Lawrence Block’s 1981 Matthew Scudder mystery, A Stab in the Dark, has recently been reissued in audiobook format. If you’ve only read some of the recent Scudder novels, where he’s a non-drinking alcoholic, you’ll find that A Stab in the Dark fills in most of the back story. It’s also an absorbing, entertaining, and transparently well-written mystery — very New York, very introspective, very much in the sensitive-but-hard-boiled-detective vein. I have to agree with the AudioFile reviewer’s observation that the narrator in the audio version (William Roberts) is expressive and yet “somehow off,” but the expressiveness wins out in bringing both the novel and the main character to life. Whether you read it or listen to it, you will enjoy A Stab in the Dark.