No mystery crime is the biggest-selling genre in books | Sophie Hannah

Sales of crime novels in the UK have soared, overtaking general fiction for the first time. But this thrilling genre can be a comfort, too, says the creator of detectives Charlie Zailer and Simon Waterhouse

It has happened at last! Finally, the literary world is a meritocracy! Crime fiction – which I first became aware of as the Best Genre Ever when I read my first Enid Blyton mystery at six years old – is now officially the UK’s bestselling genre. Nielsen Bookscan data at the London book fair has revealed that crime novels in 2017, for the first time since Nielsen’s records began, sold more than the category rather vaguely labelled “general and literary fiction”. Crime sales of have increased by 19% since 2015 to 18.7m, compared to the 18.1m fiction books sold in 2017.

This might be the first time that the genre I write, read ...