Regarding Margery

Not everyone likes Margery Allingham.

This occurred to me recently, when I was trying to identify some markets for a series of short stories I’d written. All of them fell within the category of crime fiction, in what you might call its noir sub-division. Or neo-noir, if you like.

This means writing in the spirit of those classic movies of the 1940s and 1950s, with updated versions of their typical characters. Fatal females, gangsters, crooked cops, cynical private detectives. Hookers with murder in their eyes – but hearts of gold. Seedy locations. Violence. And strong language.

If it’s done well, this category of crime fiction can be edgy, gritty, and appealing.

But not everyone “gets” it.

In any group of people who say they love crime fiction, you’ll find a diversity of preference. Some go for the Agatha Christie, body-in-the-library, genteel murder. Others plump for the Ed McBain school of richly detailed police procedural investigations.

Different styles, different approaches.

Nobody’s right to prefer one, over the other. Or wrong.

For the aspiring writer who’s trying to make an impression in this market, it becomes a matter of targeting those particular publications – magazines, blogs, or websites – that resonate with your personal style.

And patience. And perseverence.

If noir is your bag, you could do worse than to check out the following:

A Twist of Noir : Christopher Grant’s excellent online resource for crime and noir fiction. All in 1,000 words, or less.

Powder Burn Flash : Run by Mystery Dawg, with an emphasis on tales with guns.

The Flash Fiction Offensive : Rey Gonzalez runs the show, here. And it’s not for the faint of heart.

Oh, and tell ’em I sent ya.

And by the way, Margery Allingham? British author of classic detective stories. Very popular throughout the period between World Wars I and II. And today, even.