I'm not trying to leave anyone out here. If I've missed out your favorite source for goodies, for gosh sake's let me know. And remember, bookstore owners--the webmaster can be bribed.
And if you're looking for a specific book, try these Book Search Services...
Oh, and if you do do business with anyone here, tell 'em I sent you...(it can't hurt)...
Sleuth of Baker Street
One of the all-time great mystery stores on the planet, established in 1979, and one of the best parts of going to visit my brother in Toronto. Mr. Singh and staff know/have/can lay hands on almost everything in the mystery field you ever dreamed/wished/hoped for. A good place for Americans to order British books, and homesick Canadians to stock up. They take orders via e-mail, phone, fax or by their web site.
Jamie Fraser Books
Jamie (a member of A.B.A.C.) specializes in pulps & pulp fiction and paperback collectibles, science fiction, fantasy, horror and... MYSTERIES!!! Darn! Another reason to visit Toronto! By appointment, telephone, internet & mail order.
Ed and Pat Thomas' Edgar Award-winning Book Carnival, now owned by long-time customer Anne Saller, is a mostly used mystery book store located in Orange, California that also specializes in dark fantasy. If you're looking for that special rare or used book, tthis is the place. Hands down, one of the best used mystery bookstores I've ever seen. You can still find them at 348 Tustin Avenue in Orange, California.
Mystery & Imagination
This used bookstore specializes in Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror, but it's their fantastic treasure trove of used mysteries you'll want to check out, which includes not just the usual twenty-year old mass markets, but goodies from as far back as the forties. Also, extensive collections of Dell Mapbacks, crime anthologoes and even mystery reference books. As an added bonus, it's right across the street from the Brand Bookstore, a more general used bookstore which also often has some great used crime novels (and first edition hardcovers). When I go out on a book crawl, it's one of my first stops these days...
OTHER BOOKSELLERS & DEALERS
Aye. Baskerville Books has a wide and varied stock of over 25,000 rare, vintage, collectable, used and out-of-print books which will appeal to the avid reader and discerning collector. of crime and detective fiction, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes, and Scottish history and literature. They we are an internet and mail order business only.
When ordering books in French or even in English that aren't easily available to US bookstores, some folks have evidently had excellent service from this bookstore in Montreal.
An Internet (AbeBooks and Amazon) and book fair dealer, specializing in modern mysteries with an emphasis on Bill Pronzini and Marcia Muller.
Dead End Books
An independent Internet mystery bookstore offering bargain hardcovers, signed 1st editions, classic paperback classics, UK imports, and more. While hardboiled is their favorite, they carry books from all mystery genres.
From out of Cincinatti comes this site, with reguarly updated catalogs available online, featuring collectibles, rarities, signed first editions, etc. Also new is a browsable & searchable list of used mystery magazines including Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Alfred Hitchcock MM, Mike Shayne MM, The Saint MM, The Armchair Detective, a small selection of pulp magazines, fan magazines and others.You can also search the entire stock of more than 16,000 items by author or title. Shopping cart technology and a secure server for credit card orders.Greetings.
San Francisco's KAYO books specializes in vintage pulp/trash/kitsch/hardboiled paperbacks from the 1940s to 1970s. They boast that their small store is like "a museum of pulp fiction and non-fiction. The stock presents a glimpse into the lurid past of dimestore novels, sleazy 1960s exploitation, and 1970s pop culture." They've got some great covers posted, but I wish they'd post their catalogue on-line. Their business card says "Vintage Paperbacks and Pulp -- Mystery- SciFi- Counterculture- Sleaze." Our roving correspondent Randal Brandt adds, "If you've never actually visited the store, I would suggest that it alone is worth the price of a trip out there. Pulp and sleaze dirt cheap ... you gotta love it!"
Murder By The Book
Kevin Barbero's Rhode Island store, startted in 1978, boasts of being "New England's oldest Mystery Bookstore." Kevin carries some new but mostly used paperbacks and hardcovers for readers and collectors. When in Cranston, RI stop in and say hello!!! You can also e-mail them, or visit their page at The Advanced Book Exchange.
Mysteries in Print
Bill Palmer, of Bogie's Restaurant fame, runs this online bookstore. An on-going listing of new and upcoming mystery books and books on tape, and discounts of from 10 to 40% are common. A very good selection of private eye books, with synopsises, and release dates, should be of interest to anyone reading this. Still truckin' after all these years.
