Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Library Audiobook Mysteries

My grandmother enjoys mystery novels.

I am thinking of getting her an MP3 player so we could listen to audiobook mysteries together and have another thing in common to talk about.

I somehow grew up without reading the classic mystery novels that define the genre. In contrast, the bookshelves at my wife's mother home are lined with such books.

Curious, I made a list of the authors for which my mother-in-law owns the most books and then searched for how many audiobooks for each author are part of the Eugene Public Library collection. The results are:
  • Agatha Christie: 53
  • Lilian Jackson Brown: 21
  • Dorothy Gilman: 13
  • Dorothy Sayers: 4
  • Josephine Tey: 1
  • Dell Shannon, Susan Dunlap, Amanda Cross: 0
Clearly the Eugene Public Library's audiobook collection is not a representative sample of mystery writing that features female authors.

I repeated the experiment with a few other major mystery novelists who were male.
  • Ross Macdonald: 9
  • Dashiell Hammett: 4
  • Gilbert Keith Chesterton: 1
  • Raymond Chandler: 0
Not a whit more representative.

For the fans of mystery novels out there, what audiobooks should I first request the library acquire?

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