Library Journal Review
Mysterious Press editor and bookshop proprietor Penzler has done it again, calling on a formidable cadre of authors to contribute short book-related mysteries. There's not a bad one among the 15, though some shine more brightly. Nazis and the Holocaust figure in several selections, including Reed Farrel Coleman's wry and dry "The Book of Ghosts," C.J. Box's "Pronghorns of the Third Reich," "What's in a Name?" by Thomas H. Cook, and Peter Blauner's "The Final Testament," with a dying Sigmund Freud. TV detective Columbo pesters a murderous nephew in William Link's "Death Leaves a Bookmark," while Laura Lippman's PI Tess Monaghan solves a bookstore theft in "The Book Thing." Jeffery Deaver provides plenty of twists in "An Acceptable Sacrifice," about a wealthy Mexican book collector, and Nelson DeMille's "The Book Case" is a perfect miniature of murder. The best story is the one about a library. John Connolly's prize-winning entry, "The Caxton Lending Library & Book Depository," has touches of magic and a large cast of characters. Verdict For book lovers, short story readers, and fans of the eminent contributors assembled here.-Liz French, Library Journal © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly Review
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. (Aug.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Booklist Review
Penzler bibliophile, author, and owner of New York's Mysterious Bookshop presents stories commissioned by the shop and written by some of today's leading mystery writers. The tales feature books and bibliophiles, and the best of them is easily John Connolly's The Caxton Lending Library and Book Depository, which won the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Short Story. One of the most imaginative short stories in any genre, it blurs the line between fiction and reality when a retired accountant begins encountering fictional characters in real life. Hot on its heels in terms of quality is Thomas H. Cook's What's in a Name?, which looks at an alternative life for one of history's worst figures. The remainder of the collection is almost universally enthralling and features beloved gumshoes such as Columbo along with favorite authors including Jeffrey Deaver, C. J. Box, Reed Farrel Coleman, Loren D. Estleman, Laura Lippman, Anne Perry, and Nelson DeMille. A must for mystery shelves.--Verma, Henrietta Copyright 2017 Booklist