Mystery Books From Texas
If you're in Austin looking for a good selection of mystery & thriller paperbacks -- as well as some nice 1st editions & ARCs, all at great prices -- this one's worth a look. If you can't find your needs there, he claims to have hundreds more that are unlisted. you can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mystery Loves Company
A Baltimore-based mystery book store, run by Kathy Harig, with new and used mystery titles. You can also read a brief but interesting (and slightly outdated) article about their battles with the biggies, and internet booksellers here. Remember when Barnes & Noble was considered a bad guy?
Independent Mystery Booksellers Association
Can't find a store near you? Check out this site. It's exactly what it sounds like, and you can also check out how the individual stores' bestseller lists combine on a national basis, at least for the U.S..
The Mystery Guild
They're still around? Who knew? Hardcover's too expensive, but you can't wait for the paperback? Then these are the guys for you. The Mystery Guild has been publishing lower-priced hardcover book-club editions for grateful mystery fans for over fifty years, and they're still at it. The club offers hundreds of mystery books, in all genres, many exclusive to the club, and the usual great introductory offer for new members (six books for 99 cents!), as well as exclusive interviews and short fiction.
Can't find that elusive 1956 Mark Savage, P.I. paperback of Die, You Dirty Swine, Die, Die, Die, Die? After prowling through miles of aisles of dusty, dirty used bookstores, church bazaar, yard sales and flea markets? let yer fingers do the walking. Generally, I prefer the hands-on thrill of the search for rare treasure, but how much dust can one man breathe? Try these search engines or deal with the dealers themselves. Unless, of course, you're looking for the same books I am.
The Advanced Book Exchange (ABE)
A wonderful search engine that allows you to wander through the catalogues of used book stores all over the world. I finally caved in and used it and found two books I've been looking for for over fifteen years. And not too expensive either (although that would depend on the individual store, and what one calls expensive). you can even search for books from this site.
Alibris bills itself as The Ultimate Source of Used, Rare, and Hard-to-Find Books," and promises "the books you thought you'd never find." Formerly known as Interloc, their site also has a lot of interesting information and links on book collecting.
AddALL Used and Out of Print Search
A powerful metasearch engine that queries a dozen major used book search engines, including ABE Books, Alibris, Antiqbook, Barnesandnoble.com, Bibliofind, BookCloseOuts, BookAvenue, Gutenberg Holdings, Hamiltonbook, Powell's Books and Yourbooks. You can organize the results by Price Ascending or Descending, and also by the same with Title, Author, and Searching Site. AddALL produces a lot more hits than some of its rivals.
Bills itself as "The Ultimate Source for Out-of-Print Books." This meta-search engine searches other book/web-search engines, including Advanced Book Exchange, Bibliofind, Interloc, Powells, Antiqbook, Bibliocity, and YourBooks. Granted, this makes for some repeats as many of the sellers list on mutliple sites, but it is the most comprehensive search I've found. Even Amazon and Barnes and Noble are both using Bookfinder as a resource to locate O/P books, which they then mark up and sell to their own customers.
MISSING A DUST JACKET?
Facsimile Dust Jackets
Found that one-in-a-zillion rare hardcover in a church sale or thrift bin, and blown all of a quarter for it, but it lacks a dust jacket? Let the crew at Facsimile Dust Jackets dress up your treasure, so it can proudly take its rightful place of honour on your shelf. FDJ print brilliant facsimile editions of the original covers, working from original sources. An extensive collection includes many rare crime and detective novels, ranging from Cleve F. Adams to Raoul Whitfield. Yeah, it's not the real deal, but man, do they look cool! and they've recently branched out, offering posters as well.
IF YOU REALLY MUST... MEGA ON-LINE STORES
Buy Canadian, eh? Indigo took over their competitor, Chapters, the online version of the Canadian book store chain that arose out of the merger of Coles and W.H. Smith, when Chapters got too big for their britches. Indigo (aka "Chapters/Indigo") offers competitive prices, and books from the U.K. and Canada that American dealers just don't carry.
This Canadian bookstore chain, located mostly in Quebec, now incorporating both the Garneau and Champigny chains, is the place to find "polars" (mysteries) both originally written in French and in translation from other languages. Just click on "litterature policiere" from the main menu. If you are in the US, getting books from Canada should prove much cheaper and quicker than from France. The website also includes an English section.
Barnes and Noble
This American chain call themselves the "World's Largest Bookseller Online."
These guys, also American, call themselves the "World's Largest Online Bookseller." Got the difference? I should also mention that I'm an Associate Member. Most of the books for sale on this site are through Amazon. If this bothers you, please read this...
Hey, give the little guy a shot. These guys claim they undersell Amazon by 4-10, and offer competitive shipping rates. Send 'em an e-mail cinemaclassicsnv@gmailcom at and they'll send you a free catalogue.