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The CrimeReads 2022 Holiday Gift Guide

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Hello CrimeReaders! It’s the Holiday season, which, according to all my local stores’ playlist designers, begins right after Halloween. It’s also Black Friday, which, according to all the internet stores having sales, is actually eight days long. But that’s okay!

As usual, I have been in charge of putting together this year’s CrimeReads Holiday Gift Guide, and I am positively chuffed. Shopping for cute mystery-ish items to curate this list is one of the highlights of my work-year.

Most of the items on this list are not books. Most. We have another gift guide releasing for just that purpose, but I did sneak a few special books on here. Because, you know.

Like always, I’m trying to spotlight things that might not be so obvious. You all probably know about the charming selection of mystery paraphernalia from Out of Print, as well as the impressive graphic work done by Litographs, so we’re not going to include those. We’ve curated a selection of items with intent to spotlight small businesses, as well as items made in the USA, and products that are cruelty-free and made from environmentally-responsible materials. For example, all the candles we list are Soy, because they burn cleanly without a carbon footprint.

In case you were wondering, no we don’t get commissions for featuring any of these; this is simply a list of stuff we like. Don’t forget to shop local this season and don’t shop on Amazon, to help keep small businesses afloat. And check out last year’s gift guide, for more ideas!

Here we go!







Tony Stella print (Studio Stella)

Tony Stella’s painted movie posters are breathtaking. If you want to get someone a crimey poster, get one of these gorgeous, atmospheric pieces, like his illustration for Out of the Past. But, if you’re shopping for a Columbo fan, get this print.



Only Murders in the Building podcast print (UnworkOfArt on Etsy)

Dimas Chicken Wraps presents! I love this beautiful poster for the Only Murders in the Building podcast within the show Only Murders in the Building.



Sherlock Holmes candle (Noble Objects)

This charming Sherlock Holmes candle, from literary candle website Noble Objects, is made of soy way and natural oils. “What does a genius idea smell like? We thought that it has to be citrusy and energizing,” meaning that the candle smells like “An energizing burst of sweet, salty, and tart citrus along with ozonic airy top notes. Middle notes of tropical guava and juicy orange.” The game might be afoot, but it is also a-nose. (Sorry.)



Jessica Fletcher mug (Etsy)

I mean, you know she did. Why not drink to being so correct.



The Folio Society Special Edition novel (The Folio Society)

Since 1947, The Folio Society has specialized in producing meticulous, stunning special-editions of significant books. They commission original artwork from the world’s greatest artists, organize introductions and other appendices from experts, and design volumes and slipcases from special materials. I’m obsessed, and I’m slowly getting everyone around me obsessed too. This Jaws edition was illustrated by Hokyoung Kim and features an intro from Wendy Benchley, the author’s widow.



The Big Lebowski “Stranger in the Alps” print (on Etsy)

Get the Big Lebowski fan in your life this print documenting the greatest moment of TV censorship in history.



The Folio Society Special Edition comic (The Folio Society)

Okay just one more Folio society thing! They have started releasing special editions of Marvel and DC comics! This edition of Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet, written by Ta-Nehisi Coates, has an introduction by Walter Mosley and artwork by Brian Stelfreeze.



Amity Island beach towel (SantaCarlaBoardwalk on Etsy)

“Take a good look at that sign! Those proportions are correct!” Bring this beautiful towel with the defaced Amity Island sign printed on it to the beach next summer, to remind everyone why you prefer not to go in the water.


Pollinator set (Uncommon Goods)

Like Sherlock Holmes, maybe someone you know wants to retire to the country to keep bees. This pollinator set will help you plant wildflowers that attract bees, butterflies, *and* hummingbirds.



Columbo villains print (fromintheshed on Etsy)

If you have a friend who has seen every Columbo episode, then get them this beautiful poster featuring all 72 of the show’s villains, across all 35 years of the show’s run.



Movie genre candle (Mise en Scènt)

Mise en Scènt’s movie genre candles are aesthetically charming and boast complex scent profiles to conjure up the vibes of your favorite films. And they are made in Brooklyn with soy way!



The Big Lebowski fridge magnet set (CastleMcQuade on Etsy)

I love Brookly-based artist PJ McQuade’s hand-drawn stickers and magnets from classic films. Got a Dude in your life? Get him the complete Lebowski fridge magnet set, complete with the visages of Donny, Walter, the Stranger, and El Dudarino himself.



Rumpl puffy blanket (Rumpl)

If you are on this website, you probably like reading. If you like reading, you need a blanket to read with. You can read *under* the blanket to get cozy with your noir/mystery/cozy/spy novel or whatever. I like the Rumpl blankets because they are all-purpose, all-weather blankets. I frequently take mine to the park on nice days, roll it out on the grass, and lay on it to read. (It’s jacket fabric, so it doesn’t get dirty.



Bearaby Eco-Velvet weighted blanket (Bearaby)

I’m just going to say it: if you like crime or mystery stories, you probably have anxiety. What? You probably do. If you feel yourself getting nervous while (or without) watching your favorite unhinged Swedish murder show, drag this thing on top of you. They are amazing—calming and heavy without being too warm or sweat-trapping. Most importantly, they don’t use any plastics or beads to create the weight. I recommend the Evo-Velvet, because it looks really nice and feels very soft and their most sustainable product.



