Thursday, October 18, 2012

On a Desert Isle

Mysteries for a desert island
I do not subscribe to any magazines. I don't want the extra reading material in my house to turn into stacks or to have to recycle or to tempt me to keep because "I might need them some day."

So, once again the library is my friend. Occasionally I breeze through its magazine sections. Usually I am looking for home decor mags - House Beautiful, Architectural Digest, Elle Decor, Traditional Home. But sometimes I like to just randomly pick a couple of ones that focus on something different.

This past week, I pulled out Booklist, the book review magazine published by the American Library Association. I checked out three issues - mystery and crime, historical fiction, and series non-fiction. And I thought I had a long TBR list before. Now I am officially overwhelmed. 

So far, I have only browsed through the pages and pages of reviews of mysteries - for adults and young readers. I was in heaven. 

I was especially intrigued by the Back Page essay written by Bill Ott entitled "Crime on a Desert Island." Here he attempts to choose five mysteries that he would want with him if stranded on a tropical isle along with cases of Dewar's scotch, fresh vegetables, matches, and a good paring knife. He went for style rather than plot.

This of course got me thinking of five mysteries I would want with me. Off the top of my head I thought of The Mystery of Edwin Drood, the unfinished book by Charles Dickens. Since Dickens didn't live to provide a solution, I could spend my days cracking coconuts and thinking of alternate endings. 

Another selection, and this might be cheating but it's my list, would be a box set of the fourteen John Dortmunder mysteries by Donald Westlake. If there isn't a boxed set, there should be. The plots are as intriguing as the characters and dialogue. Those would keep me entertained through many a tropical storm. 

That leaves three more to choose and I will have to give them some thought.

How about you? Most desert island lists are mixed fiction and non-fiction. I like just getting to choose mysteries. 

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