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  • Jennifer Howden

I bet you're a mystery literary fan

Genres evolve and develop throughout history, they react to society and merge with one another - creating themes and new signals for audiences to understand and relate to. Mystery literature has grown and developed over time, encompassing many well known and loved genres: crime, dystopian fiction, horror, whodunit, folklore and mythology - to name a few.

Right now crime fiction is the most popular book genre, overtaking general

fiction for the first time in history with a huge 19% increase, selling an impressive 18.7 million copies last year. But why the dramatic increase? It has been said that genres like this become more popular during times of uncertainty, that in times of stress and when it seems like the bad is winning, people look for stories to escape to, stories where good conquers and can restore some balance.

Mystery literature however is not only enclosed within a book - it has taken to the stage, the screen (big and small) where writers, artists and performers have created fascinating and mysterious work.

You may not even know it but I imagine you’re already a big mystery literature fan. Harry Potter is the biggest selling children's book series of all time - selling more copies than the bible. Since it was published in 1997 this magical mystery dominated popular culture around the world. Maybe you’ve been to the theatre to see Simon Stephen’s adaptation of Mark Haddon’s mystery novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time - after its release it had the most nominations ever at the Olivier awards. Even this year one of the most talked about shows, HBO’s adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale is a dystopian mystery that has taken over our screens at home since it began in May last year.

These are examples that only cover a short period of time but they show you how much mystery literature still remains popular and relevant today. Celebrating literature across platforms allows the creator to reach new audiences and gives you the opportunity to see their work in a new light. Whether you read the book before or after the play, film or TV series it allows you to have your own memorable experience.

Mystery literature is certainly something to be celebrated which is why we’ve decided to dedicate an entire weekend to it. The Mystery Literary Festival will cover all aspects of the genre - allowing everyone to experience and interpret literature in their own way.

The Mystery Literary Festival takes place in Liverpool on 22 & 23 September 2018. For more information, sign up to our newsletter.


©  The Mystery Literary Festival 2018

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