The Mysterious Bookshop

Otto Penzler - Mysterious Obsession - Second Printing

Sold out.

Second Printing.

Due to unexpected demand, the first edition of Mysterious Obsession, limited to 250 numbered and signed copies, sold out instantly. We received numerous orders beyond that limitation and don’t want to disappoint our customers so have gone back to press for a second printing. This reprint will not be numbered but it will be signed on request. The price of the second printing has been reduced to $40.00.

If you ordered the first printing and were put on a waiting list, please let us know if you will be satisfied with a second printing—identical in all respects to the first printing but with a lower price and without the limitation page.


Otto Penzler’s collection of mystery, crime, suspense, espionage, and detective fiction was generally regarded as the best in the world. The result of decades spent obsessively acquiring the best and rarest books in the field, its unique contents and immense scope will never be replicated. In late 2018, this magnificent library was disassembled and sent to auction, scattering its precious volumes across the globe. 

Now, the man who compiled it tells the story of the collection—and of his career as a collector—through the anecdotes surrounding some of its key titles. Featuring tales of dogged pursuits, chance discoveries, and all sorts of adventures in the world of books, these are the memoirs of “gentle madness” (to borrow Nicholas A. Basbane’s elegant term). But they are also the chronicles of a life’s work, as the book collection grew alongside Penzler’s other burgeoning enterprises—most importantly, the Mysterious Bookshop. 

Illustrated with photographs from the collection, and enlivened by the author’s reminiscences of booksellers, fellow collectors, and writers he’s encountered along the way, Mysterious Obsession offers a unique perspective of not only crime fiction, and not only book collecting, but of the literary life as a whole as experienced by one of its greatest proponents.


Click here to read a sample chapter

Specializing in Mystery Fiction and all its subgenres, including Detective, Crime, Hardboiled, Thrillers, Espionage, and Suspense.

Now offering curb-side or in-store pickup! Choose the option during check out and we'll let you know when your order is ready.

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

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