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Self Published Title is Kobo’s Most Read Crime Novel of All Time

28 July 2016

From Kobo Writing Life:

Rakuten Kobo, a leading innovator in the digital reading space, joins WHSmith as a sponsor of the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival taking place this week. In celebration of all things crime, Kobo is releasing insights from an independent survey of the British public and its own user database, which reveals the insights about crime readers and predicts where crime writing may head in the future.

Move over Miss Marple and watch out Watson, because when it comes to the general public’s favourite character from crime novels, it seems one quirky man has definitely won over the hearts of the British public. He may be more than 100 years old, but when asked to choose their favourite character from classic crime novels from seven well-known and well-loved characters, Sherlock Holmes was voted the favourite by every age, gender and location, garnering almost a third of the entire vote!

. . . .

When it comes to crime readers’ favourite reads, Katia Lief’s One Cold Night comes out on top as the number one best-selling crime novel of all time on the entire of Kobo’s platform in the UK. One Cold Night also topped the bestsellers list for self-published titles. Mark Sennen’s Tell Tale: A DI Charlotte Savage Novel tops the best read, with 100% of those who opened the book getting right to the end! The top British crime author of all time, with the most sales across all their books is Lee Child, followed by James Patterson in second place.

Whilst older women may make up the largest demographic of crime readers on the Kobo platform, when asked what genre they would primarily choose to write in when penning their own novel, it seems that the younger generation are the ones who will drive the genre forward with 43% of 25-34 year olds wanting to become authors of their own crime novels. Interestingly, although those over 55 make up a large percentage of crime readers, they were the age group least inclined to add to the genre they love, with 72% saying they would not like to write their own novel.

. . . .

When asked what themes they’d like to see addressed in crime novels, artificial intelligence was the single most popular with (34%) closely followed by virtual reality (25%).

Link to the rest at Kobo Writing Life

For those TPV visitors who don’t use Kobo, here’s the Amazon author page for Ms. Lief.

Kobo, Non-US, Self-Publishing

17 Comments to “Self Published Title is Kobo’s Most Read Crime Novel of All Time”

  1. I’d actually be curious to understand the level of sexuality that is newly popular for crime fiction. I recently picked up a book of an older writer, male, and I am reminded how there still seems to be a layer of writing where the sexuality described is rather tame. Is that the over 55 taste?

    So what would be an example of the under 55? I can’t see Harlequin being the go-to style for sex or romance. And I don’t feel Shades of style is about plot, so much. Thoughts?

    Thank you.


    • I prefer no to little sex in my crime novels. I simply want it to focus on characters and the crime and the twists. Secondary romance plots are fine, as long as I don’t have to slog through literary gynecological and proctological exam versions of lovemaking.

      • To me, what’s interesting is a current strain of writing has a theme of sex. And woman as victim. *sigh* As in crimes of sex. This is what is making it odd for me to figure this out.

        And a certain kind of feminist seems to focus on this theme too. Hm.

        As in the only kind of love is rape ? *sigh*

        To one specific: The book I randomly sampled, by a Stuart Woods, reminded me of a kinda male-centric view of sex, and the female characters in it are almost like props for mild porno.

        I’m simply wondering, is anyone writing plots where people behave normally, as sex, in the course of a relationship, comes up?

        I used to read a lot of James Bond. I feel I grew tired of the world weary male detective or spy–whether the language and story is well written or not. Am I now to feel we are entering an era of a world weary female (of whatever occupation who plays protagonist, say) who seems to live in terror of her sex?

        Or something.

        I really like Stieg Larsson’s Millenium Trilogy. I’ve recently read two of the books. But I also noticed that theme again, of women as victim.

        Must we be victims? Is that the only kind of story’s place for women?


        • Sounds like you’re looking for Romance. Specifically Romantic Suspense.

        • Sounds like you read one of Stuart Woods’s Stone Barrington crime novels. There is one sex scene in each one. He also writes the Orchid Beach series with the heroine Holly Barker. Each of those usually gets a sex scene, too, but not always.

          Stuart’s first book was Chiefs. He wrote a techno-thriller (Deep Lie) and a really good gothic (Under the Lake). He hit the bestseller lists with Stone Barrington in New York Dead and rode that pony to wealth.

          • Yes. Stone Barrington.

            I seem to be learning what I DON’T wanna write by reading authors like this. I’m talking about attitudes about sex, not the stories themselves. I’m sure they make for great summer reading. I’m simply amazed by this sort of sexuality, is all.

            Just, wow.

  2. “When asked what themes they’d like to see addressed in crime novels, artificial intelligence was the single most popular with (34%) closely followed by virtual reality (25%).”

    These themes sound like science fiction themes, rather than crime novel themes. I guess the crime novel fans are also SF fans.

    • I was gonna say. What does that have to do with crime novels?

    • I’m rather confused, myself, here. What it reads like is that the “modern problem” themes are the ones that the 25-34 year old demographic wants to see more of. Makes sense.

      Unfortunately, that is not the demographic that buys most of the crime genre.

  3. You can tell I’m not young, I guess. I’m 56 and novels dealing with AI and VR don’t interest me at all, be they crime or SF. In fact, I will tend to pass right by novels dealing with those issues centrally (as opposed to just having elements of AI/VR in them). Not my cuppa.

    As far as ONE COLD NIGHT: It’s #101,144 on Amazon and that’s for the Kindle uploaded May of 2011. For a book 5 years in, that seems not bad. Reviews average 4 stars. Priced 2.99. Page count on Kindle: 309. That seems a quick read for a crime novel, maybe? Which helps “read through-ability.”

    • YMMV as they say. (Says a 58 year old fool writing a tall tale featuring holo-suites and a smarta$$ed AI.)

    • Anything new with a central theme of AI or VR combined with “crime” or “suspense” has to compete with Ben Bova’s classic Valentina or Tom Clancy’s (with others) “Net Force” series. (The latter, to me, actually began to go down with the third novel; I don’t know whether it has picked up again or not, or even if it is still being produced.)

  4. Yay – just purchased. Now my Kindle contains fresh summer reads for me to look forward to. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Seems odd that she could be so big on UK Kobo, and so low on Amazon including AMazon Canada (two reviews only). Particularly at $2.99. But all those “sales” (or freebies or whatever it was) can’t be wrong, can they? I’ve loaded up too for the trip to the family cottage.

  5. “Mark Sennen’s Tell Tale: A DI Charlotte Savage Novel tops the best read, with 100% of those who opened the book getting right to the end!”

    That is truly impressive

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