Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Vintage Mystery Book Hunters Red Alert!

Those of you die hard vintage mystery lovers lucky enough to live in Chicago might want to head out to The Gallery Bookstore. I was there over the weekend and discovered that someone who was moving out of the area sold his entire vintage mystery collection to the store. The place which already had an impressive number of titles from hard to find authors has now exponentially increased with mouth watering selections. I should've written down all the writers' names, but below is a sampling of those who I remember had multiple titles available:

Ann Austin
Christopher Bush
John Buchan
H.C. Bailey
Clyde Clason
Mignon Eberhart
R. Austin Freeman (about 15 books, a mix of US & UK editions)
E. Phillips Oppenheim
Ellery Queen  (most of these are unfortunately Book club editions)
Mary Roberts Rinehart
Sax Rohmer
John Rhode and Miles Burton (over 25 books, the most I've ever seen in one store at a single time)

Plus there are many, many other hardbacks and the usual tremendous assortment of vintage paperbacks (most only in reading condition with higher grade books in glass enclosed cases) that continue to crowd the shelves patiently awaiting purchase by eager readers.

I've already picked over the store and spent far too much money, but some of the books I found I may never again see anywhere for a very long time. My rule has always been: If it's scarce, buy it when you see it. There are still lots left for the rest of you. I'm generous that way.

Trek on down to The Gallery at 923 W Belmont (11AM- 8PM Mon - Sat; 11-7 on Sundays) and you will be sure to find something to your liking. The Mystery section is my haunt here, but rest of the store is an amazing place and has lots of treasures to offer, too.  Plus -- he offers everything in the store via mail order for those of you who don't live close enough set foot in the store.


  1. What a lovely discovery!

    And I like your rule. Mine (much broader, and therefore more damaging to my wallet) is "you never regret the books you did buy, only the ones you didn't."

  2. Oh you are too cruel, John, too cruel. If I could I'd hop a plane and head for Chicago. This is my kind of store...!!

    What Mary Roberts Rinehart books did they have? Do you remember? John Buchan?

  3. Yvette -

    Can't remember all the Rinehart titles. I think THE AMAZING INTERLUDE and MAN IN THE LOWER TEN were there. Most of the Rinehart books were reading copies some were really beat up.

    Simon -
    I have done a lot of regretting for books I passed on and that's why I changed my book buying rule.

  4. Why sure, I'll be sure to visit as soon as I leave Narnia!

    Now John, don't you think this is a wee bit cruel to dangle something of this magnitude in front of a poor student who absolutely must study for his final exam and finish a lab report? Have you no shame? ;)

    But darn it all, I do wish I could get my hands on those Rhodes...

  5. I need to hop on that train and come to Chicago.

  6. I think used bookstores need all the help they can get these days. Throughout the year I'll keep posting about the stores I frequent to help them stay in business. I can't bear another loss like what happened to Bookman's Alley. Like I said, if you don't live here, order the old-fashioned way via phone and the mail. He has a low key website presence (use the link in the post) plus he lists some of his books on abebooks.com. Keep this store in business, gang!