Games and Entertainment




Murder Mystery on the Night Train game (Anthropologie)

Last year, I included in the gift guide the version of this game that takes place “At the Theater.” The point of the game is for you to actually host your own full murder mystery party, and now you can host a second one! All aboard!



Clue Vinyl Soundtrack (Mondo)

Mondo, the design company that collaborates with film studios to put out special-edition LPs, has released a special edition of the Clue soundtrack. Whoever you get this for will most certainly not be angry. They most certainly will not have “flames… flames on the side of [their] face.”



Wooden Clue board game (Anthropologie)

Anthropologie keeps selling different kinds of Clue boards, and that’s all right with me! This one is wooden! (And is a little 80s-looking, if you ask me.) If you’re into a less-bulky version that looks like a book, try this one.



Agatha Christie Bingo (Bookshop)

Like all versions of bingo, this droll set of Agatha Christie bingo can also be played as a drinking game. To avoid shipping emissions, if you’re in New York, pick up your set at The Mysterious Bookshop, where I just saw it in-stock.



Sherlock Holmes playing cards (NYRB store)

Sherlock Holmes said “it is my business to know what other people do not know,” and perhaps this will be how you play cards after you purchase this charming set of Sherlockian playing cards.



Severance vinyl soundtrack (Mondo)

Mondo has just announced that they are releasing two special-editions of the Severance soundtrack. Have a friend who loves the show? It’s easier to gift than a music dance experience, the egg bar, the melon buffet, and definitely way easier than a waffle party.



Create-Your-Own Viewmaster (Uncommon Goods)

Season 2 of The Flight Attendant reintroduced us to the “viewmaster” toy with a decidedly custom-made one that tormented our heroine Cassie. But you could get one and personalize it without the intent to scare/threaten/frame people for murder.



Tickets to A Sherlock Carol (A Sherlock Carol)

Yes, this entry is only for people who live in NYC or who plan on visiting it for the holiday season. But if you are there, grab tickets to A Sherlock Carol, a rave-reviewed Off-Broadway production merging two classic literary canons. Here’s the description: “When a grown-up Tiny Tim asks Sherlock Holmes to investigate the peculiar death of Ebenezer Scrooge, the Great Detective must use his tools of deduction to get to the bottom of the crime. But it is a dark and treacherous Christmas Eve, and once again the holiday is haunted by the spirits of the past, present, and future.” Nothing humbug about that!



The Criterion Channel subscription (The Criterion Channel)

Just reminding you that it’s always a great option.



Clothes + Accessories




Benoit Blanc t-shirt (SuperYaki)

He’s back! “Physical evidence” MIGHT “tell a clear story with a forked tongue,” but if you wear this shirt, it will probably be clear that you are excited for Glass Onion. As you should be!



Breathless-style New York Herald Tribune shirt (NYTimes x Knickerbocker)

Have you ever wished you looked as cute as Jean Seberg, strolling down the Champs-Élysées selling copies of the New York Herald Tribune? Well now, you can. In partnership with Brooklyn’s Knickerbocker clothing company, The New York Times store is releasing the exact style of shirt that Seberg’s character Patricia wore in the movie.



James Bond socks (The London Sock Exchange)

The London Sock Exchange’s 007 collection is nothing sort of delightful. There are many beautiful men’s socks, all with tiny images of iconic moments and characters in the Bond franchise. My personal favorite are the Oddjob socks (nobody tell my dad that he’s getting a pair for Christmas), but the Blofeld ones are also pretty excellent. They have numerous variety sets, including this big one with exclusive socks like the Moonraker one and the jet pack one. A good gift if you’re friends with any of the Broccolis.



Clue poster backpack (Mikeyofthe80s on Redbubble)

The Clue aficionado won’t be able to resist this charming backpack with the original movie poster all over it. Or this charming duffel bag with the original movie poster all over it. Or this charming tote bag or this charming T-shirt. Or this charming object, whose practical purpose escapes me. Now how many items is that? One plus one plus two plus one?



Master and Commander T-shirt (SuperYaki)

I adore this t-shirt from SuperYaki, which has emblazoned over its chest the opening title card from Master and Commander. Looking for a gift for your dad? Click away.



Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? poster backpack (Mikeyofthe80s on Redbubble)

Just one more from this shop… this Holiday season, get your most unhinged friend this spectacular and terrifying Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? backpack.



Batman Returns Shreck’s Department Store t-shirt (MacGuffin Goods)

Batman Returns features a fascinating department store owned by Christopher Walken’s character, and it’s a a Christmastime movie, which means that this shirt is basically the same thing as a patterned sweater.



Hitchcock Vertigo socks (Jimmy Lion)

The sock company Jimmy Lion has a whole Hitchcock collection, if you think that this Vertigothemed pair will make you spiral too much.



