The Mysterious Bookshop

Otto’s favorites: 

Wambaugh, Joseph, Harbor Nocturne, Mysterious Press. The former LAPD detective, multiple New York Times best-seller, and MWA Grand Master, known as “the father of the modern police novel,” has produced a remarkable book, pulling off the almost impossible trick of combining a hilarious series of Hollywood weirdnesses with an unforgettably poignant story. Some LAPD characters from the acclaimed Hollywood Station series are still here: the surfer cops known as “Flotsam and Jetsam,” aspiring actor “Hollywood Nate” Weiss, and young Britney Small, along with new members of the midwatch. The story begins in the southernmost Los Angeles district of San Pedro, one of the world’s busiest harbors, where an unlikely pair of lovers is caught up in terror and peril through no fault of their own. When thirteen Asian smuggled immigrants die in an unventilated cargo container, a series of crimes that move from the harbor to Hollywood and back again follow. In a parallel story, a young man is persuaded to deliver Lita Medina, a young Mexican dancer, from the harbor to a Hollywood nightclub, forever changing their lives as an unexpectedly tender and moving love story develops where cops and human traffickers collide. It is no surprise that this terrific novel made the extended best-seller list of the New York Times and hit #7 on the Los Angeles Times list within a week of its release. A few signed copies are available. $27.00 

Also recommended: 

Perry, Thomas, Poison Flower, Mysterious Press. A Jane Whitefield novel and the most suspenseful one yet in this outstanding series as she attempts to save someone framed for murder and has the misfortune to be shot and captured by the bad guys. Tortured in a desperate plan to get her to give up the whereabouts of the person she saved, Jane uses all her skills, gifts, and inner strength as a Seneca Indian to resist and accept the fact that she would be willing to die before betraying her trust. Signed copies available. $24.00 

Goodrich, Joseph, ed., Blood Relations: The Selected Letters of Ellery Queen, 1947-1950, Perfect Crime Books. The Ellery Queen writing team of Frederic Dannay and Manfred B. Lee began in 1929 and continued for about four decades. Although this volume covers only a brief period of their collaboration, it is remarkably comprehensive in the sense of opening a door into their close but often volatile writing relationship. The letters came from the carefully collected Dannay archives and has a superb, incisive and perceptive introduction by William Link, the co-creator (with Richard Levinson) of the Ellery Queen television series, as well as such all-time classic series as Columbo and Murder, She Wrote, among many others. Paperback original. Signed copies available. $14.94

Dan’s Favorites: 

Wishnia, Ken, 23 Shades of Black, PM Press. Happily back in print in a beautiful new edition is this Edgar Award nominee from the late 90's. Set in Reagan era New York, we follow NYPD cop Filomena Buscarela as she independently takes on the case of an East Village artist who died a mysterious death in a suspicious accident. This is a marvelous and authentic depiction of punked out Alphabet City before it became a gentrified paradise. We also have copies of the earlier edition (The Imaginary Press, $8.95) signed by the author. $17.95

Also recommended:

Bernede, Arthur, Belphegor: The Phantom of the Louvre, Creation Oneiros. An evil genius along with his hunchback assistant plot the ultimate crime in the catacombs beneath the Louvre. I'm a sucker for this stuff- 1920's French pulp featuring Chantecoq, the "king of detectives”. $14.95

Nesbo, Jo, The Snowman, Black Lizard. Oslo detective Harry Hole searches for the identity of a serial killer who kills annually. This is a great starting off point to the critically acclaimed Norwegian mystery series. Available now. $15.00

Backderf, Derf, My Friend Dahmer, Abrams. A fascinating and surprisingly insightful autobiographical graphic novel, written and illustrated by a high school friend of Jeffrey Dahmer, who mutated from a shy outsider with a drinking problem into one of America's most notorious serial killers while authorities did nothing. Offbeat and beautifully done. $17.95

Ian’s Favorite:

Rash, Ron, The Cove, Ecco. There’s a certain thrill when one encounters such a lyrical author as Rash. How effortlessly he seems to spin his tales and draw such full-blooded characters. The Cove is his first novel since Serena, which read like a modern telling of MacBeth in the backwoods of North Carolina and was a Pen/Faulkner Finalist. In his latest novel, Rash again mines the deep cultural history of North Carolina, this time during the height of WWI. Laurel Shelton lives in a cove surrounded by cliffs and rumored by the townspeople to be a place of ill-luck and blight. When her brother Hank returns from the war, missing his left hand and lauded as a hero, the Sheltons are granted a little more respect. But when a mute man shows up on their property and joins their small enclave it sets in motion a series of events with deadly consequences. Gorgeously rendered and intriguing from the very first page, The Cove is a gem of a novel. So far it’s received rave reviews from Colum McCann and Daniel Woodrell, as well as starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and Library Journal. Rash is an author that has been steadily building in reputation over the last few years. Don’t let him pass you by! Signed. $26.99

Other recommendations:

Gann, Kirby, Ghosting, Ig Publishing. James Cole has always been of two-worlds: the ho-hum middle class life of his aunt and uncle, and the hardscrabble existence of the lake, where his mother and half-brother reside. The latter prides itself on community, if not lawfulness, and the members of the lake always look out for each other. But when James’ brother Fleece disappears, no one seems to be able to help. Soon James must take his place as a runner for the local drug kingpin in order to get some answers. “With a plot as full of twists and turns as an ancient Greek tragedy, Kirby Gann’s Ghosting is one of the most beautifully worded and superbly crafted novels about the fateful consequences of being caught up in the criminal life that I have ever read. And I’m speaking truth,” says Donald Ray Pollock, author Knockemstiff and The Devil All the Time. A terrific addition to this growing sub-genre. Paperback original. Signed. $15.95

Sally’s Favorites:

Zimler, Richard, The Seventh Gate. Zimler's latest is set in Germany in the 1930s when Hitler is coming to power. Sophie, a teen living in Berlin, is drawn to Isaac Zorco, a Jewish expert on the Kabbalah, and a group of circus perfomers who have disabilities or deformities - people who will later suffer at the hands of the Nazis. Sophie finds herself living a double life: her own parents are being drawn into the Nazi party and her mother is urging her to join the League of German Maidens, the female wing of the Hitler Youth Movement. In addition, Sophie is in love with a young Nazi despite hating the ideas he stands for. Zimler is the author of The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon and, more recently, the very well-received The Warsaw Anagrams. His research into this period of history is exhaustive and his writing is exquisite and often heartbreaking. Zimler gets super reviews but, as yet, they have not translated into the number of readers that his work deserves.

... and while we're on the subject of my my favorite period in history

Kerr, Philip, Prague Fatale. This is the eighth book in the Bernie Gunther series. Bernie has been ordered to Czechoslovakia by Reichsprotector Reinhard Heydrich who suspects that he is going to be murdered. Heydrich is hosting a gathering to celebrate his new appointment and he has chosen his guests with care: all are high ranking Party members and each one is suspected by Heydrich of being the person who will murder him. And, yes, a murder does occur, but it is the murder of a young adjutant who is found dead in his room - the door and windows bolted from the inside. Bernie will have to solve this perfect locked room murder. $26.95

Written by Alex Hess — June 05, 2012

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We are devoted to all things mysterious, from hard-boiled hardcovers to pulpy paperbacks, suspected signings and whispers around town.

Located at 58 Warren St in New York City, we are open Monday-Saturday from 11am-7pm. 212.587.1011

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