OK, this is officially beginning to drive me kind of nuts. Are there officially recognized divisions within the mystery genre, and if so, what are they? I've heard of the following:

* Traditional / cozy
* Hardboiled / noir
* Police procedural
* Spy / espionage
* Literary / psychological (do these belong together?)
* Thriller (couldn't some of the other types also be thrillers?)
* Historical
* Comic / caper

Are there others? Are some of these redundant? Who oversees these kinds of things? (<-- attempt at humor)


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Don't forget 'Malice Domestic' i.e. the murdering of your own family.
And 'cozy' should be separated from 'traditioanl' in my opinion.
And I would separate 'literary' from 'psychological.'

As to who are the literary-gatekeepers for deciding genre types, I have an idea. Two recently released mental patients who wound up being dumped on a back street in New York City without meds were interviewed by Geraldo Rivera. Well . . . . maybe I exaggerate just a weeeee bit.
Make one up and say your novel is the first of its kind. That's one way to do it. For example, I could be a pioneer of the high concept psychological crime thriller style known as "hiconpyscriller."

Suddenly, I'm way more important. If you haven't heard of hiconpsycriller, you're living in the Stone Age. Get with the program, man, because this pioneer is going places.

And, in case you were wondering, my hiconpsycriller novel is "pre-published."
OK, I can't figure it out. What's the etymology of 'hiconpsycriller?'
It comes from the language of the Wisconsinites, a cheese-addicted people from the central part of North America. Once considered a great god by the Wisconsinites, mythology has it that Brett Favre was exiled from the region. He was replaced by a junior titan, Aaron Rodgers, who had a good, but not great, first season as god of the Wisconsites.

'Twas a young knight, Soblek, who wore the garb of Rodgers in the traditional green and gold colors. Soblek was a storyteller, mockingly referred to as "pre-published." He entertained the peons with an art form he called "hiconpsycriller."

'Tis only recently that Soblek's descendant, Sobieck, picked up the genre of hiconpyscriller. He submitted in full a yarn to a great city in the clouds, New York.

but what is the meaning of 'hiconpsycriller?'
My guess is "high concept psychological thriller."
Yessir, that's it. My attempt at sub-genre tongue-in-cheek humor fell at bit flat.
Only 'cause I is not too bright....
That sounds pretty complete. Keep in mind that all of them bleed into other subgenres occasionally. I don't think literary and psychological are quite the same, but, frankly, I have yet to figure out why some historical mysteries or thrillers are called "literary." I do think that psychological mysteries tend to be a cut above the ordinary type. Historical mysteries can fall into all of the other types.
Mine have been labeled "police procedural," although that's only true in the loosest possible sense. They're mostly dark comedies, but there doesn't seem to be a category for that.
Mine were once called "perp procedurals," which I kind of liked.

And sometimes I get the hardboiled or noir label, but I don't really see it.

As long as the labels don't keep people away, I don't mind. I was worried when the publisher put the word "mystery" on the cover of my first novel because there's really no mystery in the traditional sense in it, I tell you who did it right away. So, I was very happy to discover that when most people say "mystary novel," they really mean any book that has crime in it, whether the crimes get solved or not.
Oh, to get even MORE wacky, Wikipedia (my go-to resource for all information) lists 'mystery' 'detective' and 'crime' as THREE SEPARATE GENRES.

I think I'm gonna go with Ben's idea of making up my own genre name. "Harditional.'


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