Thursday, May 5, 2011

Contest for a Free Book

How do you decide what sub-genre you are in? How do you get that across to readers looking for it? That is the question I’m struggling with in my Mitch Malone Mysteries. They are definitely mysteries. No question. But sub-genre? I’ve been saying amateur sleuth, which is true. Mitch is a reporter and not a police officer or professional detective of any kind. What gifts he has is his powers of observation and his interviewing skills. He usually talks to everyone and makes people nervous enough to want to bump him off. Being a target really makes him mad and driven to get the bad guy.

So, the books have a gritty feel and it has a touch of humor. The stories are told in first person from Mitch’s view point which is looking on the dark side of life and a bit of the noir. Think trench-coated detective of the 1930s. Mitch’s social skills are from that era and he is a bit rough around the edges. The humor is more Pink Panther-ish and the problems created when Mitch does things for the wrong reason or thinks he has the answer when he really doesn’t. Have you ever heard of a humorous noir?

On other days, I think the mysteries could be “cozies.” No overt sex, violence off stage and an amateur sleuth. However, cozies usually have a theme like gardening, cooking or crafting and I don’t have that. So what do I do? I obviously don’t have an answer. I need readers to help me out.

Let me know how you would characterize them. I’ll even sweeten the pot. My next book, A Case of Hometown Blues, comes out June 30. I will give away three copies of the books from anyone who comments here, facebook, my blog ( and my publisher’s blog ( I will be talking about this for the next week or two because I’m really curious. Sometimes you are just too close to see the big picture.

(Only one comment is necessary for an entry. The more comments, the more entries/chances to win.)


Theresa Grant said...

I get some hits when I search humorous crime. That's not quite right, but it's a start.

chocoaddict said...

How about "cozy noir"? I got a few hits for that, too. And I think you do have a theme - his job as a reporter, and the Columbo-like way he approaches things.


Andrea Dickinson said...

I didn't get the feeling of cozy when I read the first one. I usually think of a female protagonist for cozies.

Do you need a sub-genre?

Joselyn Vaughn said...

Is there a journallist or reporter subgenre? There is usually sometype of action scene at the end, so that doesn't really seem cozy to me.

Stephanie Michels, author said...

It does fit in the cozy category as it has a journalism theme. Just no recipes involved. LOL!

WS Gager said...

Thank you all for your comments. I will pull them all together. I will have to look at journalism themes and while popular, they aren't categorized as such, at least not that I have found. Maybe will have to add more tags...

Best of all you are all entered for a free book when A Case of Hometown Blues comes out June 30!
W.S. Gager