Ask the Bootleg Librarian: A good mystery, please?

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October 26, 2016 by Sarojini Seupersad

Dear Bootleg Librarian:

I need a new audiobook. I like mystery, suspense, life philosophy. What can you recommend for me based on your book travels?

From Mysteryland

Dear Mysteryland,

That’s awfully cool you’re looking for a mystery because it’s one of my favorite genres and I can recommend a few. Anyone who knows me, knows I love Agatha Christie, and I find most of her books delightful and entertaining (just ignore the racist parts because that’s just how everyone was back then and erm, oh god, umm, it’s awfully hard to ignore the racist parts actually). They are however, decidedly low-brow and silly, and for that reason, I never recommend them officially. One of the more adorable characteristics of an Agatha Christie book is that it seems Agatha herself had never actually seen a real dead body, and definitely not a murdered corpse. All of the murder victims are described in awfully sterile ways, or have a clean small bullet wound in the head, and there is never very much blood at the scene, even if someone got shot in the head or stabbed in the neck. To me, this is a lovable quirk.

1430609-_uy200_But I think what you need is something with teeth and because you also like life philosophy, I think I have the perfect book for you. It’s The End of the Affair, by Graham Greene. It’s not exactly a mystery, but at the same time, it is. I think there have been about 10,000 film versions (okay – two) and there’s definitely an audiobook, in which the fine Colin Firth offers his voice and forces us to lend him our ears. Essentially, it is a perfect book, filled with suspense, strange characters, religion, love, hate, war and it won’t disappoint. Make sure you get the tissues ready.

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