Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
7/31 MARGARET GRACE | Just What Is A Mystery Classified As Anyway?
Author Guest / July 30, 2010

I’m planning to lock myself in a bookstore, any bookstore, overnight and re-shelve the books. Before you call the authorities, let me explain. Most categories make sense: art, self-help, travel, reference. But what about the “Fiction and Literature” category? Isn’t that redundant? Or is there some fiction that’s not literature? Is it IL-literate, then? There’s some literature that’s not fiction, but aren’t those volumes across the aisle in Nonfiction? While we’re at it, let’s think about the other bookcases. There’s one case, around the corner from “Fiction and Literature,” labeled “Mystery.” Hmm. Is Mystery neither Fiction nor Literature? Confusing, isn’t it. Mystery comes under the umbrella known informally as Genre Fiction, along with Romance, Western, and SciFi, to name a few. Mystery writers grumble about this seeming second-class citizenship in the world of books. We like to think we create engaging characters, interesting and complex stories, rich settings, and aesthetically pleasing turns of phrases. In other words, literature. As a mystery writer myself, with 13 novels published, I often envision all the mysteries in a bookstore coming to life and entering into a criminal conspiracy. I picture them infiltrating the Fiction and Literature shelf, until they are seamlessly woven in…