1 at Christopher St.-Sheridan Sq.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
This venue is closed.
It’s no small irony that this West Village mystery bookstore is nearly within spitting distance of a Barnes & Noble, since Partners & Crime is everything that the corporate book-behemoth is not—small, specialized, privately owned and staffed by workers whose knowledge of their genre borders on the cheerfully obsessive. (Stumped B&N clerks have, in fact, been known to send customers here.) The partially subterranean store evokes a sense of Sherlock Holmes’s study, complete with fireplace, polished wood shelves, dark green carpet and a few sticks of Victoriana furniture. Founded by staff members from the now-closed Foul Play, P&C does offer a wide selection, but stocks only minimal copies of particular books (save for new releases). Most volumes are arranged alphabetically by author, but others can be found in a section called 100 of the Best We’ve Ever Read; hand-written cards scattered throughout the shelves provide further recommendations. Esoteric sub-genre headings abound, too—it’s fun to browse sections labeled Great Tough Guys, Tough Girls, Espionage, and Out-of-Print Pulp. The staff prides itself on its literary detective work, finding books for customer with even the most bare-bones sense of plot or setting.Rentals
Join P&C’s rental library for a $20 initiation fee and borrow the latest hardcover releases. But it pays to be a fast reader: Rental fees run $2 for the first night, $1/night thereafter.
Every April, the store celebrates the Edgar Awards (the mystery-book world’s highest honor, named for Edgar Allan Poe) with an awards show of its very own: The Nevermores. Friends, fans, and more than a few authors gather for a spoof-tastic evening of song and satire.