May 3, 2019

The State of the Mystery: Part I of a Roundtable Discussion

Once again, the Edgar Awards are upon us—that august night of crime and mystery when honors are bestowed, traditions celebrated, and champions of the genre feted. This Thursday, authors, editors, and crime and mystery professionals will gather in the banquet hall of the New York City Grand Hyatt Hotel to hear the winners announced, and to toast those who have dedicated their lives to crime and mystery, just as the Mystery Writers of America have done for decades.

Ahead of the ceremony, we caught up with 20+ Edgar nominees, including the nominees for this year’s inaugural Sue Grafton Award. We’ve organized their responses into a roundtable discussion on the state of mystery and crime fiction. Because there were an enormous number of highly entertaining and thoughtful responses from the authors, we split the discussion into two parts. In Part I of the roundtable, writers and editors discuss what exactly is a crime novel, the most pressing issues in the genre today, how to build a career as a crime writer, and the best gateway drugs for mystery.

Consumer Use of Audiobooks Continues to Rise
Publishers Weekly

Half of all Americans over the age of 12 have listened to an audiobook in the past year, according to a new consumer survey and research report from Edison Research and Triton Media, conducted on behalf of the Audio Publishers Association. This is up from 44% of in 2018. The further penetration can be attributed to more users listening in cars. According to the new report, 74% of audiobook consumers listen in their car, up from 69% in 2018, and 19% percent of Americans age 12 and older have access to an in-dash information and entertainment system in their (or their family’s) vehicle, up from 15% last year — of those, 62% who have in-dash systems have listened to an audiobook.

Home listening is second most popular way of listening to audiobooks, with 68% of respondents saying they listen at home, down from 71% in 2018. The survey revealed that 42% of audiobook listeners age 18 and older own a smart speaker (Alexa or Google Home device, for example) and of those, nearly one-third are using them to listen to audiobooks.