Berkley Prime Crime Celebrates 20 Years in March

Twenty years ago, in March 1994, Berkley Books introduced Berkley Prime Crime, a mass market mystery imprint that included five launch authors. This year, Berkley celebrates the 20th anniversary of Prime Crime with special author events and promotional giveaways.

BPC Handprint

In its first year, Berkley Prime Crime (BPC) published approximately forty titles, all mass market. In 2013, the imprint published 150 titles, including mass market originals, trade paperbacks, and hardcovers. Every year, BPC launches approximately 25-30 new series, including several house-owned franchises that editors have developed from idea to execution. In the past year, BPC debuted sixteen titles on the New York Times Bestsellers List (printed and extended lists combined), which comes out to more than one per month!

“When we launched Berkley Prime Crime in March 1994 I believed that the audience for the traditional or ‘cozy’ mystery was still largely underserved and untapped. Twenty years later I can say without reservation that this has proven to be correct and that Berkley Prime Crime has succeeded beyond my wildest expectations,” said Natalee Rosenstein, Vice President and Senior Executive Editor of Berkley.

This spring Berkley Prime Crime is hosting two events at mystery bookstores that have supported Berkley Prime Crime over the years. On March 13, Julie Hyzy, Miranda James, and Rebecca Hale will be at Murder by the Book in Houston, Texas. On March 25 the Poisoned Pen in Phoenix will host Margaret Coel, Carolyn Hart, Earlene Fowler, and Avery Aames.

Throughout the remainder of 2014, more events and promotional giveaways are planned, in addition to Berkley Prime Crime’s annual presence at mystery conventions BoucherCon and Malice Domestic. You can find out more about Berkley Prime Crime titles and authors at The Crime Scene, our cozy mystery Facebook page at

GIVEAWAY: Comment on this post by noon EST on March 7, and you will be entered for a chance to win a special 20th anniversary Berkley Prime Crime tote bag filled with five Berkley Prime Crime cozy mystery titles. One winner will be chosen at random. Unless specified, U.S. entries only.

99 responses to “Berkley Prime Crime Celebrates 20 Years in March

  1. What an exciting giveaway!!

  2. Love getting my Berkley Prime Crime update very month so I can see which of my favorite authors has their latest book out!

  3. I’d love to win these books! Thank you for the giveaway!

  4. What a great way to celebrate 20 years of publishing mysteries and the writers of such! Would love to win!

  5. Karen Murphy

    Love to read mysteries!

  6. Kathy Gonzales

    I have been reading cozy mysteries almost exclusively for some time now. This is a fantastic contest , and especially from the leader in mystery books , Berkley prime crime! Congrats on 20 years !

  7. Carletta Culp

    I am a mystery book person and love to read from new writers, but always keep going back to the mystery book writers I grew up with and continue to read. Thank you Berkley Prime Crime for keeping it all alive for us. Congratulations for another 20 plus years!

  8. I read Carolyn Hart before I really knew what “cozy mysteries” were. I liked the relationship between Annie and Max from the get-go. I read every Margaret Coel I can get my hands on. The characters are well-drawn and compelling. And that whole relationship between Vickie and Fr. O’Malley keeps me coming back every time. Also own every Earlene Fowler Bennie Harper (in hardback). I think BCP must be one of my favorite publishers … I’m in.

  9. Love giveaways….thanks for the chance!

  10. congrats to BPC & keep the books coming!!!
    thank you for the giveaway!!!!

  11. Love Berkley Prime Crime books!

  12. I enjoy Berkley Prime Crime so much! I visit the the website almost everyday. I have discovered many awesome authors from the site. Congrats on 20 years and many more years to come!

  13. What a wonderful giveaway! Thanks…

  14. Debbie Carnes

    WOW, what a great giveaway, I love BERKLEY PRIME CRIME books.

  15. Congrats on 20 years! Love your books and authors.

  16. Congrats on the anniversary Berkley. What an exciting giveaway. Thank you

  17. This is great! Congrats on 20 years!

  18. Nancy Bradford

    I’ve been reading Cozies from before I ever heard the word Cozy and I am sure that many were from Berkley Prime Crime Congrats to them on 20 years.

