesContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Atkinson, Lisa MichelleContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Baxt, GeorgeContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Block, LawrenceContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Clark, Mary HigginsContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cook, Thomas H.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Goulart, RonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Healy, JeremiahContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hoch, Edward D.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Holmes, RupertContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Klavan, AndrewContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Malone, MichaelContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
McBain, EdContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Perry, AnneContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rozan, S.J.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Santlofer, JonathanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Westlake, Donald E.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Perseussecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Features over fifteen mystery short stories set during Christmas, with some of the action taking place at the editor's real-life Mysterious Bookshop in New York City.

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Book description
  • Snowberries / Megan Abbott (some editions)
  • Give Till It Hurts / Donald E. Westlake
  • Schemes and Variations / George Baxt
  • The Theft of the Rusty Bookmark / Edward D. Hoch
  • Murder for Dummies / Ron Goulart
  • As Dark as Christmas Gets / Lawrence Block
  • The Holiday Fairy / Jeremiah Healy
  • I Saw Mommy Killing Santa Claus / Ed McBain
  • The Grift of the Magi / S. J. Rozan
  • My Object All Sublime / Anne Perry
  • Christmas Spirit / Michael Malone
  • The Lesson of the Season / Thomas H. Cook
  • Yule Be Sorry / Lisa Michelle Atkinson
  • The Long Winter's Nap / Rupert Holmes
  • Cold Reading / Charles Ardai
  • The Killer Christian / Andrew Klavan
  • The 74th Tale / Jonathan Santlofer
  • What's in a Name? / Mary Higgins Clark
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