Another mystery reading challenge

Yesterday I wrote about my new 52 books challenge, which will cover a number of genres. However, I also want to continue reading and reviewing mysteries, and I might as well make a challenge out of it:

I am planning to read the British Crime Writer’s Association’s top 100 crime novels of all time and the Mystery Writers’ of America top 100 mystery novels of all time. The lists were originally published, respectively, in The Hatchards Crime Companion (1990) and The Crown Crime Companion (1995).

While such “top” or “best” lists can never be definitive due to their subjective nature, they can certainly act as indicators of quality, which is why I chose them. I’m getting fed up with starting to read mysteries that I can’t keep up enough enthusiasm for to finish, or even slogging all the way through badly written ones that are well-plotted enough for me to want to know the solution.

The lists overlap somewhat, making a total of 158 works of literature (168 books, the Sherlock Holmes novels and short story collections and the books in Len Deighton’s Spy trilogy being counted as single works).

I have read 39 of these works, so that leaves me 120 (= 122 books), which should last me a while. Additionally, at least 107 of the 168 have been filmed, either for television or the big screen, so it might be interesting to make a study of book to movie adaptations.

Getting hold of some of these books may be a problem, especially the older ones, some of which appear to be out of print. Some I already own, one I can get from the Project Gutenberg website, 65 from various libraries in the Reykjavík area, and the rest I have put on my BookMooch wishlist. It remains to be seen if I can get hold of all of them, but I’m not in a hurry.

Conveniently enough this challenge overlaps somewhat with the TBR challenge I mentioned in an earlier blog entry, as 11 of the books are in my TBR stack and more will hopefully come in through BookMooch.

This challenge will be tagged as Top mysteries challenge and the TBR as TBR challenge.


Anonymous said…
Quite a task! Look forward to reading the reviews.

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