The Mysterious Bookshop

An introduction, of a sort:

In enjoying vintage mysteries, it can be a daunting proposition to sift through the various genres and authors to find the ones you like.  Of course, there is always the thrill of finding a new crime to solve, an author previously unknown to you, a genre you didn’t know you’d enjoy, or an undiscovered thriller to keep you up till all hours because you just can’t put it down!

In this space we’ll talk about some of the best vintage writers and titles, as well as some that may have fallen under the radar but that you really should know!  Further, we’ll touch upon various aspects of book collecting, including condition, recurring characters in popular series, film and television tie-ins, contemporary authors worthy of their predecessors, and more.

One way to investigate mystery fiction is to explore the various genres, or books with certain consistent styles or themes.  For example, if you enjoy works featuring the seamy side of city life, then the ‘hardboiled’ or ‘noir’ genres might be for you.  Exponents include Ross Macdonald, Jim Thompson, and James M. Cain.  More modern writers in this vein include Andrew Vachss, Derek Raymond, Mo Hayder, and George Higgins,  On the other hand, if you prefer something a bit gentler along the lines of old ladies in tennis shoes solving crimes with their cats, then you’ll want to look at the ‘cozy’ end of things.  Try the Murder She Wrote series, or Lillian Jackson Braun.  James Bond fan?  Then espionage and spy capers are the ticket.  How about Erskine Childers?  Of course the Ian Fleming books are topnotch.  Or for stories ripped from today’s headlines, as the saying goes, try Charles McCarry, Olen Steinhauer, and Dan Vyleta.  Whatever your pleasure, simply ask your local bookseller (like us!) and we’ll be happy to steer you towards recommendations that will add lots of good reading to your personal library.

Written by Ian Kern — February 03, 2016