As I was getting together the list of Edgar Awards in the Best Paperback Originals category, I was surprised to see several publishing companies that I simply did not recognize. What a surprise that Playboy actually published books… and not just their monthly magazines… In 1981, Thomas H. Cook’s Blood Innocents was up for the Edgar’s Best Paperback Original prize, with Playboy being his publisher. Who’d have known!?! I had no idea that Playboy published anything without glossy pictures!
And, ending in 1978, there were several books that were put out by the Gold Medal publishing house… Who’d have known that not only cake-bakers and Olympiads would strive for the Gold Medal?
Whatever happened to some of the "old" publishing houses? Several years ago, when I was still very active in my mystery reading groups and forums, I "heard" cozy mystery readers complain that some of their favorite authors were being dropped by the very same publishing houses that the authors had helped finance. (I wish I could remember some of the authors’ names…. but one thing I do remember…. the authors were famous cozy mystery authors.) But, I think that there lies the problem. Are cozy mysteries given the same amount of "legitimacy" as other types of fiction?
I remember on one particular reading forum board, a woman from the non-mystery fiction group referred to mysteries as mind "candy"…. apparently, she thought of mysteries as just being something sweet and frothy, frosting (on top of frosting) on a cake, summer beach-time books… nothing of any importance. I am sure she didn’t mean to label our mystery reading group as a mindless group of twits, but let’s face it, that is certainly what she inferred with her "candy" comment.
I have to admit, though, that I didn’t take it personally…. I enjoy good non-mystery fiction, but I just happen to enjoy mysteries more. I particularly enjoy cozy mysteries, but that’s just me!
And oh, by the way, I happen to enjoy candy, too!