  19. Kathy Gonzales

    What a fantastic giveaway, congrats on 20 years, berkley prime crime !

  20. Happy 20th, Berkley!

  21. How fun! I wish I was close enough to attend one of the events! Enter me please!

  22. I love Berkley Prime Crime novels

  23. Dawn Frazier

    Thanks for the chance to win!

  24. Happy 20th Berkley, and may you have many more. Thanks for the chance to win!

  25. Joni Langevoort

    I’m certainly in on the BPC celebration! Malice attendees, there’s a special treat waiting for you there!

  26. Happy 20th to Berkley Crime.
    I’d like to join in the celebration. Please enter me in your drawing.

  27. Happy 20th Anniversary! thank you for publishing all my favorite cozy mysteries

  28. Wow! Its only been 20 years? It seems much longer, probably due to my voracious appetite for their offerings. 😀

  29. Twenty years of wonderful reading!!
    Here’s to 100 more!

  30. Jennifer Fox

    Congrats on 20 years!

  31. Happy 20th Anniversary Berkley Crime 🙂

  32. Happy Anniversary, Berkley Prime Crime!

  33. I had no idea that Berkley Prime Crime is relatively new. They have certainly filled a niche. Happy Anniversary! Thanks for the post and the giveaway!

  34. Barbara Tobey

    Hoping for 20 more years. Happy anniversary!

  35. Happy 20th —you don’t look your age at all.

  36. Happy anniversary to Berkley Prime Crime. Thanks for all the great reads!

  37. Happy 20th- Would love to win some books as I like all of the cozies that I have read.

  38. Congrats to Berkley Prime Crime…writing for BPC is a dream come true for me!

  39. Good morning Dru. This giveaway is like honey to bees. Yes please toss my hat into the contest ring.

  40. I love your authors and their books. Congrats on a great 20 years.

  41. I’m entering Nancy Roessner in the contest on her behalf.

  42. Happy 20th Anniversary! 🙂 Thanks for the giveaway.

  43. Congrats and thank you for the giveaway.

  44. 20 years is wonderful! I only have known about Berkley Prime Crime for about 2 years. I missed out on alot of good mysteries! 20 more years would be the greatest!

  45. What a wonderful give-away and congratulations on 20 years.

  46. Lorraine Kraft

    Congratulations, Berkley Prime Crime, for 20 years of providing some fine reading entertainment.

  47. Happy anniversary, Berkley Prime Crime! I’ve enjoyed many books thanks to you!

  48. Thanks Berkley for hours and hours of good reading!

  49. Thanks Berkley for great reading!

  50. Christina Girdner-Blevins

    Congradulations on 20 years, what a wonderful giveaway to celebrate. I am looking forward to another 20 with you 🙂

  51. Lynda Turpin

    I only learned about Cozy Mysteries a few years ago and I now have a couple hundred Cozy ebooks (plus some print books and audio books). I started reading books by the Cozy Chicks and have expanded from there. It’s a great genre – thanks for supporting them.

  52. With all this snow & cold, there is time to read . Love it.

  53. Alicia Farage

    Happy Birthday! I’d love to win… who can pass up books?

  54. I buy 5 or 6 BPC titles a month and love them. I’d be interested in learning more about the house-owned franchises–which series those are and how that works. Fascinating stuff.

  55. Congratulations on twenty fabulous years!

  56. Paula Chapman

    My bookshelf is filled with Berkley Prime Crime authors! I love this genre of mysteries and can’t get enough! Please keep them coming! May BPC have another 20 successful years!

  57. Happy Birthday! When it’s a Prime Crime book, it’s almost a sure get it’ll be a good one. Thank you for years and enjoyment and publishing great cozy mysteries.

  58. Anita Yancey

    I love cozy mysteries, and would enjoy reading them. Thanks for having this wonderful giveaway.

  59. Love cozies! Happy Anniversary! Would really love to win.

  60. Considering the number of Berkley books I read, this is a very good thing.

  61. I love Cozy mysteries and think your giveaway would be a blast to win.

  62. Berkley Prime Crime keeps me up to date and helps me plan my monthly reading. Happy 20th birthday!! Keep up the good work. We are all grateful that you are there to keep us informed..

