By December 17, 2009 0 Comments Read More →

More Help for Mystery-Loving Bookgroups

Serving as a resource for book group members and facilitators is one of the most interesting aspects of my job. I love learning what other groups are reading and discussing. The titles a group selects can tell so much about the group’s personality.

The most frequent request I receive from area readers who are in book groups is for titles that will satisfy all the mystery lovers. While I haven’t yet exhausted all the selections in the resources that I suggested to Jessica a couple of posts ago, I’m very glad a new one has come along. caught

Caught Up in Crime: A Reader’s Guide to Crime Fiction and Nonfiction by BGB’s own Gary Warren Niebuhr (who is too humble to tell you about his latest effort, but I’m not), mixes fiction and nonfiction “about people who revel in the nether regions.” It is unlike detective fiction, Niebuhr writes, because there may not be a hero to “restore justice in a world gone wrong.” I found this definition fascinating as it helped me understand why I like crime fiction but am not a big fan of mysteries. Sometimes the protagonist is the criminal.

Niebuhr has broken out various subgenres of Crime Fiction into three main categories: Professional Criminals, Caught Up in Crime, and Criminal Detectives. I found my favorite subgenre, caper novels, tucked under Professional Criminals.

Look for the nonfiction entries in each section. These are the first lists I will show book group members looking for something to sate the ravenous detective and crime fiction fans in the circle.

Facilitators will find the History and Criticism chapter useful for background information on authors and the genre.

I think I can keep my insatiable mystery and crime fiction book groups supplied for a year or two. Someone had better be working on the next resource.




About the Author:

Kaite Mediatore Stover refuses to give up her day job as director of readers' services for The Kansas City Public Library to read tarot cards professionally or be the merch girl/roadie for her husband's numerous bands. Follow her on Twitter at @MarianLiberryan.

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