Author bio

Author Image

Otto Penzler - book author

Otto Penzler is an editor of mystery fiction in the United States, and proprietor of The Mysterious Bookshop in New York City, where he lives.

Otto Penzler founded The Mysteriour Press in 1975 and was the publisher of The Armchair Detective, the Edgar-winning quarterly journal devoted to the study of mystery and suspense fiction, for seventeen years.

Penzler has won two Edgar Awards, for The Encyclopedia of Mystery and Detection in 1977, and The Lineup in 2010. The Mystery Writers of America awarded him the prestigious Ellery Queen Award in 1994, and the Raven--the group's highest non-writing award--in 2003.

Otto Penzler is the author of books: The Black Lizard Big Book of Pulps, Christmas at The Mysterious Bookshop, The Big Book of Christmas Mysteries, The Lineup: The World's Greatest Crime Writers Tell the Inside Story of Their Greatest Detectives, The Vampire Archives, The Black Lizard Big Book of Black Mask Stories, In Pursuit of Spenser: Mystery Writers on Robert B. Parker and the Creation of an American Hero, Bloodsuckers: The Vampire Archives, Volume 1, The Big Book of Sherlock Holmes Stories, Bibliomysteries: Stories of Crime in the World of Books and Bookstores

Author Signature

Author Books

The biggest, the boldest, the most comprehensive collection of Pulp writing ever assembled.

Weighing in at over a thousand pages, containing over forty-seven stories and two novels, this book is big baby, bigger and more powerful than a freight train—a bullet couldn’t pass through it. Here are the best stories and every major writer who ever appeared in celebrated Pulps like Black Mask, Dime Detective, Detective Fiction Weekly, and more. These are the classic tales that created the genre and gave birth to hard-hitting detectives who smoke criminals like packs of cigarettes; sultry dames whose looks are as lethal as a dagger to the chest; and gin-soaked hideouts where conversations are just preludes to murder. This is crime fiction at its gritty best.


• Three stories by Raymond Chandler, Cornell Woolrich, Erle Stanley Gardner, and Dashiell Hammett.

• Complete novels from Carroll John Daly, the man who invented the hard-boiled detective, and Fredrick Nebel, one of the masters of the form.

• A never before published Dashiell Hammett story.

• Every other major pulp writer of the time, including Paul Cain, Steve Fisher, James M. Cain, Horace McCoy, and many, many more of whom you’ve probably never heard.

• Three deadly sections–The Crimefighters, The Villains, and Dames–with three unstoppable introductions by Harlan Coben, Harlan Ellison, and Laura Lippman


• Plenty of reasons for murder, all of them good.

• A kid so smart–he’ll die of it.

• A soft-hearted loan shark’s legman learning–the hard way–never to buy a strange blonde a hamburger.

• The uncanny “Moon Man” and his mad-money victims.
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.
Have yourself a crooked little Christmas with The Big Book of Christmas Mysteries.

Edgar Award-winning editor Otto Penzler collects sixty of his all-time favorite holiday crime stories--many of which are difficult or nearly impossible to find anywhere else. From classic Victorian tales by Arthur Conan Doyle, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Thomas Hardy, to contemporary stories by Sara Paretsky and Ed McBain, this collection touches on all aspects of the holiday season, and all types of mysteries. They are suspenseful, funny, frightening, and poignant.

Included are puzzles by Mary Higgins Clark, Isaac Asimov, and Ngaio Marsh; uncanny tales in the tradition of A Christmas Carol by Peter Lovesey and Max Allan Collins; O. Henry-like stories by Stanley Ellin and Joseph Shearing, stories by pulp icons John D. MacDonald and Damon Runyon; comic gems from Donald E. Westlake and John Mortimer; and many, many more. Almost any kind of mystery you’re in the mood for--suspense, pure detection, humor, cozy, private eye, or police procedural—can be found in these pages.
-        Unscrupulous Santas
-        Crimes of Christmases Past and Present
-        Festive felonies
-        Deadly puddings
-        Misdemeanors under the mistletoe
-        Christmas cases for classic characters including Sherlock Holmes, Brother Cadfael, Miss Marple, Hercule Poirot, Ellery Queen, Rumpole of the Bailey, Inspector Morse, Inspector Ghote, A.J. Raffles, and Nero Wolfe.
A great recurring character in a series you love becomes an old friend. You learn about their strange quirks and their haunted pasts and root for them every time they face danger. But where do some of the most fascinating sleuths in the mystery and thriller world really come from?

