The next up on my reading of the 306 greatest books is The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan. The book can be found on the Observer Book List.
The version of The Thirty-Nine Steps that I had purchased was marketed as one of the best mysteries of all time, so I was excited because I love a good mystery. The book was also incredibly short, barely passing 120 pages in the hardcover version I had, making all the more appealing to me. However, the story immediately set me off, being rather antisemitic in several of comments throughout the first chapter. The first chapter was also very difficult to follow with characters written as if they were talking with an accent making it difficult to read and understand. I have trouble enough listening to people's accents and understanding them, I don't need to read them and also not understand them. Although, after the first chapter, the story kicked into high gear and was fairly straightforward to follow along with. Accents were limited and the story was clear cut. I do feel like I missed a chunk of the purpose that was mixed into the first chapter and by the time I got to the end I felt like I missed some parts along the way. The book is set shortly before the outbreak to World War I with a person in an apartment building being murdered, while the guy who's room he escapes to is essentially framed for that murder. Police are involved trying to track him down as well as a shadowy organization. Overall, it was alright and at times very unbelievable. I wouldn't equate it as a "great" mystery by any stretch of the imagination, but it was short and fun and fairly easy to read although I still don't know if I missed parts or they were being purposely obtuse.