The Big Book of Rogues and Villains
Edgar Award-winning editor Otto Penzler's new anthology brings together the most cunning, ruthless, and brilliant criminals in mystery fiction, for the biggest compendium of villains ever assembled. Join us on Halloween for his spooky book talk.
Penzler gathers the iconic traitors, thieves, con men, sociopaths, and killers who have crept through the mystery canon over the past 150 years, captivating and horrifying readers in equal measure. The 72 handpicked stories in this collection introduce us to the most depraved of psyches, from iconic antiheroes like Maurice Leblanc's Arsène Lupin and Sax Rohmer's Dr. Fu Manchu to contemporary delinquents like Lawrence Block's Ehrengraf and Donald Westlake's Dortmunder.
Otto Penzler is the editor of fifteen Vintage Crime/Black Lizard anthologies, including The Black Lizard Big Book of Locked-Room Mysteries, The Big Book of Sherlock Holmes Stories, and, most recently, The Big Book of Jack the Ripper. He lives in New York City, where he is the proprietor of the Mysterious Bookshop.
The publishers of nineteenth-century volumes such as The Lives of the Felons or American Criminal Calendar and Police Records and Recollections; Boston by Daylight and Gaslight for Two Hundred and Forty Years shared all the gory—or perhaps glorified—details of crimes with the intent to deter criminal behavior. But the detailed and illustrated accounts of the perpetrators’ misdeeds suggests readers may have been consuming the publications for their own entertainment as much as any strengthening of moral fortitude.