At long last, we have reached the finals. After some very tight races and some runaway landslides, we have the two most hated plot devices in crime fiction. Now it’s time to vote for the one you most want to see go away. Then we write an open letter to authors and ask them politely to put an end to the cliché.
So who’s it gonna be?
In our last round we had a nail biter and a crushing defeat. In the category of main characters, Serial Killers vs. Old School Mafia types went down to the wire. From the start, The Mob found very few friends around here, but at the eleventh hour those pesky Serial Killers slashed their way into the victory circle. Seems a slim margin of readers are more tired of spree killers than of pinstripe suits and severed horse heads.
In the category of plot devices the answer was clear. Feel free to write about Sherlock Holmes all you want (yay, that means we don’t have to tell Steve Hockensmith to stop writing his fantastic Holmes on the Range series!) but whatever you do, don’t set out to write yet another chef-based mystery. Readers are getting heartburn over the culinary-themed murder tales. If you include a recipe in the back of the book, that only makes things worse.
But that’s only someone else’s opinion! It’s time to let yours be heard. There are surely many defenders of the culinary murder mystery. Time to put your vote where your mouth is.
The final showdown is set: Serial Killers vs. Culinary Mysteries.
So, which cliché gets sent to that big kitchen in the sky?
Is it time to do away with the indiscriminate killers and maybe the cops/FBI agents/investigator with a dark past who hunt them?
Or is it time to close down the kitchen, cork the wine, put away the cheese and get back to some old fashioned bullets and broads crime stories?
Cast your vote for who has to go below and we’ll announce the...er...“winner” next week.
Eric Beetner is the author of Dig Two Graves, Split Decision (Book #3 in the Fight Card series) and co-author with JB Kohl of One Too Many Blows To The Head and Borrowed Trouble. His award-winning short fiction has appeared in Pulp Ink, D*cked, Off The Record, Grimm Tales, Discount Noir, Needle, Murder In The Wind and the upcoming Million Writers Award: best new online voices. For more and links to free stories visit ericbeetner.blogspot.com