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Murder and Your Library: Crime Fiction Readers’ Advisory Presented for Innovation Experts September 20,2011 1-4 pm Becky Siegel Spratford

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Presentation on theme: "Murder and Your Library: Crime Fiction Readers’ Advisory Presented for Innovation Experts September 20,2011 1-4 pm Becky Siegel Spratford"— Presentation transcript:

1 Murder and Your Library: Crime Fiction Readers’ Advisory Presented for Innovation Experts September 20, pm Becky Siegel Spratford

2 Just the Facts “Crime is terribly revealing. Try and vary your methods as you will, your tastes, your habits, your attitude of mind, and your soul is revealed by your actions.” -- Agatha Christie “I think to be driven to want to kill must be such a terrible burden.” -- Ruth Rendell

3 The Line-Up Intro to RA Principles and Practices What is Crime Fiction? – Appeal and RA Interview Tips – Genre, Subgenre and Format Distinctions Whole Collection RA – Key Authors, Resources, and Trends Collection Development Marketing Tips for Crime Fiction – Lists and Display Ideas

4 Just the Facts: RA Best Practices This class assumes an understanding of appeal factors and basic RA interviewing skills. Vocabulary of Appeal Match books by appeal and not plot Understand your own reader profile Understand genre classification – Genres are not separated by walls.

5 Collecting Clues: How Can I Read Everything? You cannot read everything! Speed Reading – by Georgine Olson but available in this book.this book Read in varied genres; look for connections “Genre a Day” Reviews for appeal Magazines, newspapers and other popular media. Read what your patrons are reading.

6 What is Crime Fiction? Definitions (from Trott’s Read On… Crime Fiction; see handout)handout Classic Authors mentioned – Edgar Allen Poe – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – G. K. Chesterton – Agatha Christie – Dorothy Sayers – Ellery Queen

7 Crime Defined s – Dashiell Hammett – Raymond Chandler – Mickey Spillane – Ross MacDonald Police Procdeural – Hilary Waugh – J.J. Marric – Ed McBain

8 Crime Define s and 80s: Women and Minorities – Marcia Muller – Sue Grafton – Gar Anthony Haywood – Joseph Hansen and Richard Steveson – Sara Paretsky

9 Crime Defined 4 Genres We Will Consider – Mystery – Suspense and Romantic Suspense – Thriller – Adventure – Psychological Suspense – Nonfiction: True Crime Formats: Audio and Graphic Novels Further Crime Resources: HandoutHandout

10 Setting the Scene of the Crime The Appeal of Crime Fiction (Generalizations) – Fast paced and engrossing often because of the compressed time frame – Identification with the investigator, but other characters can range from stereotypical to eccentric and unique; series characters also common – Often multiple points of view with the hero and villain – Investigative elements are key

11 General Crime Fiction Appeal Continued Plots can range from story centered to character centered, but all require plot twists and a resolved if not closed ending Can contain violence and strong language, but there have never been more “cozy” options. The setting can range from ancient times (Steven Saylor’s Gordianus the Finder) to the future (J.D. Robb’s Eve Dallas) Readers may crave a certain frame The tone, style and language run the gamut Series are a huge appeal factor

12 In the Box The RA Conversation for Crime Fiction Readers – Type of investigator – Subgenre considerations Historical (time and place) and Cozy are big – Level of violence – Tone, style, language, frame – Character vs. plot – TV or Movie comparisons – Fiction vs. Nonfiction – Format preferences

13 Stop, You’re Killing Me! The Appeal of Mystery Puzzles with clues provided Crime, generally murder, solved by investigator Battle of wits (investigator v. villain; investigator v. reader) Good v. evil Series characters Stories are intricately plotted Full spectrum of pacing Resolved, if not always closed, ending Judge a book by its cover

14 Case Files: Mystery Subgenres Amateur detective (including but not limited to cozy) Classics Historical International Police Procedural Police Detective Private Investigator Humorous

15 Mystery Key Authors Michael Connelly Diane Mott Davidson Henning Mankell Louise Penny Jacqueline Winspear

16 Mystery: Other Authors to Know Nevada Barr Janet Evanovich Donna Leon P.D. James Anne Perry Elizabeth Peters Peter Robinson C.J. Box Each Library will have specific authors who are locally popular And don’t forget “classic” (dead) authors. I have particular luck with: – Agatha Christie – Dashiell Hammett – Robert Parker – Rex Stout

17 Mystery Trends and Resources Special Interests More development of the main character Cozy and Humorous Mysteries are huge – Intelligent Cozies– new sub-sub genre? – Not much actual mystery Historical – Especially WWI to 1960 Blurring between suspense and mystery within novels and authors writing both Paranormal Resources: HandoutHandout

18 Suspense: Mystery’s Step-Sister A plot in which tension builds; menacing atmosphere permeates throughout (prologue) Multiple points of view: hero and villain Compressed time frame Protagonist in peril Twists Fast paced, resourceful heroes Good v. evil Closed happy ending

19 Suspense Subgenres Not really subgenres but nuances Soft Suspense – Mary Higgins Clark Harder-edged suspense – James Patterson, Jeffrey Deaver, John Sandford Romantic Suspense

20 Suspense Authors Suspense Lee Child Harlan Coben Lisa Gardner Tess Gerritsen Karin Slaughter Romantic Suspense Christine Feehan Iris Johansen Jayne Ann Krentz/Amanda Quick/Jayne Castle J.D. Robb /Nora Roberts Lauren Willig

