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Stephanie Merritt: Crime fiction is not looked down on

15th February 2010

Gaveston author Stephanie Merritt has revealed why she has taken the step into the crime fiction genre.

Writing in the Observer, Merritt explained that P.D. James' thrillers were some of the first books she read and she has a fondness for titles such as A Taste for Death and The Skull Beneath the Skin.

Once she attended university, the writer discovered that some consider the detective novel to be 'second-rate' and not worthy to share the label of 'art' with literary fiction, which caused her to revise her reading habits.

'But in the ten years since I wrote my first novel, the landscape has shifted and such genre snobbery has been significantly eroded by the marketplace,' Merritt added.

She said that this change and the resurgence in popularity of the crime genre led to her decision to write forthcoming crime novel Heresy, which will be published under the pseudonym S.J. Parris.

Last week, Red Riding author David Peace told US publishing website GalleyCat that he thinks crime writers have enough material within the real world to inspire them without resorting to fantasy.

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