cover image Bibliomysteries: Crime in the World of Books and Bookstores

Bibliomysteries: Crime in the World of Books and Bookstores

Edited by Otto Penzler. Pegasus Crime, $26.95 (540p) ISBN 978-1-68177-458-9

How many different kinds of crime stories can be centered on books and bookstores? At least 15, based on the number of entries in this superior reprint anthology, each of which originated as a special Christmas publication issued by Penzler’s Mysterious Bookshop. In David Bell’s moving “Rides a Stranger,” a professor learns that his late father, an auto parts salesman with whom he had a strained relationship, may have written a book that’s now a valuable collector’s item. C.J. Box weighs in with the most intriguingly titled story, the twisty “Pronghorns of the Third Reich,” in which an attorney is taken hostage by a man who believes that his father was swindled by someone who used a plane to sell antelopes around the U.S.—and to Hitler. William Link demonstrates that the inverted detective format of his Columbo TV series can be successful in prose form, as the rumpled L.A. investigator looks into the death of a rare book dealer, found pinned under a bookcase, in “Death Leaves a Bookmark.” Fans of all mystery subgenres will find something to enjoy.[em] (Aug.) [/em]