Trying to Fit into a Genre Classification

Posted on Posted in Crime Writing

Dilemma. How to fit a book into a recognised genre slot?

I am trying to work out where my new idea for a Single Title Book would be classified – by a literary agent, a publisher and a bookseller.


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Here are the key aspects of the idea:

* Contemporary city location – not small town.

* The heroine is the amateur female detective trying to solve a puzzle which is very personal to her – while holding down a normal job in which she is skilled.

* Witty but not laugh-ou- loud dialogue and hero/heroine banter- intended to be a fun read. [Think Jenny Crusie and some Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Rachel Gibson etc.]

* Romantic – hero and heroine meet and form a relationship by the end of the book, but no closure.

* No violence and medium sensuality rating – no detailed sex scenes or gory thriller blood-fests.

* Intended to be the first book in a series for this amateur female detective.

*Not a hard Romantic Suspense Novel aka Tami Hoag, Nora Roberts et al but more of a Light Crime Fun read.

*The suspense element is the main plot device – the heroine has more baggage than Victoria Beckham, and the crime throws her out of her comfort zone – enter the hero stage left.

At first I thought it would qualify as a Cozy Mystery but then this is a contemporary city location, with the feel of Single Title Romance with some amateur detective work as a plot device. But not a Romantic Comedy.

I recall speaking to a UK literary agent several years ago and her view was that in the UK a light style of Romantic Suspense would definitely be pitched as a Romance, while in the US.? I am not so sure. And the largest market for this type of novel does seem to be the US.

More research needed methinks. Wish me luck!

4 thoughts on “Trying to Fit into a Genre Classification

  1. I don’t see why it can’t be classed as a cozy mystery simply because of the city location. The feel of a cozy tends towards community and you can have that in the city through clearly defined locales (local coffee shop, community centre, book store) and a community ie neighbours, quirky cat ladies, coffee shop owners, mortuary make-up artists.

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