  63. Love tote bags and love the Berkley Crime books! Would be a great giveaway prize!! Congratulations Berkley books!!

  64. Wow, 20 years! Can’t imagine my life without the books Berkley publishes! Don’t stop!

  65. There are times I’d rather be in Houston and Phoenix and this month is one of them! So I hope my consolation prize is a tote. I promise to carry it proudly.

  66. Thanks for offering such a great giveaway. Love cozy mysteries!

  67. Karen Terry

    I love to be entered to win.

  68. Lisa Kelley

    Awesome contest!

  69. Jessica Jones

    Wow, what an amazing giveaway! I’d love to win! 🙂

  70. Yay, books!

  71. Berkley Crime still publishes some of the BEST!

  72. Heather Valdez

    What an amazing giveaway! Berkeley Prime Crime publishes some of my favorite authors! Thanks!

  73. I have found many of my favorite authors via the Berkley books! Thanks for the chance to win!

  74. Hip hop hooray for Berkley for bringing us such awesome authors! Congrats on 20 years! Here’s to 20 more!

  75. I’m cracking open a bottle of bubbly to celebrate! Here’s to cozy mysteries: past, present, and future. Thanks Berkley Prime Crime.

  76. Thanks for having such a great giveaway.

  77. Barbara Jones

    What a great prize. Thanks for the chance to win!

  78. Thank you for a chance to win this prize package. Berkley Prime Crime is one of my favorite mystery publishers.

  79. Wahoo! I got Rafflecopter to work! Thanx for the chance to win!

  80. Michelle Fidler

    I’d love to win! I have lots of Berkley Prime Crime books that I’ve been collecting over the years and might be able to fill up a bookcase with them. Most of the mass-market paperback mysteries that I get are by them (I have some in hardcover, too). I love the covers and they’re also recognizable by the hand on the spine. The Mrs. Jeffries series by Emily Brightwell has always carried the Berkley Prime Crime imprint. I think that series started in 1993. I’ve been a cozy reader for years.

  81. Happy Anniversary! I’d love to win! Thanks for letting us help you celebrate!

  82. Diana Huffer

    Happy 20th!! Thanks for the opportunity to win and to share in this celebration!! 🙂 Here’s to 20 more!

  83. Cynthia E. Blain

    I can’t believe it has been 20 years; I keep all of my books in plastic totes/bins and I can see all of the little logos on the ones from Berkley all together by author. I think that I have 17 just on one little shelf ready to be read too!!! One day I just happened to notice how many I had and it was almost shocking to see how books are from BC. One can never have too many mystery and crime capers now can they??? I would absolutely LOVE to be the recipient of a tote of books. How great. Thank you for including me into the giveaway. Us book hoarders never know when to stop collecting do we??


  84. Cynthia E. Blain

    I meant to add Congratulations to Berkley Crime before I signed off. So sorry. 20 years is a great accomplishment.

  85. Happy 20th!what a sweet giveaway.

  86. Love these books Thank You

  87. Berkley Crime has most of my favorite mystery writers. So glad they have been around so long.

  88. kayekillgore

    Happy Birthday Berkely Prime Crime, I have many of your books. Love every one of them.

  89. Pamela Richard

    A very exciting giveaway! happy birthday

  90. I love Berkely Prime Crime books! Thank you for the giveaway

  91. Great give away! Thank you for the chance to win. Love Berkely Prime Crime. Keep up the good work.

  92. Wow! 20 years! Count me in for the giveaway!

  93. Congratulations on those 20 years and a whole host of wonderful authors and great book series. Thanks for the chance of a surprise giveaway!

  94. I would like to read these books..

  95. Lisa Garrett

    My favorite author of theirs is Laura Childs.

  96. I love Berkley Prime Crime authors and have done for years. Happy anniversary and please keep up the wonderful work.

  97. Patricia Reed

    Congrats and I LOVE these authors. Have read all their books!!! I would really love to win free books!!

  98. contest is closed.