Wednesday, September 16, 2009

It's A Mystery To Me

I made the mistake of starting to read Dark Of The Moon by John Sandford while I was visiting my friends Sandy and Rico. It was a mistake because I didn't have enough time to finish the book, just enough time to get engrossed in it. And, based upon the bookmark I found in it, my friend Rico hadn't finished either. Damn, I couldn't even steal the book without feeling guilty.

For those of you who may not be familiar with John Sandford, he is a mighty fine mystery writer known primarily for a series of "Prey" novels: Rules Of Prey, Shadow Prey, Winter Prey, etc. These are very good mysteries, very well written. John Sandford is the pseudonym of Pulitzer Prize winning journalist John Camp.

What makes these mysteries even more interesting to me is that they are set largely in Minnesota; the Twin Cities and surrounding areas. Having been born in Minneapolis, and living there until I was in my 30's, it is interesting to read these books and recognize many of the familiar points of reference.

This morning I headed to Barne's and Noble to pick up Dark Of The Moon so I could finish the book. Much to my surprise I couldn't find any books by John Sandford in the Mystery section. Puzzled, I was about to leave but decided to check the Fiction and Literature section just on the off-chance they might be there. And they were.

I asked one of the people why John Sanford's books, clearly mysteries, were in the Fiction and Literature section and not with the other mysteries. This is one of those explanations that just make you scratch your head. I was told that if a mystery writer is really popular and has written a lot of books they but them in the Fiction and Literature section because it is bigger and they have more room.

Well, why wouldn't I have thought of that? I guess the idea of expanding the Mystery section either had not occured to anyone or was just too much work. I suggested that maybe they should put a little sign in the Mystery section suggesting that if someone couldn't find a book there they check the Fiction and Literature section. This seemed to fall on deaf ears.

I guess if you were looking for a travel book and the country you were interested in was really popular and a lot of books were written about it you might find it in the Fiction and Literature section as well.