The Mysterious Bookshop

Penzler, Otto, The Lineup

A great recurring character in a fictional 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.

Winner of the 2010 Edgar Award for Best Critical/Biographical Work


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

Want to get a free gift AND be entered into a monthly raffle? Sign up for our newsletter! Click on the tab at the top of the site to learn more!