What Crime Fiction Stereotype Would You Make Disappear?

If you read enough crime fiction, you'll eventually notice a few recurring tropes. The tortured PI who drinks too much, for example.

If a genie popped out and said you could eliminate one of these stereotypes forever, which one would you choose? (This genie is picky about the wishes it grants.)

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Maynard Soloman, my PI, is an American and purposefully doesn't carry weapons of any kind. But I think that's the exception more than the rule. The "every gun works exactly the same, so if I can use a revolver I can use a bazooka" mentality you're referring to, Keith, is annoying to me, too.

Not only that, they can jump in anything and drive it.  Jets, helicopters, gondolas, lunar landers...

I'm tired of the tortured detective too. Enough already. This has been done repeatedly since the 30's.

I'm also tired of the stereotype that a female cop has to act like a man to be taken seriously. A woman can be tough and still feminine and vulnerable. I am tired of the macho He-woman cop. Enough is enough.

On and I'm also tired of psychic detectives. They never have any real detective skills but then again they don't have to because they can solve crimes with psychic abilities!


Yeah, I agree, but I liked the woman on the US version of Prime Suspect. She was great, not macho, but she could bust balls just as well as the guys could.  And yeah, no psychics. No vampires. No detectives with visions  

Vampires, demons, fey or half-anything vaguely supernatural assisting police or solving crimes on their own. Crime is crime and paranormal is paranormal ans the mix-up doesn't work for me.


There are other crimes you know.  Thousands of them.  I always enjoy a good heist or con caper better than "who killed this jerk?"

Agreed. Even if a murder is involved, it can be peripheral to the main story. Not all crime stories need to solve a murder.

Not all need to HAVE a murder at all.  I watched two such films last weekend.  Both completely compelling, neither with any killing.  Criminal  with John C Reilly   and Confidence with Edward Burns.  Guy Ritchie films are almost never about murder, but about money crimes.

I'd almost, but not quite, think of having a murder whodunnit as a cheap stunt to up the ante without having to do better plotting and writing,  like flashing tits in a movie or something.

Alright, time for me to give my controversial answer! :D (And honestly, I wouldn't want to make this disappear at all. I just find it overdone. ;) ) And my answer is: The whodunnit/mystery killer. Frankly, I am bored with all the ways to keep a killer's identity a secret and then have some mindblowing reveal as a twist that is either totally predictable or so random that you either don't care about the killer or a character you've come to love is suddenly revealed to be corrupt. It's a bit weary after a while. As I said, I am not calling for this to go away. But sometimes I just prefer to know who the killer is either right off the bat or early on and spend most of the time seeing the killer and the main protagonist play off of each other rather than have the entire book be one big guessing game. 

Columbo proved this could be done to great effect, if done well. Of course, it's the "if done well" part that's tricky.

Before my time and never caught it in syndication. lol I am sure it can be done well, and it often is. But a lot of times, even stories I actually really liked still seemed to suffer from the plague of where to get the killer from. I prefer stories where the bad guy's identity isn't a twist (or said twist is revealed very early on) and I can focus more on characters.

Well, the "mystery" is part of the suspense, and as that it works quite well.  However, it's the incredibly strained endings that bother me.  Also, many a book with a thin plot has been lengthened toward the end to meet the publisher's expectations.  Yes, I've also read any number of mysteries that moved quite well and pleasantly, but by the time I neared the end I was heartily tired of everyone and didn't care.

It is possible to know the killer but not know how to nail him.


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