At various points in their lives, many readers may periodically find themselves in a reading slump. This last year was no exception, and may in fact be one for the books! This is an occasion when I might find myself turning to what I call my "book comfort food," and where we can make the case for crime fiction.
Reading generally takes us out of the day to day, and can serve as a distraction from that which makes us anxious and stressed. It's something a lot of avid readers come to take for granted, but with all of the changes and stressors we've experienced in the last year it may not be as easy as it once was for some of us.
Enter crime fiction.
While escaping into a world of crime, detectives, and murder may not seem to some like the most obvious choice for "comfort food," there's a sort of logic to it that had escaped me until recently. I was reading Moonflower Murders, the newest entry in the Susan Ryeland series by Anthony Horowitz, when I came across a passage that really stuck with me.
Two of the characters were discussing the merits, or lack thereof, of a crime novel within the book that is central to the story.
"Maybe there's something a little comforting in a book that actually makes sense of the world in which it takes place and leads you to an absolute truth."
While as readers we can at turns be both fascinated and horrified by the behavior we read about in crime fiction, something about the tension and almost guaranteed pay off of finding out whodunit drives us to keep picking it up. The organization of the investigations, the peek into human nature, and the resolution of the crime sometimes tied up into a neat little package can be very attractive when not much else in the world is so cut and dried.
Not sure where to start? Ask your local library staff! We are always happy to make reading recommendations, whether you're a seasoned crime aficionado, just starting out or anywhere in between!