Thursday, April 9, 2015

An Analysis of the MWA Top 100 Mystery Novel List

Now, with several analyses of the CWA list complete, along with the combination of the CWA and MWA lists, let's pay some more attention to the 1995 MWA list and contrast the two. Again, these analyses exclude the short story compilations and the translated works to offer a direct comparison between the novels. This left 92 of the 101 MWA selections.

As already mentioned, the Mystery Writers of America list shared 45 selections with that of the CWA. This left 56 unique selections for the MWA (with a tie for the 100th spot).

Dorothy Sayers led with five selections while Chandler, Hammet and le Carré each had four. Josephine Tey had three, and so did Westlake and Graham Greene. Fifty-two authors had single entries. There was a total of 67 authors.

Although several authors were born in other countries (e.g. Joseph Conrad), the bulk of their writing careers could be clearly placed in either the United States or Britain for all of the authors recognized. While the CWA list chose British authors over Americans (52 to 12 authors) and British works (78 to 19 books), the American MWA list did the opposite with 39 American authors accounting for 50 novels and 28 British authors accounting for 42.

Female authors were slighted in both lists. For the MWA list, 16 females authored 24 of the novels, 51 males authored 68.

                               MWA (1995)  CWA (1990)

British female authors (books)    8 (16)    15 (28)
British male authors (books)     20 (26)    37 (50)
American female authors (books)   8 (8)      2 (3)
American male authors (books)    31 (42)    10 (16)


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