Hello, and welcome to Crime Pays, a blog about crime fiction. And possibly also what I'm cooking at the moment.
For years, I had a hard time figuring out what exactly to call the kinds of stories that I like to read. Mystery? Well, yes, there is always a mystery involved, but Caspar the friendly ghost would be classified as mystery, and that's really not my bag. Suspense? Suspense usually plays a role too, but I can't stand books like The DaVinci Code, where every chapter ends in a breathless cliffhanger, ugh. Why bother ending the chapter? Just carry on and reach some temporary resolution, for chrissakes, so I can get some sleep tonight. Thrillers? Certainly not. That sounds like horror fiction to me, or at a minimum conjures up images of Michael Jackson zombies (and here I date myself). Detective novels might work, since there is usually a detective-sort involved. Although the detector is less and less frequently actually a detective, these days, and more often the right person in the wrong place or time. And besides, this makes it sound like I read Sherlock Holmes, which surprisingly, I don't so much.
Anyway, I started to realize that it's called crime fiction. This is thanks mostly to Marilyn Stasio, who write the occasional column on Crime in the New York Times Book review, and who is a great source of new reads for me. Rarely does a Stasio column go by without my making a note of something to check out. I am also inspired by the very fine Soho Crime press, which publishes some terrific examples of the genre, in just the format I like most of all - foreign settings, and series. More on them later.
I look forward to sharing some opinions about crime fiction in this blog, and perhaps getting some suggestions for new reads as well. The cooking bit? Well, that's something else that I do, with a for-this-day-and-age almost anachronistic regularity. So if I really get going on this, you might just find out what's for dinner, too.