21 Suspense: Other Authors to Know Suspense – Names 2 slides ago – Tami Hoag – Julie Garwood – Erica Spindler – Tana French – Kate Atkinson – Stieg Larsson – John Hart Romantic Suspense – Sandra Brown – Linda Howard – Karen Robards – Catherine Coulter (FBI Series) – Suzanne Brockman

22 Suspense Trends and Resources Stalking, Stalking, Stalking More graphic and bloody Lots of views into the “bad guy’s” mind Used to only be stand alone; now lots of series. Supernatural and Literary options on the rise More investigative; blurring into Mystery Established Romantic Suspense moving to Suspense while new Rom. Suspense coming from Romance Resources: HandoutHandout

23 Thrillers Subgenres Legal Thriller Medical/Forensic Thriller Techno Thriller Espionage/Terrorism Thriller Crime/Caper Thriller Conspiracy Thriller Financial/Corporate Thriller Bio/Eco Thriller Political Thriller Supernatural Thriller

24 Thrillers Authors David Baldacci Linda A. Fairstein Mira Grant Carl Hiaasen Daniel Silva

25 Thriller: Other Authors to Know Robin Cook John Grisham John LeCarre Alan Furst Lisa Scottoline Brad Meltzer Jonathan Maberry (Joe Ledger Series) Continued Series – Robert Ludlum – Ian Fleming

26 Thrillers Trends and Resources Terrorism TV shows (All of those legal dramas) Ancient Conspiracies catching up to Contemporary Lots of Nonfiction Crossovers to think about Resources: HandoutHandout

27 Adventure Traditional Adventure will not be as appealing to your Mystery readers, but genre is changing What you need to look for – Adventure can be more over the top than other genres– solves crime and saves world – Exotic locales or military settings – Not much characterization; fast paced and action oriented with a happy ending – “Clues” not always there; outrageous solutions – Sea-faring adventure does not fit Crime appeals

28 Adventure Authors Adventure authors who may appeal to Crime Fiction readers: – Dan Brown – Clive Cussler – Jack DuBrul – WEB Griffin (now with son) – Jack Higgins – Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child – Matthew Reilly – James Rollins

29 Adventure Trends Thriller is slowly absorbing traditional adventure which is increasing its crossover appeal with crime fiction fans More women readers True Adventure Resources on HandoutHandout

30 Psychological Suspense A mix of Mystery, Thriller, and Horror Tension derived from mental fears Produce a chill and play with our minds Claustrophobic worlds; unease Literary style; lots of twists Character and mood at forefront Endings unresolved and could be unhappy

31 Psychological Suspense Authors Peter Abrahams Carol Goodman Jeff Lindsay Chelsea Cain Ruth Rendell New Names To Watch: – Gillian Flynn – S.J. Watson

32 Psychological Suspense: More Authors Alfred Hitchcock Thomas H. Cook Frances Fyfield Patricia Highsmith Dean Koontz Thomas Harris Val McDermid Minette Walters Single titles of note: – Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King – Await Your Reply by Dan Chaon – A Simple Plan by Scott Smith – The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters

33 Psychological Suspense Tips &Trends Used to be only standalone; now lots of series More twisted and violent “Hero” is not all good like in suspense; has dark issues Many traditional mystery writers and literary fiction authors are exploring this genre Do natural language searches to find titles Some sources classify it as psychological horror Specific resources are limited: HandoutHandout

34 Nonfiction for Crime Fans True Crime – May be more appealing to some fans-- Truth – Killer caught and brought to justice – Date quickly – No detail spared – Safe exploration of dark side of humanity – Readalikes for authors and specific titles – In Cold Blood by Capote started the narrative nonfiction genre

35 True Crime Authors of Note Ann Rule John Douglas Diane Fanning Joe McGinniss Robert Graysmith Vincent Bugliosi James B. Stewart James Swanson Erik Larson

36 True Crime: Types, Trends, and Awards Types – Forensic, journalistic, bio/autobio, famous/infamous – FBI, police, reporters, lawyers, mafia…pov is wide – Appeal: old books as good as new ones, maybe better Trends – Whole Collection RA – Readalikes for titles and authors – Compilations Awards and Resources: HandoutHandout – Edgar and Dagger for True Crime (see Mystery)

37 Audio and Graphic Novels Mystery and Suspense work well on audio – Tension builds slower – Can’t skip ahead as easily Patrons will cross genres more with audio Some of the best readers ply trade here Don’t forget that superheroes fight crime Frank Miller and Alan Moore do more sophisticated GNs for crime fans

38 The Holding Cell: Crime Fiction Collection Development Don’t forget: this is a part of Customer Service Take pulse of your collection at least once a year – What are your most popular titles/authors? – Where are you lacking? – Who is winning the awards? – What are the trends? Keep shelves neat and clean Replace classic and popular titles Weed

39 Bring Out Your Dead: Crime Fiction Marketing – Merging Crime Collections More space Patron displeasure/education Clearer catalog records and stickering – Display Ideas Overlooked stars (Use Overbooked) Show off new popular subgenres (Use Stop You’re Killing Me) Crime stories not from the mystery section Sure bets (by title or author) – Use face out options whenever available – Post series lists for most popular authors – Consider special paperback shelving, not just spinners

40 Sure Bet Investigative Tales Erik Larson – Devil in the White City Ann Rule – The Stranger Beside Me Harlen Coben – Tell No One Michael Connelly – The Black Echo Ruth Rendell – 13 Steps Down Mary Higgins Clark – On the Street Where You Live P.D. James – A Taste for Death Diane Mott Davidson – Dying for Chocolate Nevada Barr– Choose by location preference Louise Penny– Still Life


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