Crime pays. Big Time. Mystery writers have staggeringly large incomes. Book sales, box office returns, licensing fees ~ they add up to an outsize number of zeros on those paychecks.
Recognize these authors? They’re the top-grossing mystery/thriller writers today~
John Grisham, Dan Brown, Patricia Cornwell,
Robert Ludlum, Michael Crichton, Michael Connelly,
Stephen King, Elmore Leonard, Ed McBain,
Dennis Lehane, James Patterson, Scott Turow,
Ken Follett, Janet Evanovich, Tom Clancy,
Sue Grafton, Lee Child, Jeffery Deaver,
Walter Mosley, P. D. James, John D. MacDonald,
Lisa Scottoline, Rita Mae Brown, Mary Higgins Clark
And I have proof. At our recent library book sale, the mystery/thriller genre took up incalculably large areas of the table tops. And there were summitless stackloads underneath ~ a space-warpingly vast collection of the aforementioned authors in hardcover and paperback. All in all, a pretty good indication of what sells…and re-sells.
Carl Hiaasen is anything but bland. His crime novels are cool-on-a-bender clever. In Skinny Dip, he’s got a nasty piece of work named Chaz Perrone who pollutes the Everglades and decides to kill his wife. Wickedly funny mayhem, it’s pure Hiaason.
My Southern friend is A Huge Fan of bent humor and is hunting down his latest novel, Bad Monkey. *Note to Sayra: Expect a severed arm, mango popsicles, greed, violence and revenge. Just another day in Paradise. 🙂 Get your Hiaason fix here.
A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly isn’t a classic but it’s based on the same 1906 murder that inspired Theodore Dreiser’s American Tragedy. It’s the story of 16-year-old Mattie who escapes her family’s farm for a summer job at a fancy hotel in the Adirondacks. A young woman guest gives Mattie a packet of love letters, letters that offer clues when they find a body in the lake. The novel wears plenty of hats ~ mystery, historical fiction, coming of age, YA ~ and won plenty of awards ~ the Carnegie Medal, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Michael L. Printz Award.
Winner of the 2011 Edgar Award, The Lock Artist by Steve Hamilton centers around Michael, mute since childhood, who finds that he has a talent for unlocking things that makes him Very Attractive ~ to some Very Bad Guys.
Are you a fan of psychological thrillers? Here’s the top ten.
Are you reading a mystery? Have you discovered a lesser-known author? a raveworthy series? Help the rest of us take the mystery out of finding a riveting read. Do share.