Mordens marknad : Litteratursociologiska studier i det tidiga 2000-talets svenska kriminallitteratur

Sammanfattning: This dissertation deals with Swedish crime fiction and its successes on the Swedish book market in the early 2000s. The genre’s expansion, marketing and literary content is mapped and analysed in three studies that together paint a thorough picture of this literary phenomena in Swedish book trade.In study no 1 the development of the genre in Sweden in the last 40 years is discussed from a quantitative perspective. With the base in bibliographies of Swedish crime fiction publication trends are analysed in several ways and concerning topics such as genre growth, gender balance, publishing houses, successful authorships, bestsellers and library lending. The results include: a significant genre expansion in the 2000s; a great dominance for the genre on the bestseller charts in the 2000s; and a shift in the author group, from male dominance to even gender balance.In study no 2 the marketing of the genre is examined through an analysis of book covers, titles and other elements in the concrete packaging of just over 150 Swedish crime fiction paperbacks. With book history as an important theoretical influence book covers and other peritextual elements are understood as a significant part of the marketing of the genre, but also – and wider – as of crucial importance for how genres themselves are established, withheld and re-negotiated in the interplay between different actors in the society of literature – publishers, authors, booksellers, readers.In study no 3 a quantitative content analysis of 116 Swedish crime novels published 1998–2015 is used to chart and discuss recurring themes and tropes within the genre. Focus is primarily directed towards what is understood as the most central parts of crime fiction: murderers and their motives; methods used in committing murder; victims of murder; and detectives and other protagonists. The results include: a distinct dominance of female protagonists; a partial realism, where depictions of everyday life in general is realistic while the murder plots are spectacular and sensational; and a dominance of normality, where main characters and innocent victims confirms normality, while killers and unsympathetic victims are depicted as deviants in stark contrast with normality.