This is a great idea for a book. The editors asked over one hundred currently active mystery writers to name their favorite mystery book and write a short essay on it. "Mystery" is taken broadly to include amateur sleuth mysteries, private eye novels, police procedurals, thrillers, suspense novels and so on.
So, for instance, we see that Michael Connelly chooses Raymond Chandler's The Little Sister as his all-time fave. In fact, he narrows it down to Chapter 13. He says he reads that chapter each time he starts to write a new book. I've read Connelly's books as they have been published over the years, all of them I think. I've enjoyed them and admired them. It's great to know where he gets his inspiration.
Lauren Anderson writes about Agatha Christie's Endless Night. What she says got me curious enough to find this book and read it. Wow! I've seen my share of film and TV adaptations of Christie's novels and I acted in a production of Ten Little Indians in high school (based on the novel And Then There Were None). But I am only now beginning to appreciate the range of her work. Endless Night is not a whodunnit solved by a nosy old lady or a fussy Belgian detective. It is a suspense novel that will appeal to fans of Patricia Highsmith and Jim Thompson -- dare I say, dark.
By the way, I'm not familiar with the work of Lauren Anderson, but since I like her favorite book, I think I will look her up. That's the flip side of this collection of essays. Along with getting introduced to classics, one meets contemporary writers. So many books, so little time.
By the way, I found this book at the Mechanics Institute Library. After reading it, and finding out how much I like it, I went out and bought this paperback copy. This is how I control my bibliophilia: whenever possible borrow a copy and read it. If I really like it and know I'll read it again, I buy a copy.