16 February 2011

Why do you read crime fiction?

Last week, when I ran the post When did you begin to read crime fiction? at least one commenter suggested a follow up post should ask why.

So here it is.

Now I'm a naturally squeamish person and blood, in the flesh so to speak, puts me right off.
I can't hold the cat's paw at the vet's, let alone deal with grazed knees, deep cuts (or even shallow ones) etc. And graphic TV programmes such as Silent Witness have me hiding my eyes at the worst bits.

So why does crime fiction have such a hold on me? Here are a few thoughts.
  • I love puzzles
  • I believe that events in the present often have causes in the past
  • I can escape into a world that I won't ever inhabit, or hopefully have to deal with in real life
  • There is such variety in the genre that I never get bored
  • I have discovered some really great authors
OK - I'm not going to do all the work - over to you! Why do you read crime fiction?


Brian Kavanagh said...

Kerrie, my reasons are pretty much the same as yours. I like to escape. Essentially they are adult fairy stories,at least the cosy ones.
Extreme violence I avoid. I only have to walk out my front door to see that - on a daily basis. So I read to relax and also explore human behaviour and folly.

kathy d. said...

I read mysteries for many of the same reasons you have. When I began reading them years ago, the stories just pulled me in. And I liked the whodunnit puzzles.

Now I read for many reasons, and enjoy a variety of crime fiction; that is true, the books available vary greatly, especially now with so much global translations.

I do avoid violent, gory books. I had to skip through some of Larsson's Millenium trilogy to avoid this, but enjoyed the books anyway.

And I don't like psychological suspense much or anything verging on horror or ghost stories.

I do like good character development, snappy dialogue, interesting plots, politics or good insights about life or people, humor--and good writing.

Anonymous said...

Being a puzzle enthusiast and a mathematician as well, I read crime novels for the mystery, first and foremost. I can't stand books where a twist is pulled out of thin air, without any hint of foreshadowing - I want a mystery or thriller where I'm simultaneously surprised and thinking that I should have spotted it (but didn't). That tends to put my interests in the Golden Age of detective fiction - as evidenced in my blog - but hopefully I can be illuminated as to modern authors that can also pull of the same trick.

Dorte H said...

Good plots, characters and setting are what pull me in - and an important reason is that if I read ´literary novels´ in my spare time, I can´t help coming up with analysis questions all the time :D

Kerrie said...

Dorte, congratulations on being commenter #6000 on my blog. I had decided I would give this person a prize! Is there an Australian novel you would like a copy of?

Dorte H said...

Wow! I didn´t even know I was in a contest - what a great offer :D

Well, I´d certainly love something by Peter Temple. "Truth" and the Jack Irish books are on my wishlist (I have only read the first one). But just tell me if you had something else in mind.


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