About the Series
“I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book” – J.K. Rowling
Here’s what I believe; every person has that one book which sings to the rhythm of their soul and speaks the language of their heart. One book, which opens up a lifetime of possibilities with the mere turn of a page.
The world is divided into two parts — people who have found that book and people who are still searching.
This series is written in the hope to persuade more people to open a book and thus, open their hearts and minds.
It is also an ode to the Reading Experience, from walking into a bookstore and running (more like caressing) your fingers across the hardcover spines to the blissful opening of the book for the first time and inhaling the distinctive aroma of the pages (I do wish I could bottle up that scent and use it as a perfume every single day) to the deep, unparalleled joy one feels at a good conclusion.
Author’s Note: The unfortunate truth is that I have not read every single book in existence (it pains me to know that and yet, fills me with happiness to know that a greater adventure awaits) which is why my information is restricted to my own reading experiences and may not resonate with your individual opinions and preferences. My articles are not meant to instruct but rather to express my passion for the art of reading and writing.
Paint the Town “Read”
Chapter 1: Exploring the Unknown with Crime Fiction
“Crime fiction is a way of satisfying that nosy need to know.”
- Sophie Hannah, psychological crime fiction novelist.
What is the Crime Fiction Genre?
The crime fiction genre involves a crime in some way; either a crime being committed or having been committed already. The narrative is centered on the criminal act and the investigation which follows.
It often crosses over or meshes with the suspense, thriller, detective, mystery, action, and/or adventure genres.
The four common plotlines in crime fiction are- whodunit, murder mystery, hardboiled, and gangster.
[More on sub-genres here: https://www.writerswrite.co.za/nine-examples-of-sub-genres-in-crime-fiction/]
Musings on Murder
One of my most favorite crime fiction genres is Cozy Mystery. While there are different variations to it, there are basic ingredients for the perfect recipe of most cozy mystery series out there.
First, these stories usually take place in some type of small, socially inclusive town. Violence does not tend to have as big of a part as they do in other crime fiction genres, such as the amateur and/or professional sleuths or thrillers. The victim is usually someone who won’t be missed by many.
The detective is usually someone who solves mysteries as a hobby. They tend to be female characters, usually with a male law enforcement officer of some sort as their ally and love interest. Other hallmarks include a strong, bonded family who helps to solve the mystery, a feline or canine companion, and titles that are usually punny or an allusion. More often than not, they are some type of business owner as well, which gives them an insight into some aspects of the case.
The Charm of Crime
A good mystery usually gives you a chance at solving the mystery (nothing irks me more than a detective who has clues that she or he withholds from the readers). I remember reading the Harry Potter series multiple times and realizing how many new clues and traces lie within the pages waiting to be discovered with each reread. That’s when I realized that J.K. Rowling is not only an amazing world builder but also a great mystery writer, even when her books lie outside of the crime fiction genre.
One of the best parts of the crime fiction genre is that these books provide readers with an immersive experience. The drive of the narrative is to have the detective, and by extension, the reader, deduce the who and the why.
Another great thing about these books is the immensely satisfying cover art. The quote does tell us not to judge a book by its cover but as readers, we tend to lean towards more aptly designed covers that capture the true essence of the story without revealing any spoilers. Cozy mysteries tend to have covers set against a soothing backdrop such as a library or a study; however on closer inspection, you might be able to spot the occasional blood or bone.
Now let’s take a look at one of the most prominent faces in the crime fiction genre (also, the reason I am writing this article).
Agatha Christie – The Queen of Crime
Never heard of Agatha Christie?
Ok, what about Hercule Poirot? Or perhaps Miss Marple?
Murder on the Orient Express then, surely you have heard of that.
(If still no, then perhaps it’s time to come out of that rock you have been living under for the past century)
Agatha Christie was an English detective novelist and playwright best known for her 66 detective novels and 14 short story collections, as well as the world’s longest play- The Mousetrap (opened in 1952 and ran continuously till March 2020, when performance had to be discontinued due to the COVID-19 pandemic; that’s right over 60 years my friends).
Born in Torquay in 1890, she is perhaps the world’s most famous mystery writer and one of the best-selling novelists of all time, outsold only by Shakespeare and the Bible.
(If these two lines have not blown away your minds by now, I don’t know what will.)
2020 marks 100 years since the publication of Agatha Christie’s first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles – the book that introduced Hercule Poirot to the world.
Want to know more about the Queen of Crime, her timeless tales, and unique characters? Check out a beginner’s reading list here-https://www.agathachristie.com/news/2020/the-top-ten-poirot-novels
And a Complete guide to all things Christie here- https://bookriot.com/best-agatha-christie-books/
Want to dip your toes in the Crime fiction but don’t know where to start? Try these recommendations-https://crimereads.com/the-10-best-crime-novels-of-the-last-decade/ or https://www.epicreads.com/blog/best-mystery-books-2020/.
– Bhavya Nayak, Delhi Public School, Noida4 Likes