Sunday, December 21, 2008

It's a Crime

by Diane Fanning

This year, give the gift of crime. No. I am not suggesting that you break in to your neighbor's home and take custody of the nicely wrapped Wii under their tree. I'm suggesting that you take a look at the wealth of crime books available for your gift giving.

And while you're at it, think about shopping at your local independent book stores. They are all in a serious crisis caused by the economic downturn. Yes, Barnes and Noble and aren't having it easy either but odds are they will weather the storm. The small shops are in a more precarious position.

On this subject, Roy Blount, Jr. (right) wrote a Holiday Message in the Author's Guild newsletter: "We don't want bookstores to die. Authors need them, and so do neighborhoods. So let's mount a book-buying splurge."

I say we all take up Roy's challenge. Shop at your area independent store or visit one on-line. My personal favorite is Murder by the Book in Houston. Not only do they have a delightfully crime-centric store but they also have a huge assortment of autographed books which make very special gifts.

In addition to signed books, here are a few other ideas for giving the gift of crime:

  • Grab a few true crime paperbacks to stuff in a stocking.
  • Pick up a group of books by different authors all set in a locale that has special significance for the recipient.
  • Select books written by authors in your home state for someone far away who misses home.
  • If you know someone interested in a particular type of crime, pull together a combination of fiction and non-fiction books featuring that element.

  • Or be even more creative--start with Stacy Dittrich's book, The Devil's Closet, and find other crime books with a doll on the cover.

Do your part this holiday season to keep these independent operations stores alive through 2009. Don't let the Grinch of an economic downturn shutter their doors.

If the Grinch wasn't a fictional character, profilers would undoubtedly label him a sociopath--and Pat Brown would be the first to tell you not to trust his contrition at the story's end. Be a grinch-fighter, shop an independent book store and give the gift of crime fiction and non-fiction books this year.

Whatever you choose, books are great gifts. For Christmas. For Hanakuh. For Kwanzaa. Forever.

See below for the mysteries, thrillers, true accounts and informational crime books, released in 2008 by the contributors of Women in Crime Ink.


Sibby said...

Diane, what a wonderful suggestion. I put lots of books on my gift lists this year. I intend to go buy any that weren't found under my Christmas tree too.

Merry Christmas to everyone here at WICI.

Diane Fanning said...

Thank you, Sibby! I gave a lot of books for Christmas,too, as well as bookstore gift cards. Have a Merry Christmas and an incredible 2009.

Kathryn Casey said...

A great idea, and thank you for mentioning my books, Diane. Happy Holidays, everyone. Here's to a better economy and more peaceful world in 2009!

Marta Stephens said...

What I great blog! I found you via a Google Alert for my own crime mystery series.

It's interesting because my latest novel came out in early November of this year. To be honest, I wondered how the economy would affect sales, but at recent signings people bought two and three copies of my books at a time. Regardless of finances, books have always been on my family's Christmas list and sales indicate that others feel the same way.

Best wishes for a wonderful holiday!

womenslegal said...


I purchased Moving Out Moving On, great book. Sound advice that I will utilize daily. Thank you.

Pat Brown:

I just finished Killing For Sport. I am now more aware of my surroundings and view things differently. You definetly offended me into the reality of danger. Well Done!

David Thompson said...


Thanks so much for mentioning the store!! :-)


Kathryn Casey said...

David Thompson (comment above) runs Houston's Murder by the Book, a fabulous store, one of my favorites, too! Anyone living in or near Houston or visitors to Space City who enjoy mysteries, thrillers, and true crime, should drop in.