Skip to main content

Turning to Crime

I work in a library (in case I haven’t mentioned that) and recent Public Lending figures have shown there’s been a massive shift, amongst women readers, away from romance towards crime novels, over the last ten years. This is definitely true of the branches I’ve worked in. I reckon most of our customers know how to commit the perfect murder and get away with it. Does this mean I throw in the towel right now (I’m writing humorous/feel-good, but still, ultimately, romance) or do they mean Catherine Cookson, Danielle Steele, Mills & Boon type romance? I need to know!!!!!!!

Another survey shows that:-

Married, working women aged 35 to 59 would rather read a good book than have sex, shop, or sleep. (No Comment)!

Nearly half finished a book in less than a week, 48% read more than one book at a time and, in the last year, one in five had spent £100 or more on novels. (Join the library you silly people!!)

47% of women said their favourite type of fiction was thrillers, 46% contemporary fiction and 45% crime, science fiction, with romance their least favourite. (GULP)

Only four in 10 liked books with a happy ending and many said they had felt inspired to do something after finishing a book - travel, change jobs, go back to college, leave their partners or try to write themselves.

Maeve Binchy is the favourite romance author, but in the list of most favoured Ian Rankin, Patricia Cornwell, PD James and Dan Brown outnumbered romantic writers.

HOWEVER - The literary idol is still Mr Darcy, the hero of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.

Confused? I am now. What does it all mean?
Not a lot, I suspect, which renders this post somewhat pointless.

Comments

Lane said…
Yes I am confused:-) Was it 47%/46%/45% in different groups? And gulp at the turn towards thrillers!!

I love my library. It's tiny,they order in my books and the librarians are totally lovely. They 'talk books' with me like our own little book club. They also know I'm writing and are nice and encouraging. They've also saved me a fortune.
I've never filled in one of these surveys though and from the look of the 'returns' bookshelf, only Josephine Cox and chick-lit is borrowed:-)
Maddie Moon said…
Oh dear, that is depressing news, for a non-crime writer like me. But there seems a similar trend in the women's magazines that still carry fiction - they all seem to be asking for crime stories at the moment.

Like you, I'm hoping the move away from romance is in the Mills and Boon type of story and not general contemporary women's fiction that deals with relationships. Mind you, I'm writing a fluffy style romance so I'm probably stuffed!

I'm married, working and in that age bracket. Reading a book would definitely be second on my list with shopping at the bottom. I'll leave you to figure what comes out on top!
KAREN CLARKE said…
After investigating further (sounds like the start of a crime novel itself - not a very good one alas), it was a apparently a puny survey of 1500 "ladies of a certain age" in the south. Where exactly, I don't know. On a positive note, every woman I've spoken to about it at work today enjoys a nice bit of feel-good fiction, as long as it's "well-written". Naturally. That's alright then!
Leigh said…
I can't imagine "romance" (by which I mean love interest, rather than out and out M&B), ever falling out of fashion.

Glad to know, however, the limitations of the survey. You can prove anything if you ask the right people. It's a bit tiresome.

Popular posts from this blog

100th Post!

100 posts! This time last year I was a Blogging Virgin. Now I’m a bit of a slag. It’s become the highlight of my week, both reading yours and writing mine. Which means either:

a) I don’t get out much
b) I don’t get out much, or
c) I don’t get out much

(I think it's C)

This was my first ever post. Not a single comment did it receive. I dry-heaved into my hanky for an hour and considered leaving the country. Then I cottoned on to leaving comments in order to entice readers over.

Anticipating disappointment, outrage or (worse) apathy, I was pleasantly surprised to trap some lovely Readers in my cage of blathery nonsense. I nearly threw a Comments Party, but daren't push my luck.

It’s been a real journey, as they say on bad reality TV (is there any other sort?) On the way, I’ve been given some fantastic advice from you lot, as well as from a Real Published Author and more importantly I've learned that…

Mugs CAN live without kettles
The price of gravy changes with the wind
You can live i…

Q&A with Amanda Brittany

I'm thrilled to welcome Amanda Brittany to my blog today, to talk about her debut thriller Her Last Lie. 

It's been described as 'gripping with a shocking twist' and I can confirm that it is!

(It also has an amazing cover)



Which character in Her Last Lie would you like to meet?
Hi Karen, thank you for inviting me to your blog.
I suppose feisty Roxanne is the character I’d most like to meet. She’s so determined to get to the bottom of things, and appears to be a good friend to Isla.
There are definitely a couple of characters in the book I would hope never to meet.

I know the book has several settings, which did you enjoy writing the most?
I loved writing the second part of the book set in Abisko in Sweden. I visited Abisko a couple of years back, and it was great fun bringing the cold, bleak landscape to life, and describing the way The Northern Lights swoop across the night skies.
Are any of your characters based on people you know?
No, not at all, they all sprang from my imagi…

Guest post - Elise Chidley

Today I’m delighted to welcome author, Elise Chidley to my blog. Elise has written two wonderfully warm and witty novels, The Wrong Sort of Wife and Married with Baggage, and I absolutely loved them both. Intelligent and romantic, as well as funny, they’re peopled with characters you can’t help warming to.

Elise is giving away 2 free copies of The Wrong Sort of Wife and 2 copies of the American version, Your Roots are Showing. If you’d like to leave a comment below I’ll pick the winners at random on Sunday!

So, without further ado …


Elise, when did your writing career begin?

I’ve been writing for a living since my first job as features writer with a national women’s magazine in South Africa, but I started writing fiction after my third child was born. At that stage, I was telecommuting as a staff writer for a publisher of health care magazines, writing three feature stories a week. The pressure of these deadlines, coupled with looking after three small children, was just not sustainable. …