Back in 2001, this Anniversary anthology was published to celebrate 25 years of the Mysterious Press. Sara Ann Freed and William Malloy, who worked for Mysterious Press for 16 of those 25 years, provide an enlightening Introduction. Otto Penzler, who started Mysterious Press in 1975, shares the stories of the ups and downs of publishing. Mysterious Press almost went out of business in the early 1980s, but Penzler managed to find resources to keep it afloat. When Penzler sold Mysterious Press to Warner Books in 1989, it was successful publishing the novels of writers like Ruth Rendell, P.D. James, Len Deighton, James Crumbly, Donald E. Westlake, Ross Thomas, Ellis Peters, Aaron Elkins, Joe Gores, Marcia Muller, Eric Ambler, Patricia Highsmith, and Kingsley Amis. This is a fun anthology with wonderful stories like Westlake’s “Come Again,” Estleman’s “The Anniversary Waltz,” Beaton’s “Handle With Care,” and Joe R. Lansdale’s “The Mule Rustlers.” Are you a fan of the Mysterious Press? Do you have a favorite Mysterious Press author? GRADE: A
INTRODUCTION by Sara Ann Freed & William Malloy xi
Foreword by Otto Penzler xii
Come again? / Donald E. Westlake — 1
The anniversary waltz / Loren D. Estleman — 28
Inscrutable / Joe Gores — 45
The usual table / Peter Lovesey — 65
Them! / William Marshall — 79
The imposter / Marcia Muller —
Activity in the flood plain / Ed McBain — 122
Sometimes something goes wrong / Stuart M. Kaminsky — 151
Countess Kathleen / Jerome Charyn — 172
Instinct / Archer Mayor — 184
What’s in a name / Margaret Maron — 205
Coming around the mountain / James Crumley — 211
Handle with care / M.C. Beaton — 234
The mule rustlers / Joe R. Lansdale — 251
Body zone / Lindsey Davis — 276
Revision / Robert Greer — 301
Birdbath / Charlotte Carter — 312
High maintenance / Beth Saulnier –324


  1. Jeff Meyerson

    At last! I kept getting an error message this morning.

    Yes, I read this and yes, I like a lot of the Mysterious Press authors. You can’t go wrong with a group that includes McBain and Lansdale and Muller and Westlake and Gores and Lovesey.

    1. george Post author

      Jeff, I’m glad the Tech Support guys fixed that problem this morning. I couldn’t access my blog, either! I learned that Otto opened THE MYSTERIOUS BOOK STORE after he founded THE MYSTERIOUS PRESS. Otto started with limited edition books and then expanded to a wider market.

  2. Todd Mason

    The “McBain” story has the same sort of pointless artificiality that I keep encountering in all Evan Hunter stories. I’ve been meaning to recover my copy of this generally fine book to reread that story along with the ones I liked and do a review.

    I do like the general run of MP book and the Penzler anthologies I’ve seen. There are folks who have been having unfortunate run-ins, they suggest, with Penzler…I’m far enough from the ferment of crime-fiction writing publishing to not have anything but distantly gathered impressions and testimony, but the strange attempt to give Linda Fairstein a Grand Master award has certainly led to more of that testimony/acrimony to come to wider attention.

    1. george Post author

      Todd, I have an extra copy of THE MYSTERIOUS PRESS ANNIVERSARY ANTHOLOGY. If you’d like me to send it to you, just send the address you’d like me to send it to to my email account.

      1. Todd Mason

        Thanks, George! I might take you up on that at least temporarily…but I have a copy in one or another of the storage boxes that was inspected for water damage a few months ago. I will get to in in time…Very kind of you.

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