Readers ask questions, lots of them. Every time we turn a page, there’s a kind of interrogation happening: of a story, an author, a way of life, a piece of ourselves, our plans and ideas. Book lovers are natural investigators. It shouldn’t be a surprise that among our literary traditions none proves quite so enduring—so diverse, so universal—as our penchant for mystery. Patricia Highsmith (one of several patron saints of this site) once wrote, “Obsessions are the only things that matter.” Maybe that’s what unifies us across the vast genre of “crime.” We embrace obsession, however dark. We keep asking questions. We press on to the bitter end.
So we’ll say it another way, because we really do believe it. Readers make the best sleuths.
Today, we’re launching CrimeReads, a new site dedicated to crime, mystery, and thrillers. We’re doing it because these are books and a culture we love, and because we want there to be a destination online where suspense and investigations—real and fictional—are front and center.
Over the last few years, with the support of its partners and devoted readers, our parent site, Literary Hub, has become a vibrant community of book lovers, millions strong and growing all the time. We think CrimeReads can have the same kind of impact. This is a site that mystery lovers the world over can visit every day to find new work from established and emerging authors, original thought-provoking essays, true crime investigations, and celebrations of noir culture in its many, magnificent forms.
Together with our colleagues and partners—publishers, booksellers, librarians, non-profits, festivals, and author groups—we’re proud to spotlight the best of crime, mystery, and thrillers.
We’ll bring you stories that represent the vast scope of crime literature today—writing that gives full weight to ideas, that revels in a sense of place, that embraces differing viewpoints, all coexisting under the same big umbrella. Today, day one for CrimeReads, you can read Laura Lippman’s celebration of James M. Cain’s transgressive noir, an essay on spy fiction and the black American experience, a personal story about a life of activism and writing mysteries, and a conversation with the godfather of legal thrillers, Scott Turow. Over the coming days, you’ll find articles about fugitive enclaves under attack from the CIA, the rise of paramilitary narcos in Colombia, a new monthly column from “The Crime Lady” Sarah Weinman, exclusive fiction from Jo Nesbo, Lars Kepler, Donna Leon, and many others. You’ll see more noir stills, and pulp covers than you can shake a stick at, and hopefully you’ll read something worth obsessing over.
We’ve also assembled a group of authors whose work has inspired this project, and who will advise us going forward. Our thanks to Megan Abbott, Lee Child, Lyndsay Faye, Meg Gardiner, Alison Gaylin, Rachel Howzell Hall, Carl Hiaasen, Joe Ide, Craig Johnson, Ausma Zehanat Khan, Laura Lippman, Attica Locke, Val McDermid, Kyle Mills, Walter Mosley, Lori Rader-Day, Ruth Ware, and Daniel Woodrell, who will be keeping us honest as the weeks and months pass.
So, have a look around. Pull out your notepad, chase down leads, piece together the clues, follow your obsessions. We’re here to investigate and to be investigated. We’re here to read.
What would life be without a little mystery?
–Dwyer Murphy and Molly Odintz, CrimeReads