I'm about to start a series of talks at local libraries on mystery sub-genres, and it's led me to some interesting people. I wanted to offer my audiences two authors' work as representative of each sub-genre: one very successful author and one who is just getting started but is promising. Since my reading within the mystery genre as a whole is pretty eclectic, I thought finding enough examples would be easy. I advertised for nominations in the sub-genres I'm less familiar with, meaning to read a few books and find new voices worthy of mention. I'm now swamped with possibilities in some areas and still high and dry in others.

It's very difficult to categorize, which I think we all knew. Confusion between suspense and thriller and mystery and suspense is rife. Most people don't care about exact definitions if the story's good, and that's a relief because there are woo-woo suspense mysteries with thriller tendancies if you look hard enough. And don't get me started on the differences between hard-boiled and noir or cozy and chick-lit.

Next, there are waves of popularity in writing/publishing mysteries. Ten years ago you couldn't move without tripping over a new legal thriller writer, but now all the lawyers I know are writing cozies.

Finally, of course, is the question of what's a "good" recommendation. In this case it will come down to my judgment, arbitrary but unavoidable. If I like a new author's work, I'll add him or her to my presentation. If I don't it doesn't mean a thing, because I'm just one person. However, it is my speech.

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Comment by Peg Herring on September 8, 2007 at 1:10am
Ooh, that's pretty short notice! We're taking our daughter to the airport that morning, so we're stuck in MI. Maybe next year, when my book is actually out!
Comment by Peg Herring on September 7, 2007 at 1:05am
Count me in next time you do that. MACBETH'S NIECE is a romance, although I write mostly mysteries.
And yes, the libraries have been very accommodating!
I'll watch for your festival; it isn't THAT far to drive!

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