Small-Press Lineup: American Mystery Classics

Some of the biggest crime fiction is perpetrated by some of the smallest players. We’re determined to shine the spotlight on them before they break out and wreak havoc across the whole country. Read them—before they publish again!




Legal Name:

Otto Penzler



Charles Perry, publisher, and Jane Friedman, consultant


Criminal Record:

I publish original literary crime fiction with The Mysterious Press as an imprint at Grove/Atlantic. I also publish a large number of titles in electronic form as Many customers in my bookshop ask for many of the major authors in printed editions but they haven’t been available, and this imprint will fill the gap between the other two companies. We get the same question at our website, so we decided to do what people wanted: publish hardcover and trade paperback editions of the greatest traditional detective novels of the golden of the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s.

The Mysterious Bookshop

I got into publishing 42 years ago because it was my goal to elevate the mystery novel, to make it as respected as more mainstream fiction. It seems quaint now, with half the books on the bestseller lists being mysteries, but that was then.

My ultimate goal is to make a fortune and get into the 1% so I can work six days a week instead of seven.

The books will be distributed by the elegant publishing house W.W. Norton so, yes, they will be easily available from Baker & Taylor, Ingram, and other wholesalers, as well as directly from Norton.


Currently Plotting:

We will publish six titles in October 2018, including Ellery Queen, The Chinese Orange Mystery; Dorothy B. Hughes, The So Blue Marble; and Mary Roberts Rinehart, The Red Lamp.


[email protected]



About the Author:

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