BEST MYSTERY BOOKSTORE - 2008
Some bookstores can be too orderly. Shelves that are too neat can make the selection seem sparse and take all the fun out of stumbling across a great bargain or serendipitous discovery. Other shops are completely out of control, making it nearly impossible to find anything. Uncle Edgar's, like its science-fiction brother, Uncle Hugo's, is an experiment in controlled chaos. Shelves packed with used mystery books reach toward the ceiling, while the floors around the shelves are packed with more books. And while it's all arranged alphabetically, the volume can be overwhelming. Still, Uncle Edgar's is a place that rewards those willing to hunt and search. Of course, the knowledgeable staff—an essential ingredient in the best bookshops—can direct you to the right pile, or even an author worth checking out. The two stores have shared space on Chicago Avenue for decades, surviving numerous changes in the surrounding neighborhood to become standard bearers for independent shops. We hope that as long as there are readers searching for a good mystery, Uncle Edgar's will be there.