Murder and Magic

Posted by on September 4, 2011

I’m very excited that this month’s topic is on genre-bending in fiction, or crossing genre boundaries. It seems that it’s very convenient for both readers and writers, not to mention publishers, agents, and reviewers, to put books into specific categories (genres) and to then find the one genre that fits you best.

Except that I don’t know very few readers who truly ONLY read in one genre, and I know fewer writers who truly only write in one genre. As a reader, I read all over the place, although lately I’ve been firmly in the urban fantasy mode (but without too overwhelming of romantic subplots, thank you). Still, I read mainstream, literary fiction, all kinds of “pure” fantasy, murder mysteries, and young adult books. I also read nonfiction on a variety of topics. As for the fiction, I’ll let you into a secret: the books I love most cross the boundaries.

The book I loved most this year was So Cold the River by Michael Koryta, which is a mystery with paranormal elements. Tana French’s books are like that, too. When I first got into the Harry Potter series, I loved the whodunnit plots of the first few books. Even though they were presented as young adult fantasy novels, they were mysteries to me, and I loved the idea so much that I vowed that one day, I, too, would write mystery plots in fantasy settings. Kervinie’s Story is my first step into those waters, but I’m sure it won’t be the last.

Fantasy mysteries or mystery fantasies: they’re my favorite books of all.

If you could combine two genres, which two would you pick?

Today’s post was inspired by the topic Where I Got My Latest Idea, in the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour, an ongoing tour where you, the reader, travel around the world from author’s blog to author’s blog. We have all sorts of writers at all stages in their writing career, so there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

If you want to get to know nearly twenty other writers and find out what’s on their nightstand, check out the rest of the tour! Up next: Cleo Lomax at Muse Inked.

Last modified on August 14, 2011

Categories: Merry-Go-Round, What I'm Doing

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  • I enjoy mystery/thrillers and romance. It’s sometimes hard to find the right balance between the two. I like Alex Kava’s stories because they are thrilling, but she makes room for her protagonist’s complicated personal life. Julia Spencer-Fleming’s Claire Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne series of mysteries also do a nice job of blending the two, though a bit heavy on the romance at times.

    Thank you for suggesting “So Cold the River”! I was just looking for the next good read to download, and this looks perfect.


    • I hope you enjoy it! I will look into Alex Kava, myself. I like complicated personal lives!