Silence of the Lambs Demme title card t-shirt (SuperYaki)

Everyone knows a Silence superfan. Get them this t-shirt with the directorial credit card printed on it.



Mysterious Bookshop tote bag (Mysterious Bookshop)

If you’re a New Yorker or not, grab a Mysterious Bookshop tote bag to help you haul your tomes around. Available in three colors!


The Pepperwood Chronicles t-shirt (TheLibraryCloset on Etsy)

Here at CrimeReads, we love New Girl, and especially, within New Girl, Nick Miller’s hardboiled crime novel The Pepperwood Chronicles, about hardened New Orleans PI Julius Pepperwood. “The sun baked down on Pepperwood’s back as he moved over to the St. Charles streetcar. The driver handed him a brown paper sack. Without opening it, Pepperwood knew what was inside: blood-soaked beignets.” My only regret is that I can’t read the whole book, so the shirt will have to do. Long live Pepperwood!



Clue title card t-shirt (AudgePodgeArt on Redbubble)

Looking over it now, I realize there are a lot of Clue items on this gift guide and I’m not mad about it! Check out this shirts with the final ending title card on it. They also have one for the title card before it, for the “that’s how it could have happened” crowd.



The Batman “I’m Vengeance” pin (MacGuffin Goods)

I loved The Batman. This is a cute lil gift for people who also loved The Batman, even IF The Batman learns that there is are much better feelings to live one’s life personifying.



Cabot Cove t-shirt (boec gear on Redbubble)

Ah, Cabot Cove, a sleepy little Maine town with more murders per capita than Honduras! This quaint t-shirt notes that the population has been on the decline.



John Carpenter hat (SuperYaki)

This is the gift for your friend who always goes on about how John Carpenter was a composer and not just a director. If you don’t have that friend, become that friend.



Spoiler Alert enamel pin (MacGuffin Goods)

Getting this handy little warning pin for my mom, a kind genius whom I deeply love. But who spoils movies.



Ornaments and Holiday Decor




Home Alone bunting ( on Etsy)

I love Caroloife’s beautiful colored-pencil illustrations AND I love bunting, so this series of hers’ is extra exciting for me. The screaming Home Alone faces are delightful, but if that’s not your movie, she also sells bunting for Die Hard and It’s a Wonderful Life (among others).


Home Alone 2 turtledove ornaments (JohnPerryStudioStore on Etsy)

John Perry designed the turtledove ornaments that Macaulay Culkin gets at the Toy Store in Home Alone 2. He gets two and gives one to Oscar-winner Brenda Fricker, which is nice. But apparently Perry kept the copyright on the design, so continues to manufacture them. They are made of a resin compound that resembles porcelain. So they’ll be safe even if they fall while you’re booby-trapping your house against two hapless bandits.



Die Hard gift labels ( on Etsy)

Did I mention that Caroloife also has beautiful gift-label versions of her colored-pencil drawings? No? Well she does! And tags!



I couldn’t put this Psych ornament on my gift guide last year because I got it for too many people and I didn’t want them to see. But this glittery globe is an excellent gift for the Psych-o in your life.



Office Supplies




Reclaimed fire hose pencil case (Elvis and Kresse)

The UK company Elvis and Kresse makes beautiful luxury goods from reclaimed materials that would otherwise end up in landfills: de-comissioned fire hoses, parachute silk, and leather off-cuts from Burberry. Their designs are stylish and the quality is unbeatable. This handsome pencil case is a particular favorite of mine.



Metal line markers (BookDarts)

Book Darts are metal line markers you slip onto the pages of your books next to important lines, so you don’t have to mark them up with ink! They come in bronze, brass, stainless steel (or mixed metals), in tins of 30, 50, 75, 100, and 125.



Vintage stamps (Mr. Boddington’s Studio)

The adorable stationary company Mr. Boddington’s Studio sells tiny bundles of vintage stamps, which seem like the kind of Golden Age-y thing a mystery fan might enjoy, proper philatelist or not.



Glass and cork coffee cup (Package Free)

For the readers who like to stop into coffee shops to read (or before work) but don’t want to generate waste by doing so, may I present Pa







D is for Del Toro kids t-shirt (‘Lil Cinephile x SuperYaki)

Should your baby watch anything by Guillermo Del Toro? No. But should your baby be a fan of Guillermo Del Toro anyway? Yes. Perhaps you still think it’s a little much? That’s okay; there’s a whole collection with different filmmakers. Maybe Sam Raimi is more child-friendly?


Murder Mystery puzzle book (Uncommon Goods)

I’m halfway to buying this for myself. The description begins with the following short list of scenarios: “A body in the topiary garden! A death at a clairvoyants convention!” That’s all I need! I’m there!



Series of Unfortunate Events book jackets (Juniper Books)

These book jackets will fit your original Lemony Snicket hardbacks, and make them look even more like a matching set.



My First Movie: Noir book (‘Lil Cinephile)

I still haven’t gotten over the fact that a book called My First Film Noir exists.

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Michael Neff
Algonkian Producer
New York Pitch Director
Author, Development Exec, Editor

We are the makers of novels, and we are the dreamers of dreams.

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