Final chapter: Death for Manhattan mystery bookstore Murder Ink


NEW YORK (AP) — You can close the book on Murder Ink, which called itself the oldest mystery-themed bookstore in the world.

A rent increase was the deathblow for the popular shop, which closed Sunday after 34 years on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, owner Jay Pearsall said.

“I was a little outraged that a well-run bookstore couldn’t make it in the best book-buying neighborhood in the world, but there’s no business model that can work,” Pearsall lamented.

He said he was paying $18,000 a month in rent for Murder Ink and another store, Ivy’s Books & Curiosities, and couldn’t afford a 5 percent increase expected in March. Competition from huge bookstore chains and online sellers didn’t help.

Murder Ink offered titles ranging from 1950s pulp fiction to the latest Tom Clancy thriller. It was where Pearsall met his second wife and where his eldest son learned to read.