What was the real-life location that inspired Michael Connelly to make Harry Bosch a Vietnam vet tunnel rat? Why is Jack Reacher a drifter? How did a brief encounter in Botswana inspire Alexander McCall Smith to create Precious Ramotswe? In THE LINEUP, some of the top mystery writers in the world tell about the genesis of their most beloved characters--or, in some cases, let their creations do the talking.
The Vampire Archives is the biggest, hungriest, undeadliest collection of vampire stories, as well as the most comprehensive bibliography of vampire fiction ever assembled. Dark, stormy, and delicious, once it sinks its teeth into you there’s no escape.

Vampires! Whether imagined by Bram Stoker or Anne Rice, they are part of the human lexicon and as old as blood itself. They are your neighbors, your friends, and they are always lurking. Now Otto Penzler—editor of the bestselling Black Lizard Big Book of Pulps—has compiled the darkest, the scariest, and by far the most evil collection of vampire stories ever. With over eighty stories, including the works of Stephen King and D. H. Lawrence, alongside Lord Byron and Tanith Lee, not to mention Edgar Allan Poe and Harlan Ellison, The Vampire Archives will drive a stake through the heart of any other collection out there.

Other contributors include:
Arthur Conan Doyle • Ray Bradbury • Ambrose Bierce • H. P. Lovecraft • Harlan Ellison • Roger Zelazny • Robert Bloch • Clive Barker
An unstoppable anthology of crime stories culled from Black Mask magazine the legendary publication that turned a pulp phenomenon into literary mainstream. 
Black Mask was the apotheosis of noir.  It was the magazine where the first hardboiled detective story, which was written by Carroll John Daly appeared.  It was the slum in which such American literary titans like Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler got their start, and it was the home of stories with titles like “Murder Is Bad Luck,” “Ten Carets of Lead,” and “Drop Dead Twice.” Collected here is best of the best, the hardest of the hardboiled, and the darkest of the dark of America’s finest crime fiction. This masterpiece collection represents a high watermark of America’s underbelly. Crime writing gets no better than this.


Erle Stanley Gardner: Come and Get It
Fredric Brown: Cry Silence
Peter Collison: Arson Plus
Fredrick Nebel: Doors in the Dark
Lester Dent: Luck
Dashiell Hammett: The Maltese Falcon
Stewart Sterling: Ten Carats of Lead
Wyatt Blassingame: Murder Is Bad Luck
Talmadge Powell: Her Dagger Before Me
Charles G. Booth: One Shot
Richard Sale: The Dancing Rats
Katherine Brocklebank: Bracelets
Thomas Walsh: Diamonds Mean Death
Roul Whitfield: Murder in the Ring
Walter C. Brown: The Parrot That Wouldn’t Talk
Merle Constiner: Let the Dead Alone
Carrol John Daly: Knights of the Open Palm
William Cole: Waiting for Rusty
Ramon Decolta: Rainbow Diamonds
William Rollins Jr.: The Ring on the Hand of Death
Theodore A. Tinsley: Body Snatcher
D wight V. Babcock: Murder on the Gayway
Cleve F. Adams: The Key
William Campbell Gault: The Bloody Bokhara
Brett Halliday: A Taste for Cognac
Day Keene: Sauce for the Gander
W.T. Ballard: A Little Different
Charles M. Green: The Shrieking Skeleton
Hank Searls: Drop Dead Twice
Dale Clark: The Sound of the Shot
Frederick C. Davis: Flaming Angel
Don M. Mankiewicz: Odds on Death
Norvell Page: Those Catrini
Hugh B. Cave: Smoke in Your Eyes
Robert Reeves: Blood, Sweat and Biers
Whitman Chambers: The Black Bottle
Milton K. Ozaki: The Corpse The Didn’t Kick
Raymond Chandler: Try the Girl
Norbert Davis: Don’t You Cry for Me
Ray Cummings: T. McGuirk Steals A Diamond
Steve Fisher: Wait For Me
Frank Gruber: Ask Me Another
Horcase McCoy: Dirty Work
Julius Long: Merely Murder
John D. MacDonald: Murder in One Syllable
H.H. Stinson: Three Apes from the East
D.L. Champion Death Stops Payment
Richard Connell: The Color of Honor
Bruno Fischer: Middleman for Murder
Richard Deming: The Man Who Choose the Devil
C.M. Kornbluth: Beer-Bottle Polka
Cornell Wollrich: Borrowed Crime
**2013 Edgar Awards nominee in Critical/Biographical**
**2013 Anthony Award nominee in Best Critical Nonfiction**

Join award-winning mystery editor Otto Penzler and a first-rate lineup of mystery writers as they go in pursuit of Spenser and the man who created him, Robert B. Parker. These are the writers who knew Parker best professionally and personally, sharing memories of the man, reflections on his impact on the genre, and insights into what makes Spenser so beloved.

Ace Atkins, the author chosen to take up Parker’s pen and continue the Spenser series, relates the formative impact Spenser had on him as a young man; gourmet cook Lyndsay Faye describes the pleasures of Spenser’s dinner table; Lawrence Block explains the irresistibility of Parker’s literary voice; and more. In Pursuit of Spenser pays tribute to Spenser, and Parker, with affection, humor, and a deep appreciation for what both have left behind.

**Includes a reprinted piece on Spenser from Robert B. Parker


Ace Atkins
Lawrence Block
Reed Farrel Coleman
Max Allan Collins
Matthew Clemens
Brendan DuBois
Loren D. Estleman
Lyndsay Faye
Ed Gorman
Parnell Hall
Jeremiah Healy
Dennis Lehane
Gary Phillips
S.J. Rozan
The Vampire Archives is the scariest, hungriest, undeadliest collection of vampire stories ever assembled. Dark, stormy, and delicious, once you’re in its clutches there's no escape. From the first to last bite, it's a bloody good read.

Including Stephen King, Tanith Lee, Dan Simmons, Bram Stoker, and Many Many More


·        The macabre dens of the immortal
·        Unexpected guests
·        Shadowy figures
·        Ancient mysteries
Presenting Edgar Award-winning editor Otto Penzler's latest anthology, The Big Book of Sherlock Holmes Stories, the largest collection of Sherlockian tales ever assembled—now in a deluxe hardcover edition, perfect for the collector and gift markets.

Arguably no other character in history has been so enduringly popular as Sherlock Holmes. From his first appearance, in Arthur Conan Doyle's 1887 novella A Study in Scarlet,readers have loved reading about him—and writers have loved writing about him. Here, Otto Penzler collects 83 wonderful stories about Holmes and Dr. John Watson, the majority of which will be new to readers. Among these pages are tales by acclaimed Sherlockians Leslie S. Klinger, Laurie R. King, Lyndsay Faye and Daniel Stashower; pastiches by literary luminaries both classic (Kenneth Millar, P. G. Wodehouse, Dorothy B. Hughes) and current (Anne Perry, Stephen King, Neil Gaiman); and parodies by Conan Doyle's contemporaries James M. Barrie, O. Henry, and August Derleth.


Introduction by Otto Penzler

Arthur Conan Doyle, “The Field Bazaar”
Arthur Conan Doyle, “How Watson Learned the Trick”

Vincent Starrett, “The Unique Hamlet”
Bret Harte, “The Stolen Cigar-Case”
Arthur Whitaker, “The Case of the Man Who Was Wanted”
James M. Barrie, “The Adventure of the Two Collaborators”
O. Henry, “The Sleuths”
A. B. Cox, “Holmes and the Dasher”
Stephen Leacock, “An Irreducible Detective Story”
Stephen King, “The Doctor’s Case”

Davis Grubb, “The Brown Recluse”
Kingsley Amis, “The Darkwater Hall Mystery”
J.C. Masterman, “The Case of the Gifted Amateur”
James M. Barrie, “The Late Sherlock Holmes”
Edmund Pearson, “Sherlock Holmes and the Drood Mystery”
A.A. Milne, “The Rape of the Sherlock”
P. G. Wodehouse, “From a Detective’s Note-Book”
Hugh Kingsmill, “The Ruby of Khitmandu”
August Derleth, “The Adventure of the Remarkable Worm”
H. F. Heard, “The Enchanted Garden”
Ring Lardner, “A Study in Handwriting”
Neil Gaiman, “The Case of Death and Honey”
Anthony Burgess, “Murder to Music”

James M. Barrie, “An Evening with Sherlock Holmes”
Robert Barr, “Detective Stories Gone Wrong: The Adventures of Sherlaw Kombs”
Anonymous, “Sherlock Holmes vs. Conan Doyle”
R. C. Lehmann, “The Duke’s Feather”
Roy L. McCardell, “The Sign of the ‘400’”

Christopher Morley, “Codeine (7 Per Cent)”
Laurie R. King, “Mrs. Hudson’s Case”
Bliss Austin, “The Final Problem”

