Small Business Spotlight: The Mysterious Bookshop

By: Heather Ducharme

Small businesses are an integral part of the Lower Manhattan community. In anticipation of Small Business Saturday (Nov 24), we’re introducing you to a local Lower Manhattan business on our new Instagram TV series “Small Business Spotlight” (check it out on mobile) and on our blog every week.  

What single room mom-and-pop shop is easy to find, but impossible to leave? That would be The Mysterious Bookshop, the only New York City bookstore specializing in the mystery genre, located at 58 Warren Street.

What You’ll Discover
Inside the walls are stacked from floor to ceiling with books that indulge in all things mystery – from thrillers to espionage to detectives. Bookseller and self-described bibliophile Mike Durcell explains that the store is special because it’s “the last remaining mystery specialty bookshop in the US and you’ll find extremely knowledgeable staffers who can recommend anything you care to read in the crime fiction and true crime genres. We have a lot of things exclusive to our shop, limited editions and things prepared and written for us that you can’t find anywhere else.”

For First-Time Visitors
Along the back wall, Sherlock Holmes, the most-popular detective of all time, reigns with the shelves dedicated to the stories of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle alongside pastiches of the famous detective like Moriarty by Anthony Horowitz. The store also welcomes younger readers with a devoted children’s section where you can stock up on classics like the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew.

Help Selecting Your Next Book
Because they recognize how hard it can be to choose a new title, owner Otto Penzler helps educate his readers and expose them to new authors. He hosts an in-store author Q&A series where readers can learn first-hand about new books coming out (upcoming guests include Ann Aptaker, Erica Wright, and Jimmy Cajoleas). He has also curated seven different subscriptions – or “crime clubs” – that deliver members a new signed, first-edition book every month (clubs range from “British Crime” to “Hardboiled & Noir”).

Rare Finds
In addition to having an appointment-only room of first editions and rare items, The Mysterious Bookshop has created its own imprint “American Mystery Classics” to bring greater attention to books by American authors that have been neglected or flown under the radar.  

Really, this place has something for everyone and makes a great stop whenever you’re looking for a great gift.  Stop in and meet Mike and Otto and tell ’em we sent you.

And, if you’re just now discovering our Small Business Spotlight Series for the first time…Biscuits & Bath’s puppies stole the show last week and up next week we’re traveling to the South Street Seaport to visit Fresh Salt. Hope you’ll join us.