I have kept stats from my last 25 crime fiction reads. Most were fairly routine such as noting genders of authors and sleuths. One stat was unusual. I kept track of how many sleuths watched television. My next post will discuss that stat.
I was inspired by fellow blogger Margot Kinberg who currently blogs at https://margot-kin-berg.com/blog-2/. Occasionally, though not recently, she has posted stats using vividly coloured pie charts. I always found it interesting where the stats took her. I am not much for charts so my stats will remain written.
My sample size was small though it will expand. I plan to update my stats every 25 mysteries I read. I make a distinction between thrillers and crime fiction. To be considered a mystery I require there be a sleuth or sleuths solving a crime or crimes.
I excluded two books from my 25. I considered Finale by Ian Hamilton and City on Fire by Don Winslow to be thrillers. Each certainly qualified as crime fiction but neither had a sleuth investigating a crime. Having but 2 thrillers reminds me that few current thrillers appeal to me.
The 25 which qualified are not carefully chosen mysteries beyond being skewed by 10 of the books being written by Canadians. (I included Kathy Reichs as a Canadian as she has split time between Canada and the U.S.) Within the Canadian books are the shortlist for the Best Canadian Set Novel Award, one of the Crime Writers of Canada Awards of Excellence. Overall I read books that I think I will enjoy.
I was surprised that of the 15 mysteries by non-Canadians there were 13 by American authors, 1 Japanese and 1 Spanish. None were by British, Australian and New Zealand authors. On reflection I think the heavy concentration on Canadian and American authors reflects the books I can find in bookstores especially Saskatchewan. I expect to be ordering more diverse authors going forward though not from Amazon. I prefer to support companies that have physical bookstores as well as online ordering.
The other stats I kept track of were:
1.) Authors - 12 female and 13 male;
2.) Sleuths - 12 women and 16 male (there were 3 teams of two with 2 teams having a male and female and the other with 2 males);
3.) Settings - 9 in Canada, 9 in the U.S., 1 in Italy, 1 in Japan, 1 in India, 1 in England, 1 in Spain, 1 in Ireland and 1 in Germany; and,
4.) Victims - 16 female and 27 male (I made an arbitrary decision to exclude 14 killed in one book after the 2 murders prompting the case. Though more thriller than mystery there was a sleuth in the book. In all the books I did not count any deaths that were part of the resolution of the plot.)
Beyond trying to read more authors from outside Canada and the U.S. I am content with my reading approach.