Otto Penzler




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Otto Penzler

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About this 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.


Ever wonder what leads crime authors to work with such harrowing material? In James Neal Harvey's case, the fascination with the darker side of life started early on.

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Published on August 13, 2014 12:27 • 2 views
Average rating: 3.76 · 11,614 ratings · 1,697 reviews · 211 distinct works · Similar authors
The Black Lizard Big Book o...
4.15 of 5 stars 4.15 avg rating — 378 ratings — published 2007 — 6 editions
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The Lineup: The World's Gre...
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3.68 of 5 stars 3.68 avg rating — 254 ratings — published 2009 — 12 editions
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Christmas at The Mysterious...
3.46 of 5 stars 3.46 avg rating — 254 ratings — published 2010 — 3 editions
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The Vampire Archives
3.77 of 5 stars 3.77 avg rating — 164 ratings — published 2009 — 3 editions
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The Black Lizard Big Book o...
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4.28 of 5 stars 4.28 avg rating — 120 ratings — published 2010 — 4 editions
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The Best American Mystery S...
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3.49 of 5 stars 3.49 avg rating — 140 ratings — published 2012 — 4 editions
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In Pursuit of Spenser: Myst...
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3.88 of 5 stars 3.88 avg rating — 135 ratings — published 2012 — 3 editions
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Bloodsuckers: The Vampire A...
3.5 of 5 stars 3.50 avg rating — 117 ratings — published 2009 — 4 editions
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The Big Book of Christmas M...
4.06 of 5 stars 4.06 avg rating — 108 ratings — published 2013 — 5 editions
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The Best American Crime Wri...
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4.14 of 5 stars 4.14 avg rating — 96 ratings — published 2003 — 5 editions
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More books by Otto Penzler…
Black Mask 1: Doors in the ... Black Mask 2: Murder IS Bad... Black Mask 3: The Maltese F... Black Mask 5: The Ring on t... Black Mask 6: The Bloody Bo... Black Mask 7: The Shrieking...
The Black Lizard: Black Mask Audio (11 books)
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3.5454545454545454 of 5 stars 3.55 avg rating — 22 ratings

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Otto's Recent Updates

Otto Penzler wrote a new blog post
Clean new MysteriousPress.com-approved editions of E.W. Hornung’s first three Raffles collections are now availablefrom our website!
Otto Penzler rated a book 4 of 5 stars
Book Club by Loren D. Estleman
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Set in a small New Mexico town, this tale begins when a wealthy book collector is murdered. It’s up to the town police chief, a former bookseller, to solve the crime and catch the crook. Against the backdrop of a heckling book club made up of hilario...more
Otto Penzler rated a book 4 of 5 stars
Strike Three, You're Dead by R.D. Rosen
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The first book in the Harvey Blissberg series features the former Boston Red Sox player who plays for an affiliated team in Rhode Island, the Providence Jewels. When his buddy and teammate, the Jewels’ relief pitcher Rudy Farth, is found murdered in...more
Otto Penzler rated a book 4 of 5 stars
Heads You Lose by Christianna Brand
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The first book featuring Inspector Cockrill, this Golden Age mystery was first published in 1941. Against the backdrop of WWII, a group of friends have gathered in a country manor house, the Pideonsford Estate. But perhaps some friendships aren’t all...more
Otto Penzler rated a book 4 of 5 stars
A Great Day for the Deadly by Jane Haddam
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This holiday-themed mystery features the unusual and intelligent hero, Gregor Demarkian. Although he has retired from the FBI, Gregor continues to solve cases that interest him. In A Great Day for the Deadly, a young nun is murdered in very puzzling...more
Otto Penzler rated a book 4 of 5 stars
Tower by Ken Bruen
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Dark, yet poetic with hilarious dialogue, this noir novel is an inspired collaboration of two outstanding crime writers. Told from the perspective of two childhood friends who cross into the underbelly of the criminal world, Bruen tackles the mind of...more
Otto Penzler rated a book 4 of 5 stars
The Book of Ghosts by Reed Farrel Coleman
The Book of Ghosts
by Reed Farrel Coleman (Goodreads Author)
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The Book of Ghosts is a story about the power of memories and lies. The protagonist and narrator of the story is Jacob Weisen, an elderly man who settled in America after surviving the Second World War. To earn asylum, he told a story about a book –...more
Otto Penzler rated a book 4 of 5 stars
Bad Lawyer by David Cray
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Stephen Solomita (David Cray) is a New York author of hard-boiled crime fiction and legal thrillers. He has a great ear for sharp and clever urban dialogue, and he is at the top of his game in Bad Lawyer. Sid was one of Manhattan’s top defense attorn...more
Otto Penzler rated a book 4 of 5 stars
Dead At The Take-off by Lester Dent
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Lester Dent is most famous for his Doc Savage stories written under the pseudonym Kenneth Robeson. But Dead at the Take-Off, written under his own name, shows why he was one of the most popular pulp writers of his era. Air travel was very different i...more
Otto Penzler rated a book 4 of 5 stars
The Chinese Orange Mystery by Ellery Queen
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Ellery Queen, the master of the Golden Age mystery, is one of the most important and influential contributors to the mystery genre. The Chinese Orange Mystery is a prime example of the cleverness of the two geniuses behind the pseudonymous Ellery Que...more
More of Otto's books…
“Like art, love, and pornography, noir is hard to define, but you know it when you see it. For the purposes of the book and my longtime working understanding and definition of it, noir stories are bleak, existential, alienated, pessimistic tales about losers--people who are so morally challenged that they cannot help but bring about their own ruin.”
Otto Penzler, The Best American Noir of the Century

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Join us on Monday, April 23, for a discussion with some of the finest mystery and crime writers on the scene today. This group is in celebration of th...more
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