Up now on the front page is a question I've been meaning to ask for some time now, and it could be almost as controversial as the recent sexiest writer poll, but I've always been interested in having a breakdown of member's tastes on Crimespace.

It's not exactly scientific, but don't fret too much over your answer. Rather than racking your brains over your all time favourite, I'd like it if y'all went for the sub-genre you're enjoying the most right now, thus the inclusion of the words 'At The Moment' in the poll title.

And for those of you that haven't noticed, I stopped doing the 'Post-Of-The-Month' poll due to much lower numbers of votes. I'll try to come up with more exciting and general polls more regularly, so's all you crime kiddies can have a bit of clicky good fun with 'em.

If there are any glaring omissions in the sub-genres, let me know, but I do want to avoid going into the detail of separating cat / cooking / crochet as sub-sub-genres. There are already plenty of answers to choose from.

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Hah! That's a great one for hyphens. I don't think Demko makes a sticker for that genre.

Our public library is tiny and this may not work so well if they had more books, but they have two sections: non-fiction (Dewey) and fiction. Period. (Well, plus paperbacks on racks that are roughly in author order.) I don't mind browsing the entire fiction collection, though most of the time I actually have something in mind that I'm seeking rather than just browsing. But the times I've used a library that does shelve by genre I find myself arguing with the labels a lot.
Does anyone think it hurts a book to be in the "wrong" section? I mean, do you think there might be a whole bunch of terrific crime novels out there that never get discovered by readers of crime fiction because they're labelled something else? Or, do you think there are some mystery novels that are losing readers because they aren't called mysteries?

Take a writer like Richard Price. Freedomland and Samaritan are fantastic crime novels, but I've never seen them in the crime/mystery section of bookstores and I wonder if that matters?
I absolutely do think this is true. And I don't know why, when libraries buy more than one copy, they can't put on in the crime fiction section. I think crime fiction readers are much more voracious and would read a lot of these books that sit in the other secion untouched because the cover or title seems lurid or off-putting to them.
I have wondered about this. Some of the best-selling thriller writers are in general fiction. I have also noticed that a lot of publishers avoid the "mystery" I.D. in the front and use "novel" instead. The libraries, no doubt, take the hint and shelve those under fiction. A catalogue search will bring up the information for the reader. Perhaps "novel" sounds more like serious literature. I would certainly like to know how those decisions are made and why.
I imagine most of those decisions are made on a book by book basis with the considerations being a little different every time.

I can tell you, in my case I was worried when the publisher put "a mystery" on the cover for a few reasons, the main one being there's no real mystery in the book - I tell you who did it right away. I was mostly concerned that people who love mysteries with clues and detectives and all that might pick up the book and be disappointed. The publisher felt they might have a better chance getting reviews and interest in the book if they went after a more specific audience than just general fiction.

From what I've seen, I think readers of "mystery" books are far more open-minded and have much more diverse tastes than readers of "literature" and I'm happy to be labelled.
Thanks. That makes sense to me. As a reader, I'm a browser who likes to look at a mystery section for my selection, so I would miss general fiction books unless I searched by author.
Yes, but . . . what about British novels which use "crime novel" where we use mystery? These novels are not to be confused with "true crime".

And where does the Library of Congress get its info? From the publisher, I bet.
I read this twice with absolutely no clue how to apply it to genre.

However, perhaps I was confused by your comment earlier that books written by criminals were crime novels. If they are personal experiences, they are non-fiction. But that might get us into the whole morass of memoirs, since apparently memoirs may be fictionalized extensively.. My point was that British authors use the term "crime novel" to describe precisely what Americans call "mystery." Personally, I prefer the British term.

Hmm. Didn't know libraries had to purchase the Library of Congress description. It still stands to reason that the publisher submits the description of genre (content) to the Library of Congress. Surely they don't have employees sitting there, reading all the new books first.

For that matter the issue of genre crops up first for the author who wishes to sell the book most advantageously, secondly for the agent who may counsel a different description, and finally for the editor who markets the novel and has the final say.
LOL. Neither did I want to read all that. Poor librarians.

Okay, I take it then that in the U.S. "crime novels" are told from the point of view of the criminal, but they are fiction. In other words, the author has chosen to tell the story from the criminal's point of view. These books would then be shelved under general fiction. (I can't work with the focus of the book being the crime, since that is frequently the case with mysteries.)

Very well, that clears that up. Thank you.

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