Reading Trends Romantasy v Cozy Crime

Reading Trends - Romantasy v Cozy Crime

The Marlow Murder Club by Robert Thorogood

Audio version

eAudiobooks Fourth Wing and Iron Flame

Not surprisingly I like to keep an eye on reading trends and have been in pleased in recent days to notice an increased interest in books and reading by a younger generation.

The children brought up on Harry Potter, then The Hunger Games and Twilight have grown up and are now devouring a genre of books being dubbed ‘Romantasy’ which is being widely promoted on social media platforms such as BookTok and Instagram. The books are pure escapism, blending romance and fantasy and featuring anything from swords and lovers, faeries and dragons, legends and mythology. The popular authors emerging from this trend include Rebecca Yarros, Sarah J Maas, Jennifer Armentrout, Leigh Bardugo and Scarlett St Clair – and we have certainly noticed the rising popularity of demand for books by these authors in recent days. Think The Lord of the Rings blended with Outlander or Poldark with a touch of Game of Thrones set in Ancient Greece and you might come close!

You may have gathered they are not quite my scene but anything that gets people reading – and keeps them reading - is a ‘win’ in my book (pun intended!) These books tend to come in a series too so once you’ve read one you just have to keep on going.

Authors such as Emily Henry, Hannah Grace and Taylor Jenkins Reid have also done their bit at drawing in new readers with their gentler contemporary stories of love and relationships. Colleen Hoover is another author who has had some bad press in the reading world but to give her her dues, her books have done their bit to reintroduce many readers back to fictional worlds.

Do not cross police tapeAnother popular trend I’ve noticed is the popularity of Cozy Crime novels which are appearing at a rate of knots since The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman was published during Covid in 2020. It was a reaction against the diet of dark psychological thrillers of recent years often with unreliable narrators and shocking twists. With the country under a succession of lockdowns I think we all needed a bit of light relief and we savoured every word – which, after watching Pointless on TV every night, we could just imagine being read by the author himself. Agatha Christie and Dorothy L Sayers novels were the precursor to the genre - stories set in a quiet village or countryside with amateurs working alongside the police to solve murders which may be gruesome enough but are not dwelt upon or described in disturbing detail. The appeal is in the solving of the crime, the relationships between the characters and the satisfying resolution which will inevitably come at the end – possibly with an unexpected twist to keep you guessing. Usually the police will remain baffled and it will be the amateur sleuths who solve the mystery.

four Cozy Crime booksThe Thursday Murder Club came along at the right time as an antidote to the very real tragedy of what was happening in the world at the time but the popularity of other similar titles has not dwindled in the years that followed. Other popular authors of this genre include Rev Richard Coles, Robert Thorogood, Alexander McCall Smith, M C Beaton, Elizabeth Peters and Simon Brett. There is an element of humour included and there is the opportunity for the reader to work out ‘whodunnit’ for themselves by eliminating from the cast of suspects as they read. You can probably tell that I am a fan of these – there is nothing as relaxing as settling down for a read with a good book and a hot cuppa!

The Marlow Murder Club series (there are three so far) by Robert Thorogood is my recommendation for anyone who is interested.The Marlow Murder Club by Robert Thorogood

Happy reading!

Rebecca Yarros book


Marlow Murders














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