The irresistible appeal of crime series

Barbara Pezzotti    ACIS

The recent discussion about crime fiction readership made me think about another interesting topic: the appeal of crime series. According to Eco “from the beginning the reading of a tradtional detective story presumes the enjoyment of following the scheme”. Moreover, the reader deals “with schematism involving the same sentiments and the same psychological attitudes” (1979, 117-18). More recently, Robert Rushing, talking about Andrea Camilleri’s crime series, observes that a series can be “a reader’s initiation into a series of social problems” (2007, 33). What’s the appeal, then, of a crime fiction series? Is it the appeal of the main protagonist? Is it the cosiness of the familiar? Is it the longing for a never-ending book? Or rather an interest for some specific issues addressed by the series? These are questions I am asking you, crime fiction (and crime series) lovers.

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