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.
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.
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.