Crime writing, what is it? That's the question that came to me as I read Dick Francis's latest novel, Silks. There is such a variety in stories that involve a "crime". Dick Francis and Agatha Christie are two very different writers. Yet both tell stories of crimes. Coincidently (or maybe not) both are on my list of favorite authors. Dick Francis was my most recent crime writing read and Agatha Christie was my first. I remember it well; it was her novel, Hickory Dickory Dock. It sounded like it was about mice and I was about eight. Need I say more? Later I enjoyed Daphne Du Maurier's novels. Though I don’t know that she’s considered a crime writer I do recall thieving in Frenchman’s Creek. And was that a murder in Rebecca? Along the way, I've enjoyed Dashiell Hammett, dropped into some of Elmore Leonard's worlds, laughed at scenes by Susan Evanovich, got serious with John Grisham and read all of Ian Fleming’s Bond books.
Whether it’s a mentally challenging puzzle, a light laugh-filled jaunt or a realistic look at a serious side of life, crime writing it seems has something for everyone. So what is crime writing? It’s an endless supply of pleasure. There is the joy of a new novel by a favorite author, there’s the thrill of discovering a new writer, and there is the quiet comfort when re-visiting a classic. That’s just the reading pleasure crime writing provides. There is also the viewing pleasure that comes from all the TV and movie adaptations (having just seen the latest James Bond film).
So Crime Writing, what is it? To me, it’s limitless, it’s life and it’s fun.