The other day, I visited a bookshop in Seoul called Mystery Union and devoted to crime fiction!
I first heard of this bookshop in the journal “Quarterly Mystery” (issue 62, Winter 2018). In this issue, there is an interview with the bookshop owner YU Su-
Mystery Union is situated in a small alley near Shinchon station, and it greets its visitors with a beautiful wooden style exterior and the warm light on the doorstep.
The interior is decorated with taste to convey an atmosphere of mystery and makes you feel you are entering a world of detective fiction. Portraits of crime authors and art work of Sherlock inspired by the BBC series set the tone: this is a bookshop for crime fiction.
While Mystery Union is small in size, you will find here a better selection of crime fiction than in other huge offline bookshops of Seoul. A whole wall is devoted to translated crime fiction, and the selection goes far beyond the usual choice of best-sellers and trendy books you would see in general bookshops.
What interested me the most is, of course, the selection of Korean thrillers, detective and mysteries.
A whole section of the bookshop is devoted to Korean crime fiction. It is by far the greatest selection for Korean detective novels that I have seen in an offline bookshop. There were great authors you would expect to find like KIM Nae-
In her interview for Quarterly Mystery, YU Su-
Visiting Mystery Union allowed me to extend my collection of Korean crime fiction:
There is the last DO Jin-gi (도진기) 합리적 의심 (Reasonable Doubt), it was published in February 2019, and I wanted to buy it for some time. I also chose a book by SEO Mi-ae (서미애), the Korean Queen of crime. I didn’t know which of her books to pick, but I have finally set my heart on 잘 자요 엄마. The novel 춤 추는 집 by 정석화 is a title I saw for the first time. The summary was appealing so I thought I would give it a try. Finally, I was very glad to find 선암여고 탐정단 by PARK Ha-ik. It won the Korean Award for crime fiction in 2015.
Go there: ８８−１１ Ewhayeodae-gil, Sinchon-dong, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul