I wouldn't call it gloating, exactly, but I feel a great deal of quiet satisfaction in the news that a Golden Age mystery has become a runaway bestseller, at least in the U. K. The book is J. Jefferson Farjeon's Mystery in White: A Christmas Crime Story, first published in 1937, which was reviewed on this blog a couple of weeks ago. It was republished recently as part of the first-rate British Library Crime Classics series. An article in today's The Independent newspaper in the U. K. says the big British bookstore chain Waterstones says the book is selling in "astonishing numbers," with some 60,000 copies sold to date. Waterstones says it is outselling popular modern mysteries such as Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl and Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch.
Blogger and author Martin Edwards, who wrote the introduction to the new edition of Mystery in White, notes:
"I suppose the success of the British Library Classic Crime books shows that, if one is patient for long enough, the roulette wheel of public taste will move in one's favour. It's a shame that J. J. Farjeon is not around to see how popular his book has become in the 21st century, but it's nevertheless a heart-warming story - a reminder to authors that the books we write may, just possibly, enjoy a good life long after we are gone."
I suspect most readers of this blog would agree - certainly I'm delighted to see the success of these books and to see them reaching a new (and, I hope, younger) audience. Oh, and if you haven't read Mystery in White yet, I strongly urge you to give it a try - especially during Christmas week, when it is most timely.
P. S. - I just checked Amazon - there's been so much demand that the paperback is out of stock, with more expected soon (I see they're talking about February delivery!). So be advised that it's also available as an e-book, with no waiting...