Description: Crime fiction first started to gain widespread popularity in the 18th century, a popularity which dramatically increased in the 19th century. Today, crime fiction is the most popular form of fiction with almost one in every three new books published in English falling into the crime fiction category. Since the early days of crime fiction the genre has evolved into an incredibly diverse area of fiction, making it one of Australia’s, and the world’s, most popular. There is, literally, a dead body to suit every reader’s taste. Such scale and scope of choice, however, can create challenges for readers wanting to read crime fiction for the first time or wanting to extend their reading past a favourite author or series. This overview of the genre identifies the main sub-genres of crime fiction, providing a set of concise definitions illustrated with international and Australian examples of crime fiction works.
Rachel Franks (2011) May I suggest murder? An overview of crime fiction for readers’ advisory services staff, The Australian Library Journal, 60:2, 133-143, DOI:10.1080/00049670.2011.10722585
Sherlock Holmes (r) and Dr. John H. Watson. Illustration by Sidney Paget from the Sherlock Holmes story The Greek Interpreter, which appeared in The Strand Magazine in September, 1893. Original caption was “HOLMES PULLED OUT HIS WATCH.”