This morning sees me post an ode to my favourite genre as part of Six for Sunday!
An Ode To… My Favourite Genre
I’ve been reading now for a few more years that I’m going to admit to right now, but over that time I’ve read a huge variety of different books, across a wide variety of genres, both fiction and non fiction so choosing a favourite genre is tricky! Since beginning to blog I have rediscovered such a wonderful range of YA fiction I was tempted to talk about that, but I decided YA is a target audience and not a genre so instead I am going to talk about a genre that I have enjoyed for as long as I can remember! Crime Fiction is an incredibly wide genre, I’m including mysteries and thrillers in it as well as police procedurals and it’s a genre that I have loved throughout my life, from my childhood, to my teens and into my adult life. Crime Fiction, Mysteries and Thrillers covers a truly immense and diverse range of books I really believe you could find a book for everyone within the genre and that’s probably one of my favourite things about it, no matter what mood I’m in there’s probably a book that would suit me! So how to narrow this down to just six points… It’s a tricky one so I’m going to take some of the areas within crime fiction and talk about why I love them and some of my favourite authors and books within it!
Children’s mysteries is where my love of the genre began, I remember my parents got me a box set containing the first five books in Enid Blyton’s Famous Five series and I was immediately hooked! Yes over 70 years after they were first published there are certain portrayals and scenarios that are outdated or problematic but the 8 year old me will always love them! These days children’s mystery books are still so popular with plenty of middle grade titles to choose from! Amy at Golden Books Girl is always raving about Robin Steven’s Murder Most Unladylike series, I own the first book in the series and I’m looking forward to finally reading it! I’m also hoping to read Lena Jones’s Agatha Oddly series and The Fearless Five from Bannie McPartlin that’s due out in May and then introducing the genre to my goddaughter!
YA Mysteries and Thrillers
I’m not sure if mysteries and thrillers have had a bit of a resurgence recently for the YA audience or if I’ve just noticed them more but there are some fantastic books about at the moment, I adored One Of Us Is Lying and Two Can Keep A Secret from Karen M. McManus and I’m so looking forward to You Owe Me A Murder and A Good Girl’s Guide To Murder!
Police Procedurals form a huge part of the crime genre in general, whether you’re focusing on books like I am or looking at crime drama on the TV. Here in the UK no matter where you live you can probably find a series set somewhere familiar to you! Some of my favourites currently include the DI Porter series by Rachel Lynch set in the Lake District, the DCI Lorimer series by Alex Grey set in Glasgow and the Karen Pirie series, featuring cold cases across Scotland by Val McDermid
Police Procedurals With A Twist!
Now these next two series needed to be featured on their own as they’re extra special to me! Both series take the police procedural format and add a supernatural twist. James Oswald’s Inspector McLean series is set in Edinburgh and features supernatural elements throughout the series. Ben Aaronovich’s Rivers of London also contains supernatural elements but much more overtly, the central character is a wizard as well as a police officer, and I absolutely adore the River Goddesses that feature in the series!
This is certainly the softer side of the crime genre, for a long time I wasn’t particularly interested in it, I preferred the darker, gritter side of the genre but recently it’s begun to grow on me, particularly the Ant and Bea Mysteries series from Rachel Ward, Ant and Bea are both fantastic central characters, that only two books in I’m already so invested in! They are also surrounded by a great cast of supporting characters I really enjoy reading about.
Expert Crime, that well known sub genre! I jest of course, I just didn’t know what to call the books I’m talking about. I’m focusing on two series, but I’m sure many more exist. Kathy Reichs is a forensic anthropologist who writes the Tempe Brennan books which were the inspiration for the TV series Bones, and Tess Gerritsen is a physician who writes the Rizzoli and Isles books which were also adapted for TV. Both series contain some fairly graphic descriptions, and I feel that because both authors had experience professionally in these areas they were more confident writing the scenes and they had that touch extra realism, of course that could just be my reading of it! I feel I should also give a special mention to Robin Cook (the American physician and novelist and not the British politician) my dad had two of his novels, Fever and Coma, which as I teenager I “borrowed” they’re still sitting on my shelves back in my childhood bedroom…
That was my attempt to identify just six of the things I love about crime fiction. There are some other crime fiction series that play into why I love the genre so much that I’ve not mentioned but they really deserve a mention even outside of the six things: Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – Sherlock is probably the most well known character in crime fiction and reading those books as a teenager definitely fuelled my love of this genre; Cormoran Strike by Robert Galbraith – Cormoran and Robin are probably two of my favourite characters in the genre at the moment, and I really enjoy the PI twist on a standard police procedural; and a final special mention to Anthony Horowitz whose books Magpie Murders and The Word is Murder both put two interesting (a different) spins on the genre.
There’s my #SixforSunday! If you’ve taken part leave a link to your post below and I’ll be sure to check it out!