One of the books I enjoyed over the holiday season was Christmas at The Mysterious Bookshop.
Edited by Otto Penzler, the noted publisher, editor and anthologist of mysteries, crime fiction, true crime and thrillers, as well as the longtime owner of the famous Mysterious Bookshop in New York City, this collection offers original short stories by some of our best crime writers.
"As a way of thanking our customers for their support, I have commissioned an original story from some of the finest mystery writers in America each Christmas season for the past 17 years," Penzler wrote in the introduction of the book. "These stories are then published in handsome booklets and given to my customers as a Christmas present. The only criteria for the authors were that the stories should be set during the Christmas season, involve a mystery, and have at least some of the action take place at The Mysterious Bookshop."
Penzler went on to write that the stories have ranged from humorous to suspenseful to heartwarming. In this year's collection, the late, great crime writer Ed McBain, a/k/a Evan Hunter, a/k/a Salvatore Lombino, offers an interesting story called I Saw Mommy Killing Santa Claus. Donald E. Westlake, another great writer who recently passed on, offers a short story featuring his series character Dortmunder called Give Till It Hurts.
There are also fine stories by Andrew Klavan, Charles Ardai, Lawrence Block, and other crime and mystery writers. Although the holidays are over (except for the after-Christmas shoppers), you can extend the season by reading Christmas at The Mysterious Bookshop.