Re: RARA-AVIS: Clarification

From: Joy Matkowski (
Date: 23 Aug 2004

The only romance reader I know is my 83-year-old first father-in-law, so I'm no expert there, except I've now got him hooked on autobiographical and fictional accounts of World War II in Eastern Europe.
    I never read thrillers, blockbuster or otherwise, unless accidentally, mostly because I find them silly. I like my fiction realistic,* which I suppose is why I tend to prefer hardboiled stuff, Pelecanos rather than Clancy, say.


*I'm now struggling with a protagonist standing on a certain street and feeling a breeze from the river, which I think is 15 blocks away. I will have to consult a map before I continue.

Tim Wohlforth noted:
> I agree that many readers of dark fiction happen to be middle-aged
> women. In fact the NY Times recently reported a slip in sales of
> romances and suggested that these readers seem to be buying blockbuster
> thrillers (once viewed as "man's" books.) What I was trying to suggest
> is that publishers may view readers as I described. Thus, when buying
> first mystery novels that sell mainly in hardback to libraries, they are
> more likely to go with a "cozy" than a hardboiled. Perhaps there is some
> other explanation of the problem I outlined. Or maybe the problem
> doesn't exist.
> I know, when I go to mystery conventions and sit at a banquet table with
> a mixed group of fans, largely women, from parts of the country I never
> visit (e.g. small towns and cities in the midwest), I always ask what
> they read. Almost universally it's a mixture that includes some pretty
> dark stuff.

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 23 Aug 2004 EDT