I'm starting to realize how much I like this designation.

And wish the rest of the world would fall in with it.   

I'm sure a  lot of people are as fed up as I am with "is it a suspense or a mystery" stuff.

If it's about crime, end of story.


I realize somebody can easily figure out ways to complicate it, but I just wish bookstores and all these writer sites where you have to pigeonhole your book would get with the program.



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I'm with you on this completely. "Crime fiction" is my standard reply when someone asks what I write. They're not really mysteries, and my stories don;t meet the modern definition of thriller. They're stories about crime. Crme fiction.
Crime fiction is the British designation.
Yes, it's so . . . sensible.
As always, I.J., you are the greatest teacher.  I did not know this.  I feel enlightened.  Thanks.
Are you pulling my leg?  :)
I agree.  I'm currently finishing my website (address to follow when it is open).  I changed "mystery and thrillers" tagline to "Crime Fiction" because of this post. (terrible English, because of ).
Actually, I understand that "thriller" is also a Brit-ism that was adopted in the colonies because it's too lame saying "novels of suspense".
That may be true, but I don;t consider a contemporary thriller to be a "novel of suspense." Today a thriller implies a high body count, potentially apocalyptic outcome, often not feasible if you think about it more than a few seconds. A "novel of suspense" read more the way a Hitchcock movie plays out. It's not what happens that gets you; it's the anticipation of what might happen. Suspense builds tension, which is released in the action scene. Modern thrillers are just action scene after action scene.

I always heard the difference between suspense and mysteries was if the reader knew who the bad guy is.


But then I've also heard the difference between art and porn is if the naked babe is looking into the camera lens or not.

Novels of suspense have beautiful young women walking down into a dark cellar where something lies in wait. Thrillers have a killer luring many beautiful women down into dark cellars to do eccentric things to them before and after killing them. 

I think "Crime Fiction" is fine for the general reading public, but for authors and agents and publishers and book sellers--and perhaps avid readers too--it's got to be useful to have a vocabulary of terms for defining the kind of book it is more precisely. The terms help me to pin down what kind of book a book is and whether I want to read it.


For example, there's a web book review site focused on self-pubbed titles written by an avid reader, called Big Al's Books and Pals, and one of my books was reviewed earlier this week in which there is this said:


"Since the main character is a homicide detective, the book has many of the qualities of a police procedural in the beginning and of a murder mystery throughout. However, what elevates the book beyond just another okay murder mystery are the story threads that make the book as a whole more of a psychological thriller."


That's useful info, I think, for those who speak the language.

Yes, booksellers have a specific language to sell our books. It reminds me of the author's note I read in the back of "Salem's Lot" by Stephen King. His agent told him if they went with that as his second book he would forever be branded as a "horror writer." King's reply was that he didn't care what they CALLED IT, as long as the checks came in ... he was a new writer and needed to feed his family.




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