The Mystery, Crime, and Thriller Group discussion

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Author's Corner > thriller or crime novel?

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message 1: by William (new)

William J.Roby (Consta) | 4 comments I love the genre of crime fiction and and have a very catholic taste where it is concerned. For example, I wouldn't dismiss Sexton Blake, even alongside today's great best sellers ( ... Stieg Larsson springs to mind ), since while the characters tend to be a little two-dimensional, the story line is often fast-paced and very gripping. Another interesting feature of the Sexton Blake series of stories is that they were produced by a bank of crime writers not one author. They were people who were often struggling to make an impression in the field, and even though they knew they wouldn't get accredited as the authors themselves, they still produced some great work. ( Sexton Blake started life as a serialisation in a magazine, which probably explains this. )
Here I suppose I must declare an interest. Having enjoyed reading countless detective books over the years ( Dorothy L.Sayers is a very firm favourite ) I decided to write my own. Well actually it isn't a 'classic' detective story in that the story alternates ( chapter-wise ) between following the investigations of Inspector Braddock of the Met, who is looking into a murder case on the island of St.Helena, and a young man by the name of Ollie Granchester, who falls into all sorts of bizarre situations in London with his band 'The Tubular Belles.'
I'm hoping this hybrid approach will pay off. ( I suppose I'll soon find out! ) Anyway, I uploaded it to Amazon as a kindle book.

What I would like to know is should I describe my new book as a 'thriller' or a 'detective novel, or perhaps a 'crime novel? Can I call it all those things? I mean, you wouldn't say that 'Death On The Nile' isn't thrilling, and yet it falls squarely into the camp of 'crime writing,' and so would sound a little odd described as a ' thriller' wouldn't it?
Enjoying the crime genre of books so much as I do, I feel I really should know these distinctions by now but I'm afraid I don't.


message 2: by Thomas (new)

Thomas (tom471) | 1500 comments Based on your description, I would call it a crime novel or mystery. Thrillers are usually books where you know who the killers are early on, and the rest of the book is devoted to the good guys catching them. I read both, btw.


message 3: by William (new)

William J.Roby (Consta) | 4 comments Hi Thomas,
thanks for that, mine's definitely a crime novel then. The definition of thriller makes perfect sense when you think about it like that.


message 4: by Thomas (new)

Thomas (tom471) | 1500 comments You're Welcome


message 5: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolfromnc) | 13429 comments I would eschew "thriller," as well for two practical reasons. Thrillers typically involve some threat to the investigator or protagonist, which creates tension and suspense for the reader. Accordingly, many readers seeking out that genre will fault a hybrid such as yours for being insufficiently "thrilling." Better that the right readers --those open to the novel you've penned -- find it, review it favorably and recommend it than that it fall into the hands of those who will pan it as quirky and plot-deficient merely because the wrong genre was hung on it by a marketing team, including you, the chief marketer.


message 6: by William (new)

William J.Roby (Consta) | 4 comments Hi Carol,
thanks for your comment. I knew I was taking a risk writing two ( quite different ) novels in one so to speak, but my idea was - without giving too much away - that the nefarious character my Ollie Granchester runs into in London is a bit of a modern day 'Napoleon' ( i.e, 'emperor ) himself, thereby linking up the two strands thematically. Anyway, I felt compelled to writing something like this after reading Alexander McCall Smith, who I notice uses a similar device.
Just hope to find some interest in my novel, as work-wise, the input was epic.


message 7: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolfromnc) | 13429 comments William wrote: "Hi Carol,
thanks for your comment. I knew I was taking a risk writing two ( quite different ) novels in one so to speak, but my idea was - without giving too much away - that the nefarious charact..."


It sounds marvelously interesting, William --best of luck!


message 8: by William (new)

William J.Roby (Consta) | 4 comments thank you so much.


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