This is the time of the year when the best-of lists come out, including the best of crime fiction or, more frequently, a best of fiction list that includes a few crime fiction titles. It always makes for fun reading, and a few additions to the “to be read” pile.
But too often, crime fiction novels are recommended not on their merit but because they can help you escape the present. Life’s lousy, the message is, try this meaningless mystery and get away for a few hours.
I take umbrage at this notion that crime fiction is the Cap'n Crunch (peanut butter version, please!) to literary fiction’s steel cut oats. After all, aren’t all novels meant to provide escape? Isn’t that, in large part, the point? So why should the burden of escapism be placed solely on crime fiction?
Lots to unpack here, but I’ll just leave it at that for now, lest I begin to sound like a crank.
Enjoy this issue, which is chock-a-block full of suspenseful stories sure to help you escape the present. Ha!
You won’t see us next week, as we are taking some time off to spend with our loved ones, scouring the local pharmacies for COVID at-home test kits.
See you on January 6, and happy holidays! —Brian Kenney