I discovered recently, by complete accident, that there is such a genre as “noir fiction.” Just like in the movies. Hello! Of course there is. And of course there are quite a few women authors who do it brilliantly. I’m in heaven! Because sure, cozy mysteries are great to relax with, but darkness is always more fascinating and makes for better literature.
Of course I am an opponent of the big genrification of fiction which implies the proliferation of formulaic and ultimately low-quality books, but I have to say, it does come in handy when one is looking for new things to read and manages to find a whole group of writers worth exploring.
I do understand the other perspective also, which is eloquently presented by the Boston Bibliophile in Do we need the mystery section? But I think it is a matter of proportion: how much of your decision to read a book is based on the genre it’s listed under? I think that most of the books I am reading have literary aspirations and the genre is only a side-effect of the story development, and not a formula used to develop the story.
Anyway, I’m deep into my first Sara Gran Claire DeWitt book. Of course I started with the second in the series, because what difference does it make, I don’t know how to read series. It has been called a “hipster noir“. Whatever. I like it a lot.