It's a Mystery 6/30/2011

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Mystery Readers Survey

Sisters in Crime, an organization I have mentioned before, recently released a study they commissioned to learn more about mystery readers and book buying.  Entitled The Mystery Book Consumer in the Digital Age, it examines the purchasing habits of over 1000 mystery readers in 2009/2010.

I found a number of interesting statistics about mystery readers in general, including:

  • 19% of all respondents acquire mysteries at the library (ranked 3rd after stores and online).  Their reasons for borrowing rather than buying include: no room for any more books, availability of large print format, ability to read title before buying, convenience and selection, can't afford to buy because they read too many books, and only going to read the book once.
  • The average hours spent reading mysteries per week was 10.4, and the average number of books read from Jan. through Aug. of 2010 was 19.
  • Besides the mystery genre, readers also read a high percentage of general fiction and espionage/thrillers.
  • Important elements readers considered when choosing mystery titles include knowing the author and liking the main character.
  • One of the main reasons those surveyed read mysteries is because they enjoy the process of solving the crime.
  • Among the age groups of 30 and under and 60 and over, nearly 60% said they were not interested in the ebook format.
  • James Patterson appears at the top of the lists of popular authors appealing to both younger and older readers.

You can find the full report at:



Felix Francis, son of author Dick Francis, continues writing horseracing mysteries in the style of his father.  They collaborated on several titles before the death of Dick Francis in 2010.  The latest title, Dick Francis's Gamble, is due out in July.  And Robert B. Parker's Jesse Stone series will go on.  Coming in September is Robert B. Parker's Killing the Blues, written by Michael Brandman, writer and producer of a number of TV movies based on Parker's novels.


Watch for these new releases in the Mystery section at WPPL:

Blind Fury by Lynda La Plante (featuring London police detective Anna Travis) - July.

Darling Dahlias and the Naked Ladies by Susan Wittig Albert (1930s garden club) - July.

English Tea Murder by Leslie Meier (with Lucy Stone vacationing in England) - July.

Highway 61 by David Housewright (Mac McKenzie, St. Paul PI) - June.

Northwest Angle by William Kent Krueger (featuring Cork O'Connor) - August.

We All Fall Down by Michael Harvey (with Michael Kelly, ex-cop, Chicago) - July.

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