Note to mystery novelists everywhere (and more likely, the marketing departments at their publishing houses): Steig Larrsen’s books had more going for them then snappy titles. And Gillian Flynn? A rose by any other name would have sold as many books. That is to say, the reason these books (and you know the books I’m talking about) did so well? It just didn’t have a lot to do with the fact that the word “girl” was in the title.
Some folks don’t get that. And so we look, for instance, at J. Kingston Pierce’s piece, published yesterday on The Rap Sheet, called “A New Season of Novel Experiences.” It lists the top of the top crime fiction novels being published between now and the new year. And in case you are wondering? A dozen of them have the word “Girl” in the title, including several by authors (including Lawrence Block) who you wouldn’t think would need to work that hard to get readers.
Then there’s Reese Witherspoon’s list of Top 15 Recommended Books, by way of BookBub. Four of the 15 — that’s 26 per cent — contain the dreaded word.
The actress seemed especially entranced with Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll (“It was the most non-stop nail-biting crazy train of a book,” writes Witherspoon, “with one of the most intriguing characters I have read in a long time!”)