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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Otto Penzler is well known in mystery circles as a bookseller, publisher, and editor of anthologies. Now he's starting up MysteriousPress.com to "bring classic mystery and crime books to E." (I presume they mean e-publishing.) Here's the press release:

http://www.openroadmedia.com/blog/2011-06-06/Open-Road-Integrated-Media-And-Celebrated-Mystery-Expert-Otto-Penzler-Form-A-Publishing-Partnership-To-Bring-Classic-And-Original-Mystery-And-Crime-Titles-To-E.aspx

This is good news for mystery lovers, as Penzler's shown he has excellent taste. Hopefully he'll bring back some out-of-print stuff that you just can't find anymore.
 

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grahampowell said:
Otto Penzler is well known in mystery circles as a bookseller, publisher, and editor of anthologies. Now he's starting up MysteriousPress.com to "bring classic mystery and crime books to E." (I presume they mean e-publishing.) Here's the press release:

http://www.openroadmedia.com/blog/2011-06-06/Open-Road-Integrated-Media-And-Celebrated-Mystery-Expert-Otto-Penzler-Form-A-Publishing-Partnership-To-Bring-Classic-And-Original-Mystery-And-Crime-Titles-To-E.aspx

This is good news for mystery lovers, as Penzler's shown he has excellent taste. Hopefully he'll bring back some out-of-print stuff that you just can't find anymore.
He definitely has an audience! I've tried two...maybe three of his anthologies and I have to say...his stuff is not for me. Seriously not for me. They tend to be way darker and drag, especially for short stories...

That said, I think he will be a boon to getting new books out and noticed!
 

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MariaESchneider said:
.his stuff is not for me. Seriously not for me. They tend to be way darker and drag, especially for short stories...
The list of forthcoming titles includes Ellery Queen's The Roman Hat Mystery and James Grady's Six Days of the Condor... neither is very dark. In fact, I'd say most classic mysteries aren't very dark.

So there may be something there for you!

Mike
 

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jmiked said:
The list of forthcoming titles includes Ellery Queen's The Roman Hat Mystery and James Grady's Six Days of the Condor... neither is very dark. In fact, I'd say most classic mysteries aren't very dark.

So there may be something there for you!

Mike
Oooooh no. I really gave several of his collections a try. We were trapped in the car on a long trip with some of his 'best of' CDs-- with little else to listen to. We made it through a LOT of stories. I seriously loathed all but the one by Donald Westlake and since I like Westlake's stand alones, I was really looking forward to that story. Turns out I thought Penzler must have picked the weakest story Westlake ever wrote.

I cannot describe the *loathing* reaction I had to one of the longest stories (a short novel) we listened to--I mean, it was so awful, to this day I rate it down there with Wuthering Heights and some of Poe's works (see, this will be a compliment to many readers.) It would actually fall BELOW some of Poe's work; it was so bad. (And while I can see why Poe is popular and will admit to *some* redeeming qualities to the works--and even the tension and dread factors which are second to none--I see zero redeeming qualities to Wuthering Heights and despite three attempts have never been able to finish it. Knowing the ending, as I do now, I am only grateful I never bothered.)

I'm afraid Penzler is on my list of Absolutely Will Never Read Again. *Loathe*
I'll probably miss a gem or three, but I'm more than willing to take that chance to avoid the types of stories I've seen him pick thus far.

(No offense to any author or to Penzler. I completely respect different styles of writing and story telling. But there are some stories and types of stories I do not like. It's as simple as that.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm a little surprised that no one has set up an e-publisher just to bring old books back into print, at least not that I've heard of.  The likely profit is small, but it's there, and you wouldn't face the risks associated with print books.  I guess the biggest expense would be locating the copyright holders.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
MariaESchneider said:
(No offense to any author or to Penzler. I completely respect different styles of writing and story telling. But there are some stories and types of stories I do not like. It's as simple as that.)
Well, that's why they make chocolate and vanilla. I have to confess that I have read THE ROMAN HAT MYSTERY and... well. Let's just say I think Mr. Queen improved as he went along.
 

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grahampowell said:
I'm a little surprised that no one has set up an e-publisher just to bring old books back into print, at least not that I've heard of. The likely profit is small, but it's there, and you wouldn't face the risks associated with print books. I guess the biggest expense would be locating the copyright holders.
There are tons of them. Some authors go through a service that does the formatting and whatnot, some are going through services that basically "publish" them and take a cut (of royalties.)

Several agents are also doing it for their clients for their backlist.
 

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grahampowell said:
Well, that's why they make chocolate and vanilla. I have to confess that I have read THE ROMAN HAT MYSTERY and... well. Let's just say I think Mr. Queen improved as he went along.
Agreed. My favorite of theirs are the "middle period" mysteries, sandwiched between the S. S. van Dine imitations and the ghost-written ones.

Mike
 

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jmiked said:
Not really. HHC seems to concentrate on hard-boiled crime fiction, Penzler's venture looks to concentrate on classic mysteries. Two very different things.

Mike
I'm talking about the model of bringing back older stuff (even older authors with new titles), which is what HCC does for the most part. I'm not saying they're the same books or even the exact sub-genre.
 

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This is terrific news -- if the selections will include titles from the earlier print publications from the Mysterious Press (in particular THE DARK FANTASTIC and THE SPECIALTY OF THE HOUSE AND OTHER STORIES by Stanley Ellin, Westlake's LEVINE, and the work of Ellis Peters) the wife and I will be ecstatically happy campers.

 

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Looks like this project is live. There are several ebooks already listed on Amazon.

I bought Ellery Queen's The Roman Hat Mystery just for old time's sake, even though it's not top-notch Queen.

Mike

Edit: I bought Calamity Town, not Roman Hat. Much better choice.
 

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Penzler's email announcing this showed up in my inbox this morning.  Haven't bought any just yet, but I've noted the Queens and the Westlakes for purchase.  The email said only about forty books were up at the moment, but that they'd be adding hundreds more over the next few months.

Hundreds.  I can feel my budget going out the window just thinking about it...


 
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