Anthony Boucher, “The Adventure of the Bogle-Wolf”
Poul Anderson, “The Martian Crown Jewels”
Anonymous, “Sherlock Among the Spirits”
Logan Clendening, “The Case of the Missing Patriarchs”
Loren D. Estleman, “The Devil and Sherlock Holmes”

S. C. Roberts, “The Strange Case of the Megatherium Thefts”
Peter Cannon, “The Adventure of the Noble Husband”
William O. Fuller, “A Night with Sherlock Holmes”
Leslie S. Klinger, “The Adventure of the Wooden Box”
Donald Thomas, “The Case of the Unseen Hand”
Sam Benady, “The Abandoned Brigantine”
Barry Day, “The Adventure of the Curious Canary”
Frederic Dorr Steele, “The Adventure of the Murdered Art Editor”
David Stuart Davies, “The Darlington Substitution Scandal”
James C. Iraldi, “The Problem of the Purple Maculas”

Robert Barr, “The Adventure of the Second Swag”
Stanley Rubinstein, “Sheer Luck Again”
John Kendrick Bangs, “A Pragmatic Enigma”
Anonymous, “Herlock Sholmes at It Again”
Anthony Armstrong, “The Reigate Road Murder”
William B. Kahn, “The Succored Beauty”
Gregory Breitman, “The Marriage of Sherlock Holmes”
E. F. Benson and Eustace H. Miles, “The Return of Sherlock Holmes”
Arthur Chapman, “The Unmasking of Sherlock Holmes”
George F. Forrest, “The Adventure of the Diamond Necklace”
Robert L. Fish, “The Adventure of the Ascot Tie”

Colin Dexter, “A Case of Mis-Identity”
Thomas Perry, “Startling Events in the Electrified City”
Lyndsay Faye, “The Case of Colonel Warburton’s Madness”
John Lutz, “The Infernal Machine”
Peter Tremayne, “The Specter of Tullyfane Abbey”
Daniel Stashower, “The Adventure of the Agitated Actress”
Michael Moorcock, “The Adventure of the Dorset Street Lodger”
Bill Crider, “The Adventure of the Venomous Lizard”
June Thomson, “The Case of the Friesland Outrage”
Carol Buggé, “The Strange Case of the Tongue-Tied Tenor”
Tanith Lee, “The Human Mystery”
Anne Perry, “Hostage to Fortune”
Jon Koons, “The Adventure of the Missing Countess”
Rick Boyer, “The Adventure of Zolnay, The Aerialist”
John Lescroart, “The Adventure of the Giant Rat of Sumatra”

Julian Symons, “Did Sherlock Holmes Meet Hercule…?”
H. R. F. Keating, “A Trifling Affair”
Barry Perowne, “Raffles: The Enigma of the Admiral’s Hat”
Barry Perowne, “Raffles on the Trail of the Hound”
Edward D. Hoch, “The Cipher in the Sand”
Kenneth Millar, “The South Sea Soup Co.”
Carolyn Wells, “The Adventure of the Clothes-Line”
Dorothy B. Hughes, “Sherlock Holmes and the Muffin”
Stuart M. Kaminsky, “The Man from Capetown”
Manly Wade Wellman, “But Our Hero Was Not Dead”
Stuart Palmer, “The Adventure of the Marked Man”
If you open your dictionary, you will discover that there is no such word as “bibliomystery.” However, most mystery readers know that the word refers to a mystery story that involves the world of books: a bookshop, a rare volume, a library, a collector, or a bookseller.

The stories in this unique collection were commissioned by the Mysterious Bookshop. They were written by some of the mystery genre’s most distinguished authors. Tough guys like Ken Bruen, Reed Farrel Coleman, Loren D. Estleman, and Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins. Bestsellers like Nelson DeMille, Anne Perry, and Jeffery Deaver. Edgar winners such as C. J. Box, Thomas H. Cook, and Laura Lippman.

Here you will discover Sigmund Freud dealing with an unwelcome visitor; Columbo confronting a murderous bookseller; a Mexican cartel kingpin with a fatal weakness for rare books; and deadly secrets deep in the London Library; plus books with hidden messages, beguiling booksellers, crafty collectors, and a magical library that is guaranteed to enchant you. The stories have been published in seven languages—one has sold more than 250,000 copies as an e-book (“The Book Case” by Nelson DeMille)—and another won the Edgar Allan Poe Award as the Best Short Story of the Year (“The Caxton Lending Library and Book Depository” by John Connolly).  

Who knew literature could be so lethal!