The Mysterious Bookshop of New York City

If you are a big fan of crime thrillers, police novels and alike, you will love this place. In downtown Manhattan we can find the world’s oldest and biggest bookstore stocking only mystery, crime fiction, espionage, and thrillers: The Mysterious Bookshop.


The door to Otto Penzler’s office in The Mysterious Bookshop marked by police tape. Image courtesy: the Mysterious Bookshop


Otto Penzelr, founder of The Mysterious Bookshop. Photo: Charles Perry

Mysteries have always been around and always been very popular, but they haven’t always been respected. Otto Penzler has had a significant hand in that transformation. He’s probably the most important figure in the history of mystery fiction who’s never written a mystery story. 

You get into Otto Penzler’s New York office through a door in the Mysterious Bookshop, the world’s oldest and biggest bookstore focusing on mystery, crime fiction, espionage, and thrillers. The door is roped off with a big X made of yellow police tape reading CRIME SCENE DO NOT CROSS. Down a flight of stairs, his office is a low-ceilinged basement cube with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves on all four sides, stocked with anthologies and first editions as well as a random sampling of mass-market hardcovers and paperbacks. If the office was a store by itself, it would be the second-best mystery bookstore in the world.


The Mysterious Bookshop is located at 58 Warren Street, New York City. Photo: lucas compan

The Mysterious Bookshop main hall. Photo: lucas compan

The Mysterious Bookshop was founded in 1979 and it claims to being the oldest mystery bookstore in the U.S. Penzler is the owner of the Mysterious Bookshop as well as The Mysterious Press, a publishing imprint he founded in 1975, and, his ebook publisher.


Click here to take a peak at the best mystery shows on TV right now? Ozark is one of my favorite current shows. Watch the trailer below.


If you would like to dig deeper, check out this interview with Otto, conducted by Anna Faktorovich, Director and Founder of the Anaphora Literary Press.

The Mysterious BookShop in Manhattan’s TriBeCa, New York City


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