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Otto Penzler is the proprietor of The Mysterious Bookshop in New York City and is regarded as the world’s foremost authority on crime, mystery and suspense fiction.
He founded The Mysterious Press in 1975. He sold it to Warner Books in 1989. He reacquired the imprint in 2010 and it now publishes original books as an imprint at Grove/Atlantic, and both original works and classic crime fiction through, in partnership with Open Road Integrated Media.
Penzler is a prolific editor, and has won two Edgar Awards, for Encyclopedia of Mystery and Detection in 1977 and The Lineup in 2010. The Mystery Writers of America awarded him the prestigious Ellery Queen Award in 1994 and the Raven–the group’s highest non-writing award–in 2003.
I first came to know Otto’s work a few years ago, when I purchased
The Black Lizard Big Book of Black Mask Stories which he edited.
His latest book is The Big Book of Espionage which features great stories from Lee Child, Charles McCarry, Ian Fleming, Eric Ambler, Sara Paretsky, and Jeffrey Deaver (just to name a few). It’s out now, I highly recommend this anthology.
As a fan of Otto’s work and as someone who has been at the forefront of the mystery/crime fiction/thriller genre for fifty years, I was delighted to have the opportunity to interview him about his work, book shop, mysteries, spy stories, and a lot more.
Latest Book

Other Books Edited by Otto Penzler

Connect with Otto Penzler
Show Notes
If you’re in New York City make sure to visit Otto’s Mysterious Bookshop.

Ott’s publishing company,
Check out Otto’s Mysterious Bookshop Gift Guide 2020. Great gift ideas for mystery/thriller/true crime lovers!
Podcast Transcript from Otto Penzler interview.
Please note, I’m using software to transcribe. It does a decent job, and I do a quick pass to clean it up, but it might not be perfect.
[00:00:00.285] – Alan Petersen
You are listening to Meet the Thriller Author, the podcast where I interview Writers of Mysteries, Thrillers and Suspense Books. I’m your host, Alan Peterson, and this is episode number one hundred and twenty three. In this episode of the podcast, we’ll be meeting Otto Penzler, who is the Edgar Award winning editor of 16 Vintage Crime Black Lizard anthologies including The Black Lizard, Big Book of Locked Room Mysteries, The Big Book of Sherlock Holmes Stories, The Big Book of Jack the Ripper. And that’s just to name a few. He is back with a new anthology that has gathered the intel on the world’s greatest secret agents declassified in these pages for the very first time. The big book of espionage is out now, and it has it all state secrets, double agents, leaks Otto Penzler brings you all this and more with his latest title in the big book series. These are great stories from Lee Child and Charles McCarry, just to name a couple. He’s really pulled these stories from the shadows and into the light for the first time. So it’s really fantastic. Really had a great time chatting with Otto Penzler about his anthologies,

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